Thursday, August 5, 2010

Avoiding Overpriced Lobster Pounds and Other Tourist Trap Eateries

I may not be a full-fledged foodie, but I may only be one more season of "Top Chef" and a subscription to Bon Appetit away. As such there is nothing I find more abhorrent about traveling than eating bad food because you don't know where to get the good stuff, or are marooned in a heavily toursited area like Fisherman's Wharf, Times Square, or the coast of Maine in peak season.

Of course it always helps to be travelling with locals. I am working towards my "local" status in Maine, so I want to share an insiders tip in case you find yourself on Mount Desert Island with a hankering for lobster. Avoid Testa's and Chowdah's and, if you have the time, drive an unbelievably scenic route to the other side of the island, "the quiet side," and eat at Thurston's in Bernard. It's right on the water, so while you dine on fresh lobster, mussels, and other fine creatures, you will be able to look out at the very boats and traps that brought these fruits of the sea to your plate. 

It's order at the counter, watch them pick and weigh your mollusks and crustaceans and hand them off to the chef while you sip your beverages (beer and wine served), find a place to sit, and wait for your name to be called.
I've been twice, and though there were definitely some tourists there, they weren't of the gigantic-family-wearing-matching-Bar-Harbor-sweat-shirts kind.

You should definitely go if you get a chance, but do me a favor and don't tell too many people...

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