Monday, October 6, 2008

On to L-A East

L-A East is the new marketing slogan for Lewiston-Auburn Maine. We set out Thursday,Sept 25, morning, at 7:30 from Syracuse in a light fog. As we entered the Mohawk Valley, in upper NY, the fog increased until it was difficult to see a car length ahead. Obviously, it was tough, slow going till we clear that zone. At Schenectady we left the Thruway route in favor of a shorter but slower road thru the Green Mountains of Vermont and then New Hampshire. We're glad we did. The trees were turning and the foledge, a mix of bright green to crimson red was outstanding.
We stoped for gas in Bennington Vt and were so impressed we drove for a few minutes around town. Somewhere over the top of the mountain range we stoped for lunch from our cooler, I had the ribs from the night before while Marilyn had the rest of her corned beef. We always carry fruit, cheese and nuts so we hardly go hungry. While sitting on some rocks we remarked that we had not seen a "wayside" and I jokingly said "I bet there is one a mile ahead" Fate proven me correct but by then we were on our way.
We arrived at the "Ware Street Inn" at 52 Ware St. in Lewiston, Maine around 4 PM. This lovely B&B is right across the street from our Granddaughter's dorm and was a perfect location for us for the next several days. The Inn is run by Jan and Mike Barren who bought a colonial house and converted it 9 years ago to a 6 room B&B. He is the "handyman" and she the hostess and cook. She knows food and nutrition, as you will see. Our room was large with a king sized bed and full closet plus private bath. The rate was $130 per night. Two local restaurants she recommend that we missed, were "Chickadee" for lobster rolls and "Fuel" for dinner. Others have since confirmed her choices.
Our Granddaughter, Kathryn, took us on the first of several tours of the Bates campus. It is a typical, beautiful New England college including the red brick buildings, stone chapel and green rimed pond. Bates has about 1800 students and seems to be a fine mix from all over, although the preponderance are from New England and the East coast.
For dinner that evening we went to "Fish Bones" in and old mill building at 710 Lincoln St. Lewiston, ME, 04240 phone 207-333-3663 where Kimberly took care of us with excellent service and advice. An aside, a week later Kathryn went with her parents and had the same table and the same server. We dined on Lobster Rangoon, 2 split salads, one Caesar and one house, Lobster Cappellini( after all we were in Maine), a house made Gravlax, it can't be all Lobster, and appropriate drinks before and during dinner. Total cost including tip, $35/person.
The next morning the breakfast buffet held several juices, yogurt, cut up fruit, pumpkin cranberry bread, assorted cereals, milk, cream etc. while kitchen produced French toast with homemade orange-fig syrup of pure maple syrup.
After breakfast we went to the Bates Art museum which was holding a seminar as part of the New England Craft trail, on the following day. We met the museum curator and spent a pleasant half hour with him. Then it was off to the old and new libraries for more art and education. When Kathryn went to class, 12 to 4 we went to Freeport and LLBean plus other high end outlets. What would lunch be without a Lobster roll, which are as plentiful as outlets in Freeport. Late afternoon we took Kathryn for some food(read, snacks) shopping at a fine market in Auburn and then got ready for dinner.
Friday night was "The Sedgley Place" Country Inn Dining in Greene Maine 04236 (207)946-5990. This is about 15 minutes north of our B&B. "The Sedgley Place" offers 5 course, price fixed dinners with seating at 5, 6 or 7. Kathryn had chosen 7 and it was a good choice as it was a dark rainy night and her Grandfather made a couple of wrong turns before we got there. Our three main courses were Veal Cutlet(Marilyn), Filet Mignon(Kathryn) and 16 oz Prime Rib( the writer). Eight oz. of Prime rib went back to the dorm with the Granddaughter. Everyone started with a fist course, I chose a creamy vegetable soup which was really excellent, while Marilyn had French Onion and Kathryn stuffed mushrooms. We each had salads, pasta and the house vegetable. Desserts, where not necessary but included and awesome. All this for $28.95. We should move to Greene, ME. Found our way home and staked out a couple of land marks so that Kathryn and the B&B could get others there.
The next morning Jan had the usual array but the loaf changed to spice, nut bread and the kitchen produced "Oatmeal, nut, cranberry pancakes" served with homemade blueberry, raspberry or real maple syrup. We could hardly drag our selves upstairs to pack and then load our car, for more New England adventures.

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