Despite their tendency to end up boiled, GetMaineLobster.com's crustaceans somehow managed to keep one customer out of hot water. After waiting until the last minute to plan something for his fiancée's birthday, Emilio put together a next-day delivery of fresh lobsters that turned into an impressive dinner. His gratitude joins a chorus of praise for the company, whose flavorful foods have been featured on Rachael Ray and in the Wall Street Journal. Each of the lobsters is hand-selected from the coast of Maine, whose frigid waters are famous for preserving the meat's sweetness.
In addition to lobsters, patrons can order a menagerie of seafood cakes, marinated meats, and hearty side dishes. Full dinners take gourmet fare out of the restaurant and onto home dining tables with several-course feasts prepared by Chef Margaret Salt McLellan, who was named the 2008 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year. Customers that lack Margaret's culinary chops can reference the site's collection of recipes, which boast everything from Cajun shrimp to stuffed lobster bursting with crab, scallops, and emotion.
On the blackboards that line the walls of Maine Squeeze Juice Cafe, staffers scribble each ingredient in the menu’s all-natural concoctions, which are designed to help heal and detoxify bodies. Using only whole fruits and vegetables, which they source from local vendors when available, they eschew processed sugars, artificial flavors or fruit syrups. Clients can sip in the store or take their nutritionally supplemented smoothies to go with the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing their carryout containers are all compostable and eco-friendly.
Hancock Gourmet transforms locally harvested seafood into small batches of take-home dishes, bringing fresh lobster and crab from shore to door at its storefront or with overnight or two-day delivery. The Port Clyde lobster mac ‘n’ cheese ($33.95 for two 9-oz. containers) has earned the establishment national recognition on Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay. This trademark dish oozes with Maine lobster and mascarpone-cheddar sauce, crowned with panko crumbs, herbed butter, lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s Mission Viejo location stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
In addition to oven-baking pastries and confections, the staff at Sweets & Meats stocks shelves and stuffs sandwiches with a wide variety of local and fresh goods, assuring customers that they do not serve what they themselves have not sampled. Sandwiches ($6.50 each) squeeze together specialty meats and cheeses in a crusty, bready embrace, with the Cappa Goat sandwich forcing chèvre, roasted red peppers, and hot capicola to live together and get along like college freshmen. Finish off a hearty handshake with the Uncle Paul sandwich, crammed with tasso ham, cumin gouda, and chipotle mayo, with a sweet dessert on the side ($0.50+), all baked onsite and made from scratch. Matt's locally roasted coffee and glasses of milk attract looks of longing from scones, croissants, and the shop's famous chocolate-chip-and-bacon cookies. Customers can surf Sweets & Meats' web for free while in the shop, and stock up on beer and wine to ensure their next jury deliberation is a festive affair.
“The Lamplighter has sampled lobster bisque and chowders from Rhode Island to Maine,” the Haverhill Gazette column The Lamp Post commented in 2012, “but has tasted none better than those at…the Pine River fish market.” Family owned and operated for more than 20 years, Pine River Fish Market earns such accolades by reliably supplying customers with fresh fish and shellfish, groceries, bisques and chowders, and live lobsters and crabs. In the store, maritime dwellers such as haddock, swordfish, conch, shrimp, steamers, and cherrystones—all of which are delivered daily—sit on ice, awaiting the day they’re thawed and can experience a strange new future world. The helpful staffers can also special order any in-season fish and have it ready for pickup the next day.