The Park Slope Gastronome

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Another Misc. Memorial Day Weekend Eating Pt. 2

We wound up staying at a Holiday Inn Express outside of Worcester halfway through our ride up to Bar Harbor. As we were checking in, I noticed a sign for a free continental breakfast featuring cinnamon rolls the hotel was touting as possibly the best tasting cinnamon rolls ever. Quite a big claim by Holiday Inn and so it would have been really nice that there were even these amazing cinnamon rolls available when we mosied downstairs to start our day! Not a single roll in sight; I was very disappointed. Instead I had a hard boiled egg and an english muffin (cutting up the egg to eat on the muffin, something which I had never done and quite enjoyed). The coffee was unbelievably hot. Dan commented that his grandmother would definitely approve. I think Dan had the same breakfast, but also a bowl of Froot Loops, to make up for all those years when his mother wouldn't let him have sugared cereal.

The next time we ate was a bit of an embarrassment. We were so close to Bar Harbor, but were starving. We drove past a charming little diner on the way and maybe we should have turned around because the next 30 minutes of nothing seemed like forever. Do you Mainers not eat? We passed by every sort of store imaginable, except for one that served food! Subway and Denny's do not count. Finally we succumbed to our hunger pangs at pulled up at a Wendy's. I opted for the slightly healthier combo of chicken strips, baked potato and water. Who am I kidding, I'm sure that baked potato was deep friend before being served. And um, yeah, I did have some sour cream and "spread".

Of course you know what happens next. Not two minutes after we resume our ride, we come across the charming clam and lobster shacks of our dreams. Shack after shack after shack. I can't even think about it now. It was my worst nightmare.

For dinner, Dan and I were on our own, so we strolled from our little motel to McKay's Public House a few buildings down the street. It came highly recommended by the groom-to-be, himself a former Bar Harbor resident. While waiting for our table, we sample some local brews, me a Bar Harbor Real Ale and the husband a Bar Harbor Summer Ale. Dan claims he liked his beer better, but I'm not sure about that. Many a time I make him switch beers with me cause I can just tell he is not enjoying his, having misordered. He says it's cool but I think it's just one of those sacrifices you have to make as a couple in matrimony to keep things in line.

I really liked McKay's - they support local organic farmers and use locally caught seafood. We had a funny lady as our server, who was harried, but charming. It was, afterall, their first busy day of the season. We ordered an appetizer, a salad and two entrees - one from the pub menu. Somehow, I got duped and all 4 choices were Dan's! How did this happen? I didn't even realize it until after the funny lady walked away with our order. To start, we got HIS choice of appetizer (baked brie with strawberries and an aged balsamic reduction) and HIS choice of salad (McKay salad with Cashel blue cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and pears over local organic field greens dressed with Muscatel vinegar and white truffle oil). I enjoyed both (though the bake brie was really over the top), but my choices would have been pretty much anything else aside from the Duck Two-ways (I'm not much of a duck fan) like the crab cakes or warm spinach and artichoke dip (which I am always a fan of) to start with and the Farm Stand salad. For our entrees, we split the McKays burger. It comes with Sunset Acres bacon (gotta update that Bacon-O-Meter, I totally forgot about this taste of bacon!) and normally swiss cheese. But you know who doesn't like swiss, so we got some herbed goat cheese instead, which made for tangy bites. The burger was really juicy and cooked medium to our liking. Fries were tasty too. The other main we got was the ahi tuna special. This was probably the restaurant's only misstep. It sounded great - seared tuna over a bed of soba noodles and vegetables dressed with lime, chili and sesame oil. First, it was wildly overpriced at $24.95 (which was more than the other 3 items combined!). Secondly, we ordered the tuna rare and it was probably cooked to medium, which I don't mind so much in fish as I do in beef. Thirdly, it was just not seasoned well as all. The fish was bland, and the noodle and veggies also bland and overly oily. I couldn't even taste the lime or heat. I really wanted lobster, but the chef's preparation for the day wasn't too appealing to me (4 oz sauteed over red lentils or something like that). For dessert, we both immediately gravitated to the blueberry crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream. I could have done with more crisp, personally, but that's cause I'm addicted to things made with flour. It was a not-too-overly-sweet but satisfying cap to our meal.

I really need to start taking more photos of my eatings.


Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

Sorry to hear about the poorly timed shack attack! You don't like ducky duck? I could love me some duck almost 24/7.

June 01, 2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

duck in small doses, mainly roast/peking duck. make mine a beouf!

June 01, 2006 2:15 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

shoot, one thing i forgot to mention about that salad is that they sprinkled golden raisins all over it. i was pretty aghast when the plate showed up since the description didn't mention rasins of any kind.

June 05, 2006 8:45 AM  

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