Brain Food

Greeting again from Sarah Graves, who is pondering the fact that the human brain burns a calorie and a half per minute when it is thinking. This means that writing uses fuel, and that means…yes! Let’s eat!

Eastport has always been a good place to find something tasty, and now might be the best time in fifty years to be on the hunt. The fuel starved writer could start off the day with a breakfast of blueberry pancakes doused with maple syrup at the Waco Diner on Water Street, while at the same time picking up bits of dialogue, description, and local news from the Eastport natives who make a habit of filling the booths, counter, and in good weather the back deck, too. Get there early enough and you can watch seals, schools of herring (in season), and if you’re lucky, a minke whale; get there very early on a clear morning and you will see a sunrise that you won’t soon forget. (And you’ll be among the very first in the nation to see it, too!)

All that thinking will burn any number of pancakes (or so I tell myself), though, which means a visit to Dastardly Dick’s coffee joint is in order by ten AM or so. Local artists, poets, and other creative types enjoy the benches outside, the bistro tables inside, and the scones, biscotti, and coffees — from plain cuppa joe to whipped cream-and-sprinkles — anytime.

That should hold us until lunch, for which we have several choices. Rosie’s Hot Dogs on the breakwater will provide the dogs, fries, onion rings, and sodas for a picnic on the pier overlooking the boat basin, where sea gulls will devour whatever you don’t. Or you could head down to the other end of town, where the Happy Crab offers standard pub fare and a full bar with a large-screen TV for watching the Sawx. Inbetween, there’s the Liberty Cafe, a new Greek restaurant that’s already found a grateful following, here; try the gyro to find out why. (You can get dinner here — authentic spankopita, anyone? too.)

Or maybe you want Mexican food. I mean real Mexican food. In which case you should head for the counter-intuitively named Bank Square Pizza. Because you can indeed get a good pizza, there, but you can also get a plate of rice and beans with taquitos. Or fish tacos, or a plate of rellenos, or…anyway, it’s the real deal, and it’s delicious.

All that should keep the writer well-satisfied until…oh, around 2 PM, when it’s time to hit the Moose Island Bakery. The display cases are full of delicious sweets, but in case you’re not in the mood for dessert-ish items, how about slices of buttered homemade bread or (gasp!) cheese bread? If you’re me, you also have another coffee, but your milage may vary in that department. (If you haven’t tried Moxie, maybe now’s the time?)

Finally: I’ll write about the dinner options in Eastport later this year, because the choices grow more numerous in summer. There’s the Pickled Herring, where the garlic mashed spuds are to die for, and so I hear are the martinis. The Liberty Cafe and the Happy Crab offer dinners, too, and so does the Chowder House, way down at the other end of town right next to the ferry landing. And one more mention, The New Friendly Restaurant, also open all year, a seven mile drive out of town but in my opinion worth it. Because:

They really know how to cook, there. Their tartar sauce alone is inspired. Also: in fifteen years of going there once a week, I have never smelled anything but sweet, fresh oil in the fryer. I’ve eaten a lot of haddock sandwiches in that joint, and some out of this world lobster rolls, and at least one baked haddock with lobster sauce (!) Not a clinker among ’em, and as for their chocolate raspberry pie… Well, it may keep you from needing a midnight snack, but if not, you could just order an extra piece of pie for insurance. You know, in case around midnight you start thinking really hard.

After all, breakfast is six or eight whole hours away.



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6 Responses to Brain Food

  1. Deanna says:

    Love Moxie!!! It is just before breakfast and you have made me want to drive up or should I say down East to Eastport for an all day feast!!! Maybe we can put that trip on for a mini-vacation. Dee

  2. MCWriTers says:

    Oh, yes, Sarah…new to-do list…must visit Eastport. And eat. Just as soon as I lose some weight so I can get dressed and am allowed to leave my house.

    Thanks for being our tour guide to your part of Maine.


  3. Lea Wait says:

    Me too! Me, too! Field trip to Eastport! But why is it that just about the time I finally lose the pounds .. or convince myself it’s really TIME to lose the pounds … it’s also roadtrip time???? Sarah’s definitley working me up to a trip to Eastport. Baked haddock with lobster sauce. Chocolate raspberry pie. Not fair, Sarah. Definitely beyond tempting!

  4. Sarah Graves says:

    Yes, it’s “down” to Eastport, which is downeast because it’s downwind. And…listen, just wait a little longer for your eating trip to Eastport. The Pickled Herring isn’t open yet and neither is Rosie’s, and you wouldn’t want to miss either of them. You’ll hear it here first.

  5. Barb Ross says:

    I’m in on this road trip thingie!

  6. Road trip! Me too! I just said to my husband that I so want to head downeast this summer. Why don’t I arrange a signing for us someplace?

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