Sunday, July 30, 2006 

Kennebunkport Restaurant Review - Mabel's Lobster Claw

If you're looking for lobstah or chowdah, you can get them heah.

Mabel's Lobster Claw, known to us locals as Mabel's (clever, huh?) has been serving fantastic seafood and lobster for nearly 50 years. In fact, Mabel's is where Janice and I ate on my first visit to Kennebunkport more than 25 years ago.

Mabel's is Kennebunkport's oldest seafood restaurant. Its relaxed atmosphere combined with its fresh and expertly prepared seafood make Mabel's a favorite of many of Kennebunkport's repeat visitors as well as the locals.

Choose to dine in the casual and comfortable dining room or, when the weather is right, sit on their outside patio and enjoy the evening and the people watching. Warning, while the outside patio is a very pleasant way to enjoy an evening, if the weather is humid and the air is still, the mosquitoes will be dining at Mabel's as well (and they eat for free).

Mabel's is definitely a favorite of President Bush (41) and his lovely wife, Barbara. Two of our guests had dinner next to them just last week. In addition to some pleasant conversation with the Bushes, they had their pictures taken with them as well. That will make a wonderful memory.

Janice and I were joined for dinner by two of our favorite guests, Pete and Miriam. Pete and Miriam both enjoyed a steamed lobster. The passion with which they consumed their meal spoke volumes.

Janice chose the Baked Stuffed Shrimp "the best in the country" according to the menu. While I will not reach across the table and sample someone elses meal, I am not shy about trying Janice's (remember, I am a professional food critic). It was fantastic. Nice jumbo, firm shrimp stuffed lightly with bread crumbs and chunks of lobster.

I had one of the evening's specials, the broiled swordfish. A generous portion of fresh swordfish cooked just the way I asked. I wasn't foolish enough to eat too much of my cole slaw although it was delicious. As a professional, I know enough to leave room for dessert. And, if it's dessert at Mabel's, it has to be the blueberry pie, the Maine blueberry pie, a la mode. What's the difference between blueberry pie and Maine blueberry pie? That's easy, the taste.

Mabel's is a wonderful choice for an enjoyable, casual seafood dinner.

The Maine Stay Inn often recommends Mabel's to our guests and we are happy to make your reservations.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006 

The Canvas Can Do Miracles...

...just you wait and see.

In Kennebunkport, the Schooner Eleanor is one of the highlights of a vacation that one never forgets. Captured above, at rest and at play, this 55 foot traditional gaff rigged schooner takes riders for an afternoon of beauty, peace and tranquility.

The Eleanor flies four sails and has spacious, cushioned topped seats on which to stretch out. This beautiful vessel evokes the feeling of yachting in the 1930's.

Your sail will take you down the Kennebunk River and out to the ocean. You will see Walker's Point from a different vantage point and, if you are lucky, you might see Barbara and President Bush boating on by. If you wave, they will definitely wave back.

The images above were taken by Robert Dennis, a wonderful local photographer.

Let us at the Maine Stay make your arrangments for the Schooner Eleanor and some of Kennebunkport's other unforgetable experiences.


Monday, July 24, 2006 

Welcome to Kennebunkport??

Maybe it isn't a "Welcome to Kennebunkport" sign, but the Clam Shack has been greeting visitors to Kennebunkport for many years.

Voted by as one of the top ten seafood shacks in America, the Clam Shack serves up fried clams that persuade food loving travelers to detour many, many miles for the taste of these fried bi-valves (I think calling them bi-valves sounds gross. Let's make it, fried morsels).

The fried clam was invented in 1914, by Chubby Woodman of Essex, Massachusetts. According to Holly Moore (he's a real, honest-to-goodness food critic), "Woodman invented the fried clam, but the Clam Shack perfected it."

This truly is a shack. When you pick up your food, you then need to find a spot to eat. The best spot is to stroll right onto the bridge and either enjoy the view down the Kennebunk River or, turn around and people watch. Warning, warning, don't set your fried clams or anything else down. The sea gulls will enjoy them just as much as you would have.

