Sponsored by Cellardoor Winery
Cover photo by Sara Fox
From the trail to the taproom to the tidal pool, from the lake to the lunch counter to the lobster shack, let our second (annual?) scavenger hunt be your guide to everything the Pine Tree State has to offer in the season when it shines brightest. This is your summer to discover something new. Happy hunting.
Ride a Ferry for a Lobster Roll
People go to great lengths to eat at Lunt’s Dockside Deli — a touch over 8 miles, to be exact. That’s the ferry ride from Bass Harbor, on MDI, to the offshore village of Frenchboro, where the year-round population was 61 at last count. The Lunt clan goes way back on the island — their lobster shack overlooks Lunt Harbor — and the family food biz has been going strong for three decades. With a belly full of locally hauled lobster and time to kill before a return ferry, follow trails to dramatic cliffs and quiet beaches in the island’s Maine Coast Heritage Trust preserve. 2 Westside, Frenchboro. 207-334-2902.
► Selfie: Best to visit on a Friday or the first or third Wednesday of the month, when the ferry makes both a morning and an afternoon run (consult the schedule at maine.gov/mdot/ferry/frenchboro). Snap a pic in front of the colorful Adirondack chairs and restaurant logo — and don’t miss the return boat!
Update: Call before visiting. As of early July, Lunt’s Dockside was having staffing issues and not yet open for the season, though still aiming for a summer opening. Consider visiting with a bagged lunch anyway and hiking the island’s trails, but we’ll consider this item optional to finishing this category. If unsuspecting scavenger hunters visit Frenchboro and find Lunt’s closed, a sad-looking selfie will suffice. 🙁
Attend a Bean Supper
Early European settlers saw Wabanaki cooks simmering pots of beans, syrup, and fat in underground pits and thought, hey, let’s try that. Beans (kidney, cattle, yellow-eye, and more) have been a hardy New England staple ever since. If you’ve never passed a sign advertising a bean supper outside a church, Grange Hall, or historical society, you probably aren’t driving around Maine enough. Many are potluck affairs: expect hot dogs, rolls, and all manner of casseroles and pies. Most maintain the tradition of molasses-y brown bread steamed in coffee cans. And while today’s bean cooks use crockpots and Dutch ovens, some suppers — like the long-running, monthly affair at North Gorham’s United Church of Christ — keep bean preparation old-school, slow-cooking them outside overnight in a brick-lined pit. See the Portland Press Herald’s weekly community meals listing. Many suppers are donation-only; others charge a small fee.
► Selfie: Make friends and have them pose with you over a heaping plate. Come hungry!
Portland’s signature waterfront hash house opens its doors at 4 a.m. damn near every day of the year. Which is great if you’re a fisherman (or a nightlife-loving Portlander, still up from the night before) and you’re in the mood for bacon, eggs, strong coffee, and a waitress who will likely call you “hon.” Becky’s Diner recently put in a new breakfast counter — one of the very few changes this place has seen since opening its doors in 1991. The lobster and swiss omelet is mostly for tourists . . . but it ain’t bad.
► Selfie: Conveniently, Becky’s has a working clock on its iconic neon sign out front. Get your selfie with the clock in the background, so we can see what time you stopped by.
Shake It Up at a Classic Soda Fountain
The stained-glass mosaic sign outside Bar Harbor’s West End Drug Company hints at the retro vibes inside. This year, in fact, the shop celebrates its centennial under the management of the Gilfillan family. (The current owner, Michael Gilfillan, started working in the store in high school in 1973.) What better way to toast the milestone than with an old-timey soda-counter concoction, the egg cream? The classic bev, with origins in late-1800s New York soda counters, contains neither egg nor cream, but the mix of seltzer, milk, and flavored syrup — shaken to perfection — is frothy and refreshing on a summer day on bustling MDI. 105 Main St., Bar Harbor. 207-288-3318.
► Selfie: The lunch counter has all of eight stools to choose from. Line up your shot so we can see a few of them. Then, step back in time, sidle up to the counter, and savor an egg cream.
Visit the Old Port in a Glass
After expanding beyond their Lincolnville vineyard and winery to open a Portland tasting room at Thompson’s Point in 2016, the Cellardoor Winery team looked for a fitting way to commemorate their new Portland presence. They raised a figurative glass last year with Puerto Viejo — that is, ahem, “Old Port” — a predominantly Garnacha blend inspired by the velvety, full-bodied red wines of Spain’s Priorat region. Then, this March, Cellardoor entered Puerto Viejo into the prestigious Vinalies Internationales Wine Competition in Paris, where judges from the Union of French Oenologists awarded the Portland-tribute vino a coveted gold medal. Not bad for a newcomer to Cellardoor’s roster of more than 20 wines. 367 Youngtown Rd., Lincolnville. 207-763-4478; 4 Thompson’s Point, Portland. 207-536-7700
► Selfie: Visit either Cellardoor location for a tasting, and while you’re there, find a bottle of Puerto Viejo on a rack to pose with.
Go to Market in Brunswick
With 42 vendors set up on a scenic, sprawling stretch of farmland, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market is one of the state’s largest — and, we’d argue, has the friendliest vibe. Part of the appeal is the wildly diverse array of products, from standards like organic meat, dairy, fish, and produce to specialized items like miso, almond milk, and beeswax this and that. There’s a knife- sharpening service on site, along with an acoustic band playing each week and plenty of kids running around underfoot. More than just a grocery stop, the market is where neighbors and friends meet and linger. Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 277 Pleasant Hill Rd., Brunswick. 207-729-7694.
► Selfie: The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust acquired the 320-acre Crystal Spring Farm in the ’90s. Get a shot at their welcome booth (and, if you like, say thanks).