I always joke that I make the second best lobster roll in the area, and he beats me. He respects the food he’s making, he respects the lobster. He also makes blueberry lemonade that is so good. That’s the food I ate before I was a vegan, now I get the veggie burger.
Sourcing fresh goods
I’m at the Blue Hill Co-op every Saturday, they have cured meats for sandwiches, cheeses that are made around here—Seal Cove’s cheeses are unreal. There’s also a farmer’s market in Ellsworth on Saturdays. Those spots are where [my wife and I] do 80 percent of our shopping. A little more mainstream is Acadia Provisions, they have high-end locally made stuff like FIORE infused olive oils. Half the time that’s my snack [for hiking], I pack just a bowl of bread and one of those oils with herbs in it. For seafood like lobsters, it’s Perry’s [in Surry], hands down.
I normally kick back [in the evenings], but once a year we do the Lumberjack Show. Timber Tina runs it, and I’ve known her my whole life. You watch these people absolutely decimate trees and logs. They do speed competitions where they have axes, they do log rolling. It’s what you’d imagine a lumberjack in the woods of Maine is doing, but the showmanship side of things. It’s super touristy, it’s super cliché, and it’s super fun—you have to do it once. It’s every night at 7p.m.
Where to grab dinner
Gateway sells lobsters to a majority of the lobster pounds and restaurants on Mount Desert Island, and that is your down home, less expensive, really good seafood dinner. For higher end seafood with a little bit of a South American kick, it’s Havana.
For a special dinner, I’m heading to the Crocker House in Hancock. It’s in this old manor, and unexpectedly you’re getting this five-star dining experience out of nowhere, in this little town. They serve Beef Wellingtons, your classic filet with potato medallions. Not far from there is IronBound, they’re homey food, but they take it up a notch. The vegan side of me loves Sweet Pea’s, on your way into Bar Harbor. It’s super unassuming, and most of the things on their menu are house-grown and -made, farm-to-table. They make their own wine, they have wood-fired pizzas.
The occasional libation
Finn’s is the go-to bar for most people, but Fog Town Brewing has got some really fun stuff going. They don’t have a standing beer list; they’re constantly brewing new beers. You can have a beer there and there’s a chance you’re never going to see it again, so it adds to the Oh, I gotta try this factor.
…and a little something sweet
Blueberry Hill is an ice cream spot in Ellsworth that everyone loves. They haven’t changed their ice cream in forever. I went there when I was a kid, and now I take my son.
The 1 in 10 Project We introduced this new initiative to celebrate the more than 10 percent of people around the globe whose jobs are tied to tourism in some way, from hotel concierges to tuk-tuk drivers. With the pandemic still ongoing, we’re spotlighting these individuals—who are so often the most memorable, and essential, part of our travels—with features like this one that give a glimpse into their everyday lives.