Well... the first stop for food anyway!
The Evil Twin and I went to Maine yesterday to visit a friend of hers up by Vassalboro. Quite frankly the only thing I knew about that part of Maine is that it is where really good beans come from.
But I do associate Portland with really good food. Hey, what can I tell you - I once had a steak, Ligurian style in olive oil at Cinque Terre, that was almost 8 years ago and I STILL think about it. Mmmmmm.....
We had every intention of starting this roadtrip off with a stop at The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth but holy crap the line - well it wasn't even a line, it was a mob/swarm/horde waiting for friendly toast.
Eh, forget that! So we pressed on to Portland ME.
Let me just state for the record that the Evil Twin is one of those people who is a curious blend of camel and wait-and-see. She might be hungry, but she can cope with it until she has seen all the options. Which sometimes means we'll walk the entire length and breadth of a place and read every single menu before working up such a hunger that four hours later we end up stumbling into the nearest place for food, which sometimes works out to be a 7-11. :(
Not this time. This time we found a place, parked, found out the place we picked was closed, and then strolled around for about 20 minutes before deciding on a very adorable crepe place on Wharf Street called the Merry Table.
And let me just say that we really hit the road trip food jackpot. If you click on the photo, it will make them bigger.
The outside - so now you will recognize it when you go looking for it! And some much needed and extremely strong coffee.
The incredibly charming interior, painted lemony yellow, which I now want to do to my own kitchen. We both ordered les crepes because nous sommes un peu francais!
I had a crepe with jambon et fromage (the ham & cheese on the left) while the E.T. had the crepe avec poulet (chicken with caramelized onions & bechamel on the right)
Ooh la la! We are both charter members of the clean plate club!
After that we were completely fortified for our visit to Rabelais, a cookbook bookstore. Not so much our visit as my dragging the E.T. along, but she is an extremely agreeable sport and as such I was able to FINALLY get a copy of John Thorne's Simple Cooking.
Two things. First of all if you read AND cook you have to make a trip to Rabelais. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but it was like every time I looked at a shelf I saw a book I'd been looking for. And the owner is the loveliest and most food-passionate bookseller I have ever met. She very kindly offered to track down a copy of Jane Grigson's English Food and while I could probably get a copy on Amazon, I would much rather have an excuse to go back to Rabelais.
And secondly, if you are not familiar with John Thorne, push the rock off and Google him immediately. And also, shame on you! And if you do know his writing, you will know exactly why I am so excited to have a copy of Simple Cooking - which I have wanted forever. The beginning of the book includes a chapter entitled A Cup of Cocoa which basically covers all the ways to consume hot, liquid chocolate. And then continues with a chapter on making porridge. There are recipes for macaroni and cheese and for salads and pork-stuffed onions. I am so in love with this book, it's kind of inappropriate. And you know what? I will be bringing this book to bed with me tonight. Because dream food is zero points!