Owner, Steve Kingston took over from Clam Shack founder, Richard Jacques just five years ago and Steve hasn't skipped a beat. He is passionate about the quality of the clams he serves.

One other thing, the lobster rolls at the clam shack also are said to be the best. Try one, you will definitely not be disappointed. Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006 

...A Sailor's Delight

When one thinks of the colors of Kennebunkport, most often the thought of our spectacular fall foliage comes to mind.

Janice and I went for a ride this evening to capture some photos for this Blog (we often go for a walk or ride just to snap photos). We had several ideas that we wanted to shoot for future articles and were able to get some great shots.

This shot wasn't part of the plan. It was such a great sunset, we couldn't resist.

So many of these articles focus on the many and varied opportunities for the tourist to fully experience and enjoy Kennebunkport.

Certainly visitors to Kennebunkport can enjoy this same sunset (in fact, we saw three of our favorite guests at the beach tonight), the residents of this ocean playground, live with this scenery year-round. So, as you baby boomers visit us in Kennebunkport, consider what a wonderful place this would be for retirement.

While you are househunting, here is an idea of where to stay.


Monday, July 17, 2006 

A Kennebunkport Smorgasbord

What is there to do in Kennebunkport anyway?

If you are a resident or a frequent visitor to Kennebunkport, you might respond with, "you gotta be kidding."

A better answer would be to describe the highlights of a leisurely walk down Ocean Avenue along the Kennebunk River. Starting from Dock Square your walk along the river will include beautiful vistas, majestic homes and incredible boats (or ships, or yachts, or whatever they are called when they are that big).

One mile from Dock Square and you reach the icing on the cake. For the lover of the beauty of nature, you have reached a smorgasbord of incredible scenery. By the way, I know all my metaphors are about food. So what?

You have now reached Parsons Way, a strip of land given to the town of Kennebunkport by Henry Parsons so that, "everyone may enjoy its natural beauty."

This walk along the ocean cliffs passes places like Spouting Rock and Blowing Cave and many other ocean-carved rock formations. Each turn in the road exposes a new and dramatic panorama.

Parsons Way begins at the mouth of the River and ends right in front of Walker's Point, another view fit for a president.

A true smorgasbord of picture perfect postcard views.

Oh, don't forget your camera.


Saturday, July 15, 2006 

Great Choices in Kennebunkport

All these great choices...only one wrong choice. The wrong choice would be to decide not to visit Kennebunkport for your vacation this year.

What these signs don't tell you is, today the temperatures hovered around 90 degrees. Imagine that, and not a single sign is pointing to the beach. Well, go that way >>>> straight to the Maine Stay Inn and we will provide you with a map to either Kennebunk Beach, Colony Beach or Goose Rocks Beach.

Guests of the Maine Stay get beach towels, chairs and umbrellas to make their beach trip that much more enjoyable. Oh yeah, we will also give you directions to our favorite beach (hint, it's not one of those above).

Don't wait, call and make your reservations for a wonderful Romantic Getaway or Family Vacation.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006 

Clippity Clop...the Sounds of Summer in Kennebunkport

So many facets combine to create the character of a community. Kennebunkport's village of Dock Square and the surrounding Historic District is very often described as a quaint, New England community. Its Southern Maine location is ideally situated at the mouth of the Kennebunk River, and the tree-lined streets contribute to its old-world atmosphere. The stately homes date back to the early 1800's and sometimes earlier.

These are just some of the elements that contribute to the grand atmosphere of our community.

There is another feature that contributes to the feeling of "stepping back in time" in this picturesque village. This feature activates your sentiments visually and acoustically. It is the sights and sounds of the horse-drawn carriage rides. Seeing and hearing Tiny (pictured above, he's the one in the front) coming clippity clopping down the street, inspires different feelings in everyone. But the key is, the horse and buggy triggers a response in everyone.

Tiny is the largest employee of Rockin' Horse Stables. Located here in Kennebunkport, Tiny's boss, Vince also offers wagon rides and makes his carriage or his surrey available for private jaunts to highlight that special event. Tiny is your ultimate designated driver.

