Highlights from a Trip Northeast

24th Jun 2008


The weekend before last Elin and her mom and I set off to see four states in four days.  Our goal was to do it just before the tourists and summer heat took over.  In the highly organized itinerary, which would be promptly deviated from, we had plans for upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  The loose organizing principle to the whole affair was to stay in Bed and Breakfasts...

2007 Wrap-Up: Travel Posts

7th Jan 2008

I've done more traveling this year than any other on record.  And what better way to really dig into a place and gracefully breach the tricky tourist barrier than by eating where the locals do?  It's often the reason Elin and I get on a plane in the first place, and if it's not, then much obsessing is done anyway. We conduct research so that no meal will be wasted, no chance for pleasure los...

(Raw) Milk in Maine

1st Aug 2007


Ever since I started reading about "raw" milk, I've wanted to try it.  Illegal in New York and most states, raw milk has a strange mystique about it: proponents claim that unpasteurized milk has remarkable health benefits , is drinkable by even the most lactose intolerant people , and tastes twice as good as the milk you're used to.  Once you drink your milk raw, they say, you'll begi...

In Portland: A Revelation on Fore St.

23rd Jul 2007

Right above Standard Baking Company , where we had the fantastic bread , lies Fore St .  An unassuming front door opens out into a open, lofty, yet warm room with charming leaden windows lining the back and sides.  On one side of the restaurant is an open kitchen , with seating nearby.  There is also seating along the outside of the restaurant, where they sat us, thankfully, next to...

In Portland: A Menu Based on Duck Fat

23rd Jul 2007

I should apologize before I begin, because what I write about Portland is no doubt going to sound like a tourist ad.  After just a few days spent there, it became one of my favorite cities.  It has a number of things on its side: proximity to the water; an industrial, scruffy charm; a relaxed, West Coast vibe; and above all, more than a couple world-class restaurants.

Hugo's , for example, i...

A Weekend in Maine, Part 3: Acadia, Blue Hill, and Belfast on the Way Back to Portland

20th Jul 2007

After some disappointing lobster rolls , the raw beauty of a national park was just what we needed.  We drove into Acadia after dark, paid for a campsite, pitched our tent, and fell asleep immediately.  The sun rose hot and early, and I woke up squinting.  For a few minutes I thought we were going to start the day at 5 in the morning, but then I was able to pull the hood from the sweatshirt...

A Weekend in Maine, Part 2: Lobster Rolls on Route One

18th Jul 2007

After we left Portland , we didn't have much of a plan.  We knew we needed to arrive at Acadia National Park, about 150 miles away, by nightfall.  On the list was, of course, lobster.  We also wanted to see the famed L.L. Bean store.  A friend had insisted we see a place called Popham beach, and we also wanted to visit Blue Hill, where E.B. White used to spend summers.

Armed with page after...

A Weekend in Maine, Part 1: Arriving in Portland

17th Jul 2007


Elin and I decided to go to Maine because the fate of our relationship hung in the balance.  She had never tasted lobster, ever , having made an admirable promise in early high school to keep it that way until she got to Maine.  For her, the first experience of something is infinitely important.  It should be carefully orchestrated, fully appreciated, the best it can be.

Of course, Main...