Monday, October 27, 2014

Honestly, I Maine-ly Go For The Food

Bronwyn - Somerville, MA
Beer 'n Bretzel
     Before heading to Maine, we had one other food stop to make. Bronwyn in Union Square up in Somerville. I'm a sucker for German food, my Mom is German, David is German, and it's October (>>> Oktoberfest activities).      
     We headed up to Bronwyn a little later than planned and ended up waiting quite some time for a table, but it was ok because that made time to relax and take in all the Oktoberfest festivities they had going on. I'm not sure if this is commonplace or not, but all the waitstaff were running around in lederhosen and other traditional German garb. For their Oktoberfest event they also had a live band playing in the main dining area. They were awesome and really helped set the mood. The bar area was rather dimly lit, but seemed very authentic and typical of a German bar. 
     While we waited we ordered one of their Bronwyn Bretzel with spicy mustard and a large glass mug of beer. How could you not? I could eat pretzels until I explode. I could eat Bronwyn Bretzels until I explode. It was delicious. Kind of a crispy outside and a hot and soft inside. Moderate course grained salt. So so tasty!
Haxe - Braised pork shank, riesling sauerkraut,
roasted apples and potatoes.
     They finally sat us at our table, which was just a section of a much longer table (kind of like community style seating). Each of the chairs were an older style and unique. They reminded me of King's and Queen's chairs. By the time we had sat down, David and I had already decided to split the Haxe, which was a beer braised pork shank, riesling sauerkraut, roasted apples & potatoes. Beautiful presentation and a beautiful taste. The pork shank came to the table piping hot and was presented in a way that kind of looked like a teepee and kept all of the other ingredients in the dish warm. The sauerkraut, apples and purple potatoes were all full of the pork flavor as if the pork shank was cooked on top, as to let the juices flow out and cook into the fruit and veggies. I absolutely loved the addition of the sweet, roasted apples to the salty, savory pork (similar to the ham - pineapple combo). 
German Chocolate Cake

     They had one dessert on the menu, and lord have mercy was that ok. It was their version of a German Chocolate Cake, but it was in no way like any german chocolate cake I've ever had. I asked the waitress and guessed that it was made with oats instead of flour and was right. It wasn't a layered cake, and it didn't come with the gooey, mysterious caramel/nutty layer that turns me off sometimes. This was just like a regular slice of cake, but still had that rich caramel and walnut/pecan flavor throughout the oaty texture. It was all sitting in a light pool of sweet icing. By far the best and most appealing german chocolate cake that has ever graced my tongue. I hope it's not only an Oktoberfest special :/


Boothbay Lobster Wharf - Boothbay Harbor, ME

     When my mom comes to Boston, I think half the reason she visits is for the lobster, and I don't blame her one bit for that. Jay is apparently the same way. They both had wanted lobster all week, but I didn't take them any place with lobster because I knew it would be fresher and cheaper in Maine. 
     Saturday evening we scurried up the coast to Boothbay Harbor to get our first lobster meal of their trip. We made it just in time. Just in time to experience a Maine country show... and lobster. Lobsters and I... we are friends (minus the fact that they're dead). I dissect every ounce of that creature, and 9 times out of 10, I'll tear apart other people's lobsters when they run out of stamina. It's a challenge and I like a challenge... and lobster meat. 
     I'm not sure how to describe a steamed lobster. You've got to try it for yourself. You can always tell when they're fresh. They've got a more rich flavor. And the restaurant is doing it right if they're serving it with real butter. Boothbay Lobster Wharf had the experience and the unique waterfront cooking station to boot. It was a beautiful nighttime landscape. 


Eventide Specialties - Boothbay Harbor, ME

Pastries and sunshine :]

     Sometimes I'm impressed by my own sniffer. We were walking down the street around all the little shops in Boothbay Harbor when I got a whif of what I thought was apple pie, but I saw no bakeries around. I was perplexed. Perplexed until we walked in a little specialties store called Eventide Specialties. This little shop featured a bakery bustling with a bunch of cute older women who do nothing but bake and take in a gorgeous view of the harbor all day. What a dream. Low and behold, they were just pulling out baked apples in a cinnamon sugar dusted puff pastry. This was a need. The scone was a need too. My mom bought me one of each and we walked to the water to enjoy them in the sun. The puff pastry was golden brown and sprinkled with sugar to compliment the perfectly baked and tender apple inside. I'm not quite sure how they were able to bake the apple long enough to let it soften without burning the puff pastry. Maybe some pre-baking was necessary. The apple itself was also stuffed with butter and walnuts. Does it get any better? The scone was pretty good too. Moist and full of fruits.
Baked apple inside of puff pastry. 


Shannon's Unshelled - Boothbay Harbor, ME

Look how pretty
     Another day, another lobster. We worked up a little of an appetite as we walked around the town, and there was honestly no way we were leaving Maine without a lobster roll. We walked by a little one room shop called Shannon's Unshelled that sold one thing. Lobster Rolls. It was their last open day of the season, so we thought it was meant to be. This lobster roll was different than any other roll I've ever had in that instead of tossing the lobster meat in a type of creamy sauce or mayo, it was just tossed in melted butter. I reeeeeeeeeally liked it. It helped isolate just the lobster flavor. I would've liked to have some lettuce on there, because the last lobster roll I had from The Pier Patio Pub. But this roll was still fabulous. I believe the conversation went something like this:

"I wish it wasn't over." - Me
"What?" - Jay
"My lobster roll." - Me
"Haha it is an event!" - Jay


Gilbert's Chowder House - Portland, ME
Garlic and Onion Steamed Mussels

     One seafood item they hadn't had yet was chowder, so on our drive back to Boston we stopped in at Gilbert's Chowder House right on the water for chowder... or so I thought. As soon as we sat down though, they became subject to the spell of lobster and next thing I know I'm elbow deep in all their lobster parts. I wasn't upset. I, myself, got their mussels which looked and smelled great. They must've cooked these mussels in loads of garlic because there was minced garlic everywhere. Again... not displeased. They were steamed with some onions as well which I've never seen before, and were served with an awesome lemony, garlic butter. It was simple, but delicious nonetheless. When I think of the best mussels I've had during my time out here on the east coast, I'm still taken back to The Fat Cat in Quincy. Mussel heaven. 

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