Oh, one other thing. What is that majestic building that Tiny is passing in that photo? If you need a hint, the widow's walk was once known around town as the Candy Cupola. Any idea where that name came from?

Happy Summer!


Monday, July 10, 2006 

Go Kennebunkport

Come to the Maine Stay Inn for a two-night stay and for an additional $95 we will make arrangements for a class in Basic Fishing Skills. Arrive at the Maine Stay on Tuesday, July 18.

Arrive between 3:00 and 5:00 pm and enjoy afternoon tea and sweets, including a sampling of Roly's English Fudge (see the article posted on July 4th). We will be happy to make arrangements at one of Kennebunkport's wonderful restaurants. After a cozy night's sleep, wake up to a scrumptuous New England breakfast.

Your 6-hour class begins on Wednesday. This outdoor class is geared toward the beginner Fisherman or woman but, can help others brush up on their abilities and learn about fish behavior and habits. You will learn casting a fly rod and explore a number of casting techniques. You will have some fun by competing in a casting contest and eventually try out your skills in a stocked fish pond.

Don't forget to throw them back and give someone else a chance.

We'll make dinner reservations for you for Wednesday night. You might want steak or chicken by then.

On a scale of 1 to 5, this class is a fin. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Space is limited so give us a call as soon as possible.


Saturday, July 08, 2006 

Kennebunkport's Favorite Sport??

A stroll through the Historic District of Kennebunkport is such a pleasant experience in the summer season. The tree lined streets do such a perfect job of showcasing the majestic homes.

The real bonus of such a journey is your glance into the gardens. The beauty of these creations is breathtaking. The efforts expended on these organic works of art, lead one to understand that, in Kennebunkport, gardening truly is a competitive sport.

If gardening, or admiring gardens, is one of your pleasures, next Saturday, July 15, is the 12th Annual Garden Tour, the "Private Gardens of the Kennebunks" will be held from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tickets are $15.

While here, stay at the Maine Stay Inn and we will give you all the details.


Thursday, July 06, 2006 

Kennebunkport Restaurant (Bistro) Review - Port Bistro

Located in the heart of Dock Square is Port Bistro, also known as Gail's To Go. This charming bistro is the hidden gem of Kennebunkport. Okay, a hidden gem in the heart of Dock Square sounds like an oxymoron. Port Bistro is located upstairs in Union Square, a difficult location. Look for the signs, this bistro is more than worth the effort to find it.

Why is it also known as Gail's To Go? Gail, or one of her wonderful helpers, will deliver anything you want. She has even been known to deliver to the beach (really). If you would like to take a lunch to the beach or, for a day of sightseeing, try one of the bagged lunches. She stuffs a delightful canvas bag with a cold sandwich or wrap, crispy kettle chips, Poland Spring water, whole fruit and a brownie. What a convenient way to bring a lunch to the beach without the worry of losing your parking space. Many of our guests at the Maine Stay Inn enjoy deliveries to their room for both dinner and lunch.

Janice and I stopped by for lunch at Port Bistro today. Gail suggested one of her tables next to the window so we could catch the breeze. Perfect! We overlooked the pleasant activity of Dock Square as we started our lunch with dessert (as Gail put it, "life's short, why not start with dessert"). We split a warm, just out of the oven, white chocolate chip fresh maine blueberry cookie. You thought I was going to say macadamia nut, me too. But the combination of white chocolate and fresh maine blueberries was fantastic. When you go, ask if she has them and don't wait until after your meal to eat it.

The main course for me was a Buffalo Chicken wrap. It was sooo good. The warm, crusted chicken topped with a spicy hot sauce and wrapped with lettuce and tomato is perfect if you like hot stuff like me. (sorry, that sounds wrong, I'm not hot stuff. I like hot stuff also. I hope that clears it up) There is just enough hot sauce to satisfy your craving but not so much that you need a shower after eating this wrap.

Janice had the Veggie Quesadilla with sour cream and salsa. Being the critic in the family, of course I got to try her meal (it's my job). The quesadilla was excellent, especially when topped off with Gail's mild-to-medium salsa.

