A Seafood Standout in Phippsburg
There are only a few days left — and I don’t mean of summer. I mean that there are only a few days left to taste some of the best fried scallops you’ll ever eat and you can enjoy them in one of the prettiest locations on the coast of Maine.
Anna’s Water’s Edge (75 Black's Landing Road, Sebasco Estates, Phippsburg, 207-389-1803, www.thewatersedgerestaurant.com) is an out-of-the-way, knock-your-socks-off seafood joint tucked past the Sebasco Harbor Resort at the end of Phippsburg peninsula. It’s worth the drive, and as I found out this past, gloriously sunny weekend, it’s the perfect finish to a day spent at Popham Beach.
It’s an unassuming place (check out their website for the interesting history of the building), and you are often greeted by a friendly, old German Shepard who is so calm you wonder if he has been there since the opening of the restaurant in 1979. The current owner, Anna Varian, took it over from her sister Jessica Sutfim in 1999 after a fire.Their father is a broker at the Portland Fish Exchange. That’s where they get a lot of their products that they can’t get off their own dock. But all of it comes from Maine. And you can tell.
At Anna’s, you can sit inside if you’d like, but I’m not sure why you ever would. (Then again, this summer might be an argument against that logic.) The outdoor picnic tables are staggered across the lawn, looking out to a cozy cove complete with the dock, moored boats, and all the charm of the Maine coast stuffed into one inlet.
For food, try everything. The fried clams are delicious, not too greasy, and very tasty dipped in the tartar sauce. The pan-fried or boiled haddock is simple but extremely well executed and served with boiled red potatoes and some good brown bread. The soups are savory and hearty. The most popular dishes are the baked, stuffed seafood combo and the seafood fettuccine alfredo.
All the food is good. But the fried scallops are out of this world. We had to order a second batch because they were so sweet and tender with just the right amount of batter. Even with a second helping, everyone at the table (foodies and non-foodies alike) rationed their bites to savor the flavor and texture of these little delicacies.
Fill up on the main meal, but know that the desserts can’t be missed. Their old-fashioned brownie pudding pie, in the recipe box with all the other handed-down, family recipes since 1979, is to-die-for: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking chocolate, melted butter, and milk stirred together, sprinkled with cocoa and brown sugar, then covered in boiling water and baked at 350 degrees for an hour. It’s decadent and worth every sugarcoated bite.
In short, Anna’s has a spectacular view, scrumptious food, and a much smaller line than many of the other seafood joints dotting the Maine coast. But hurry. Anna’s closes on September 7th (plus they will be closed Labor Day and the day after) and doesn’t open again until next May. You’re going to need to order a whole lot of scallops to hold you over until then!