Friday, July 2, 2010

Portland, Day 5 & The Journey Back to Rhode Island

Perhaps more so than any previous trip, we managed to pack more into this vacation than just about any we've had in the past. This had a lot to do with copious amounts of Portland resident recommendations for which we are deeply grateful. If any of you are ever looking to experience all the culinary wonder of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, give me a call.

We started out Thursday at Tony's Donuts where Jen got a plain glazed, chocolate glazed, and molasses donut. I am unable to post any pictures as we reached our hands into the bag like tiny velociraptor beaks and tore off tiny pieces of donut on our car ride before I could capture them for posterity.

I will say this: Tony makes a mean donut.

To celebrate our French-Canadian routes we stopped by Old Orchard Beach on our way home to eat lunch. It was a frigid rainy morning but that didn't stop the beach from being populated by French-speaking Canadians who were actually frolicking amongst the waves as if the water temperature were not in the low 50's. After lunch we dipped our toes in the water then ran, squealing from the beach to the safety of our car.

Before we left for Maine we'd made plans with my family to go to The Redwood when we returned home. The Redwood, to us, was the quintessential New England seafood house. So long as the only way you like seafood is deep fried. This is where I grew up eating fried clams, fried scallops, and onion rings.

The Redwood apparently, at some point in the last decade (or two), has been renamed George's Surf 'N Turf. Otherwise the operation seems to remain relatively unchanged since my last visit. Unfortunately after a week of eating in Maine we were a little less enthusiastic about this visit than we were before we'd headed out to Portland.

We split the seafood sampler and an order of clam cakes and soon our enthusiasm returned. The only two disappointing things we had in Maine were the clam strips and the clam cakes. After showing Jen what proper fried clams (whole clams) were like and proper clam cakes she had a little more respect for the dishes. Also on this plate were fried shrimp, fried scallops, french fries, and onion rings. Possibly one of our least healthy meals yet and not wise after a week of dining out. However, even with the desire to eat only a light salad we tackled the platter admirably.

Tonight we got together around the grill for another celebration of Jen's birthday. We picked up an assortment of stone fruit before leaving for Rhode Island and grilled them up with a balsamic glaze that I made on the stove. There were nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots and a variety of those weird hybrids with names like pluots, plumcotts, aprilums, pumterines, nectarcots, etc.

Before we left Maine we also got our hands on some grass fed beef from Cold Spring Ranch in New Portland, ME. I couldn't pass this up and it was superb. I am mournful that I won't really be having any more any time soon.

We also had hot dogs, firecracker smoked sausages, grilled asparagus, grilled corn, and pasta salad.

Afterward we brought out Jen's birthday cake from Wright's Dairy Farm which was a duplicate of our wedding cake, Jen's favorite cake of all time.

The best part of this is that we have another scheduled cookout tomorrow and with little planned for Sunday so far we will probably do the same. Having access to my parents' gas-powered grill is certainly making me enjoy grilling that much more. I love hardwood grilling but with this level of convenience it's hard to miss it too much.


caolan said...

Wow, so fun! I can't believe we were all apparently in RI at the same time! I don't know if there will be any time for us to meet up tomorrow (we're going to Cranston in the afternoon, probably driving back to NYC late night), but maybe we can somehow all look into the sky and register a moment of Rhode Island togetherness! (and magically sample Jen's cake on the breeze.)

Unknown said...

Bummer we found out late about our synced up vacations! We will have to get together soon though.