This was a new site for me at a National Park campground. When we first drove up to the easternmost camp site from where we began our trip, I guessed this was a communal lobster pot where you could boil your fresh catch from Bar Harbor and feast on bugs by the fireside.
My silly dream was crushed when I discovered it to be a sink for dumping camp dishwater with a strainer basket and nearby trashcan for nasty bits. This is a good thing I suppose. After all, like the signs read, “A fed raccoon is a dead raccoon.”
But it sure felt good anyway to finally sit by a campfire again without bugs feasting on me. Especially after enjoying an authentic Down East lobster feast in Northeast Harbor. Just remember, when it comes to overindulgence, it’s not the volume of lobster one consumes, it’s the butter factor. And it is clarified butter that makes a breaks an establishment from the fine dining list.
Succulent fresh Homarus Americanus of over a pound can be found at far too many places to choose from in and around Bah Hahbah. (That’s Bar Harbor, Maine for you other Left Coasters out there.) But it doesn’t have to be served on fine china to justify the price.
We found what we were looking for away from all the tourists at The Docksider in Northeast Harbor a few miles down the road. This authentic seafood shack served up a mean Maine meal at a great price. You don’t find “MP” (Market Price) on the menu here, though you may find some White Out and butter stains. And you won’t find any fine flatware either. just don’t cut through your styrofoam plate or things are gonna get even messier.
After all, you simply cannot dignify lobster eating. To truly enjoy these big, buttery, tasty bugs from the sea one must set manners aside, bust ’em open, get a little messy, and learn to pinch and suck while trying not to douse others at your table.
Lobster Dining Enjoyment Tips:
- Forget any inhibitions
- Wear the bib, or don’t complain later
- Pick an authentic local restaurant, preferably with outdoor seating where you can see you lobster go into the boiling pot
- If they don’t have a paper towel roll on the table, then bring your own
- Break lobster at the back to access the tail meat
- Gently snap claws wide open to remove meat in one piece
- Break off all the legs close to the body, bite at the joints then pinch and suck
- Disregard the green goop unless you are adventurous for local delicacies
If you have the option for another side dish or dessert with your lobster dinner, go for the slaw or beans. You won’t have room for pie anyway. Clarified butter ignores the hips and goes straight for the heart. Try to take it easy there. But it is hard not to enjoy something so good it might as well be served in a syringe.
A personal favorite: Dip baked potato in clarified butter. Follow this quickly with French bread dipped in the hot broth from garlic mussels to cut the congeal factor, and you might make it through the night. Don’t try this at home kids. I am a trained professional.
Back to the restaurant review… We opted for two lobster dinner combos, one with fried shrimp, the other with a mess of steamed mussels served in the dishwasher’s hairnet. Not really, that’s just the joke I cracked having never seen this ingenious netting method used for cooking shellfish. I especially like how it caught all the tasty little garlic bits from the broth.
I also like how the real New England Clam Chowder here is a more creamy broth than the thick processed crap you get in most canned brands. Better for soaking into more crusty bread, which was the only thing lacking at the Docksider. Though they did have tasty soft dinner rolls. Good thing they only served two.
For dessert, we opted to wait and take something back to the trailer to enjoy by a campfire since the bipolar weather patterns of Mt. Desert Island had cleared for starry skies. Earlier, we had taken Jerry to the top of Cadillac Mountain for a quick view of the harbor before fog and rain clouds rolled right into us.
Slight aside: They call these mountains? We stood atop the highest peak on the East Coast at just 1530 feet! But I digress…
We stopped into the Pine Tree Market for something sweet and decided to get a bottle of wine to enjoy with brownies we would make from mix we had. We found a local Apple Blueberry Wine and just had to get it, fondly remembering the Schwabenlander pear Wine Experience. This Orchard Blush From Winterport Winery turned out to be just right for dessert. We skipped the brownies, still reeling from our lobster aftershocks.
Back at camp, I split enough wet wood for a crackling fire that burned far to fast. Rangers had felled a tree the day we arrived, making the previous resident of our site move next door. Good thing, otherwise we wouldn’t have got online and probably would’ve left much sooner. Instead we were lucky enough to get the only site in this densely wooded campground with enough blue sky in the right direction for our satellite connection. Like the ranger warned us when we checked in, there is a reason the call it Blackwoods Campground.
But we decided to take the night off and celebrate. After all, it was friday night! And we have much to be grateful for. We’ve officially made it coast to coast, with many positive memories under our wheel, and many more to come. We got to see Jerry play in the Atlantic ocean. We just launched our new free travel blog website at RVblogz.com. And we had filled ourselves with delicious Maine lobster for the first time in too many years.