Though Maine native Harding Lee Smith specializes in brunch and dinnertime comfort food at The Front Room, it is sometimes difficult to tell the two meals apart. From his open kitchen, Harding assembles local ingredients into many traditional breakfast items, like pancakes drenched in real maple syrup. But he also pairs poached eggs with breakfast gnocchi stuffed with potatoes or veggies. Dinner is likewise varied—dishes range from beef short ribs braised in porcini mushrooms to sweet potato hashes made with duck confit and cherry pepper vinaigrette.
Regardless of what Harding serves when, it's working. The Front Room has garnered critical acclaim for both its cuisine and its tasty cocktails, which include plenty of seasonal, house-infused libations. Feasts unfold inside The Front Room's cozy dining area, where guests can nestle into wooden Hancock chairs named for their uncanny resemblance to John Hancock's father, Seat.
What began as a familial distaste for plain, traditional birthday cakes has blossomed into Dirt On A Cake, a family-run ice-cream-cake emporium specializing in uniquely flavored sweets. The confectionary's signature dipped dirt cakes submerge ice-cream cupcakes—like high-school principal dunkings in Candyland—in a layer of rich milk chocolate. Party-sized ice-cream cakes sate 15–20 appetites, and personal-sized ice-cream cupcakes provide solo treats to on-the-go desserters. Dozens of specialty flavors include blueberry ginger, stout, and peppermint mocha.
In Foley, Alabama, the name Kathleen Baskin is synonymous with pecan-smoked pork. In Brunswick, Maine, the same is true. As the proprietor and chef at Sista's BBQ in Brunswick, Baskin imports the grilling techniques she learned while managing a catering business in Alabama and feeding pioneers who were passing through her yard. In addition to pulled pork, she prepares whole racks of ribs, butter biscuits, and fruit cobblers.
WIth just a bit of extra peanut butter, Wannawaf's Cheeky Monkey drove the Dispatch to a "total dessert meltdown" that "was totally worth the sugar buzz." And that's just one of the eatery's waffle creations, which also include hot dogs smothered in fixings like pepper jelly. On the flipside, sweet ingredients ? including apple-pie filling and Maine maple syrup ? crown waffles alongside scoops of Shain's of Maine ice cream. More than 25 flavors, such as raspberry truffle and coffee, can also be enjoyed waffle-less in cups and cones.
All these options, plus build-your-own waffle instructions, are all available in menus hanging from Wannawaf's ceiling. Outside, picnic tables and an ocean view await waffle enthusiasts.
Bubble Maineia serves up a menu of authentic Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine based on longstanding family recipes. Some dishes, such as chilled noodles in sesame sauce, are served refreshingly cold, while steamed buns, spicy pan-fried ramen, and simmering soups will quickly warm the palate. Tapioca pearls drift in an assortment iced and hot teas, with flavor options ranging from creamy ginger-chocolate to healthy buckwheat-milk. Slushes, shakes, and Taiwan-style shaved ice desserts are a few other sweet specialties.
At Eat More Cheese, cheese reigns king over a diverse selection of specialty foods, including salami, dried fruits, jams, and chocolates. The shop corrals its cheese from across the U.S. and abroad, taking pride in a process that ensures each of its products is properly cared for and in peak condition upon hitting the shelves. Inside the shop, the Eat More Cheese staff fosters a welcoming environment, and encourages customers to sample as much cheese or ask as many questions as they please before making a purchase.