During a previous trip to Port Bistro, I sampled Port Bistro's Thai Chicken Pizza. Gail makes a 10'' personal pizza. Well, I call it a personal pizza in hopes that no one will expect a slice from me. The Thai Chicken Pizza is simply awesome. If you have read my previous articles, you know my downfall as a food critic is that, if I find something that I love, I stick with it. I would have had the pizza today however, we are going out to dinner this evening and I didn't want to fill up too much.

Here is a link to the Port Bistro menu. Check it out, there are so many good things to have. And, what a pleasant way to spend a Kennebunkport lunch. It's so nice, you will return.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006 

Kennebunkport Maine Stay Inn is Business of the Month

The Kennebunkport Chamber of Commerce has recognized The Maine Stay Inn and Cottages as the featured Business of the Month for the month of July, 2006.

We have a special display for all to see, set up as visitors enter the Chamber's main office on Western Avenue.

Complete with a Maine Stay Inn Teddy Bear and breakfast place setting, the display is adorned with our favorite color (can you guess?), cranberry red.

Also included in this welcoming display is our brand new, hot-off-the-presses, brochure.

If you are looking for a great vacation or quick getaway, call the Maine Stay Inn. We would love to welcome you to the inn.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 

One if by Land, Two if by sea....

It was 230 years ago today that marked the adoption of America's Declaration of Independence from the Brits.

Well, if they had been as clever back then as Roly's English Fudge is today, the outcome may have been very different. Roly's has invaded Kennebunkport, not by land, not by sea, but by taste buds.

Located in a not so easy to find location of Dock Square, Roly's is definitely worth looking for, or better yet let us at the Maine Stay Inn give you precise directions.

The fudge itself is like no other you have tasted. Rather than the sticky, gooey fudge to which we have become accustomed, Roly's English Fudge is firm and crumbly. As described by shop owners, Mike and Peggy Bristow, "this fudge melts in your mouth, not in the bag." According to Mike, some who enter Roly's are not necessarily fans of traditional fudge. When they taste one of Roly's non-traditional flavors, they are pleasantly surprised. Mike called it, "fudge for adults." I think it is for kids too.

With flavors like, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue, dark and stormy (Black Seal rum and ginger) and Bailey's Irish Cream, one can immediately tell that this isn't your grandma's fudge shop. Don't worry, their Cadbury chocolate fudge will satisfy you chocoholics and if you are like me, you penuche fans will fall in love with Roly's Original vanilla fudge. (of yeah!)

So far, I have only told you half the story...

Roly's English Fudge also serves Palazzolo's Artisan Gelato. Never heard of it? Well, you haven't been watching enough Oprah. She loved Palazzolo's so much she added it to her "O list."

Mike gave me a quick lesson about the difference between ice cream and gelato. While both have air whipped into them, the percentage of air whipped into gelato is far less than that in ice cream. Also, gelato is produced with much less butter fat. Since the butter fat content is less, the freezing temperature is higher. Why is that important? Well, if you are like me, when you have a bowl (that's right a bowl, not a cup) of ice cream, you let it melt, to bring out the flavor. That melting really doesn't bring out any flavor, it simply raises the temperature of the ice cream and prevents your taste buds from freezing. No frozen taste buds... more flavor. Gelato takes care of this step for you. With a higher freezing temperature your taste buds remain receptive to these delicious flavors.

That was the long way of telling you that this gelato stuff is fantasic. I tried the Madagascar Vanilla (remember, I like vanilla) and the flavor was unbelievable. A real food critic would be anxious to try the other wonderful flavors of gelato at Roly's. Not me, I'm going back for more Vanilla.

There you have it. Roly's English Fudge is a must in Kennebunkport.

Guests of the Maine Stay Inn on this 4th of July weekend, enjoyed their own sample box of Roly's. The comments were excellent.

Oh yeah, Happy Independence Day. Had those Brits come bearing Roly's, things may have ended differently.


Labels: ,

Subscribe to ~ The Insider's Guide to Kennebunkport

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
Search the Web:

Need more targeted traffic?
Join TrafficSwarm for FREE!