Since this is the first time I’ve had a lobster roll, I don’t have the expertise to advise anyone on where to get the ultimate lobster roll. Though I am confident in saying that this was a pretty damn good lobster roll.
One of the first restaurants we tried in Maine was Helen’s, in Ellsworth (you will probably drive past it on the way into Acadia National Park or Bar Harbor). Helen’s was said to have the best blueberry pie; unfortunately, it wasn’t blueberry season 🙁 . But we had dinner and dessert there anyway.
We ordered a variety of lobster dishes between 4 people and split them up so everyone could try a little of everything. We had a lobster roll (chunks of lobster mixed with mayo and served on a toasted hot dog bun) with a side of potato chips, 2 orders of Lazy Man’s lobster (lobster de-shelled and cooked in butter) with a side of mashed potatoes, and lobster stew (chunks of lobster meat in a creamy broth).
The lobster roll was surprisingly one of the best entrees I thought I tried. But when you picture lobster + mayo + hot dog roll, it doesn’t sound like the most appetizing combination. To me, lobster always seemed too extravagant to be eaten this way. I guess it’s because I ordered a lobster roll at a fair once in Rochester, NY and it was NOTHING like this one (tiny, shredded bits of meat mixed with mysterious bits of other meat and mayonnaise). The flavor combination is unique but works well together. Almost better than butter + lobster, maybe even better. I heard some places don’t use mayo and serve it hot with drizzled butter. Whatever floats your boat.
Definitely try a lobster roll when you’re in Maine. I don’t care where, just do it. Your tummy will thank you.
Lazy man’s lobster. If you don’t like doing the work yourself by cracking claws and flinging lobster carcass across the room, have them de-shell and pull the chunks of meat out for you. This is all baked in a sea of butter over triangular pieces of toast (which is also, luckily for me, drenched in butter). This would’ve been my absolute favorite dish if I wasn’t such a mayo fiend.
This is the lobster stew. I guess I was imagining something more like a clam chowder but with lobster chunks. But I guess stew is different. It had a hearty portion of lobster meat in it, but I think the broth was lacking flavor. It needed more salt and pepper, something was missing that should’ve made this a lot better. So this ended up on the bottom of my ‘must try again’ list.
Since blueberries weren’t in season, and strawberries were, I ordered a slice of strawberry cream pie. I think it was the first time I had a cream pie of any sort, since my sweet tooth didn’t kick in until the pregnancy and nothing with sugar really appealed to me until now. This was interesting. It had a lot of cream. I ended up removing most of the cream and eating the strawberries instead. Maybe I don’t realize what I’m missing here, or maybe their blueberry pie (the reason we came in) is supposed to be 10x more spectacular than the strawberry pie. Soooo I’d probably skip ordering this next time and wait for blueberry season.
My sister in law bought these chocolate truffles in Bar Harbor, though I never asked her for the name of the store. But they were good. Mine was filled with dark chocolate. I think other ones were filled with peanut butter.
Another unfortunate situation - after my husband and father-in-law’s morning hike in Acadia, they picked up these desserts for me, my mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, who were all suffering from the beginnings of a miserable cold that lasted the remainder of our vacation. It was unfortunate because they didn’t remember the name of the shop and I can’t give it to you. I can only provide pictures.
Here is the apple tart.
Which I tasted a quarter of. It was delicious. I wanted to eat the whole thing.
Blueberry tart and a chocolate croissant.
Blueberry tart was so-so, but the chocolate croissant was my favorite. Buttery, flaky and chocolately.
Some kind of raspberry custard roll or croissant. This was very good too.
My husband and mother-in-law picked up steamed whole lobsters for our meal one night. He took the pictures of this place so we at least had some form of identification of a restaurant. I sat in the hotel room like a queen, waiting impatiently for my lobster to be delivered and fed to me.
Ok it didn’t happen that way. I was pretty nauseous from the car rides so I stayed in the hotel. Something with being sick in the 3rd trimester and not allowed to take any cold medicines, along with the reemergence of morning sickness, doesn’t make for a happy camper.
Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound is where they ordered two 1.5 lb. steamed hard shell lobster dinners with sides of potato salad and rolls for approximately $33. That is not a bad deal.
I guess they steam the lobsters in salt water in these steamers outside.
This was my friend who I enjoyed dining with tremendously. I think it was also the first time I cracked a steamed lobster and ate it this way. I impressed myself with my newfound cracking skills (thanks to my mother-in-law, who is an expert in these matters herself). The lobster was steamed perfectly, and 1.5 lbs. was almost too much meat for me. But I managed to scarf it all down, even the meat in the little legs. The clarified butter helped wash it down my gullet.
The potato salad was a nice accompaniment, and gave the dinner some variety. I skipped the dinner roll because I didn’t want to waste any of my precious stomach space with bread.
Do yourself a favor and try a lobster pound (or 3) out when you’re driving along and start seeing signs saying ‘lobster pound’. They’re everywhere.
Maine is not only known for their lobster, but for their blueberries. I ordered this stack of blueberry pancakes at a place next to our hotel. I can’t tell you what this place is called. Because I suck at providing restaurant names.
I know…this is probably the most pathetic restaurant review post I’ve ever done, since I can’t provide 80% of restaurant names. Did I mention I was sick?
You’ll see foods with blueberries everywhere, even when they aren’t quite in season yet. So if you like blueberries and lobster, Maine might be your favorite place on earth.
Pigs ARE good eats.
Along with lobster and blueberries, there are lots of ice cream parlors around Bar Harbor. I know Bar Harbor is a tourist trap, but it’s a cute, pleasant tourist trap. And one of the touristy things you can try is the lobster ice cream. Of course, I didn’t try it, but if you do please tell me how it is.
Other restaurants we tried that I didn’t get any photographs of:
China Joy – We went to this Chinese restaurant located in Bar Harbor for something different one night. The reviews said this place was supposedly really good (4 out of 5 stars) but what I failed to see was how people were commenting on the sesame chicken, won ton soup, or other Americanized dishes that were good. I also read that their Cantonese style lobster was really good, but unfortunately it was one of the worst lobster dishes I ever tasted. The lobster came out with only 4-5 lobster claws, already removed from the shell, in a bowl of goopy flavorless sauce with egg and minced pork. This place was extremely disappointing for authentic Chinese food. Don’t come here unless you want Americanized Chinese, and definitely don’t come here for authentic Cantonese Lobster.
Route 66 Restaurant – This place is a fun kitschy restaurant for the family in Bar Harbor. We went there for lunch one day and they had quite a few specials. I ordered a cup of lobster bisque and the salmon burger. The salmon burger was tender, fresh, flavorful and came with a side of fries. The cup of lobster bisque didn’t have any lobster in it. It tasted like lobster…but no lobster meat. I did see a special for ‘lobster for two’ for around $23. That came with two steamed lobsters with sides of fries. So it probably had lobster meat in it.
Rosalie’s Pizza - This was a nice pizzeria for a couple of people who missed East Coast pizza terribly. I think we ordered pizza here a total of 3 times throughout the week. Crust was a bit chewy for me but the pizza beats anything we’ve had on the West Coast, so I’m not complaining. Great place to take kids (or your father-in-law) if they don’t like lobster.
Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium – You’ll see the huge crowds of people outside this place. Great place for ice cream in Bar Harbor. I had a cup of triple chocolate ice cream that became way too decadent for me, but it did give me my ice cream (and chocolate) fix. My husband got the orange pineapple ice cream, which was really tasty and refreshing.
Free Shuttles around Acadia – We saw these shuttles transporting people around the park. I didn’t realize they were free, but they are. The buses circle around pretty much all the places around the park. One of the routes also goes to Bar Harbor. Check it out if you’re interested.
I hope you enjoyed the photos and hope this helps anyone considering Bar Harbor and Acadia for a vacation.