In pouring rain I drove north from Wayland, MA on Interstate 95 to Portland, Maine, about 120 miles. As I came close to the city, anxiously looking for exits with the car wipers at the fastest speed, I saw a sign in a distance with a digital message. I strained to check out what it was saying, could be crucial information. Soon I got close enough to read this alert: “Rain Pounding on Road” Thanks. That was helpful.
A bit later after I exited and entering Portland, I was met with another warning sign: “Flash flooding in some intersections”. Thanks again. Which ones?
After a few tense moments, we found our way to an Arabica Café, calmed down with a latté and regrouped. In this weather, no sight-seeing around town was possible, so might as well drive to our next destination, a must-see, pounding rain or not. That’s New Harbor in the eastern tip of Maine, about 70 miles from where we were. What’s the bait? Lobster of course… and, Kevin Costner.
Earlier on I came across the website epicurious (love the name), Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Wharf in New Harbor was listed as one of their 7 favorite lobster shacks in Maine, and the tidbit that it’s one of the filming locations of the movie Message In A Bottle. So obviously, the motivation to get me driving all that 70+ miles in the rain under a dark grey sky was not just the lobster but Kevin Costner… oh, throw in Paul Newman as well.
Here’s the place at the end of a long and winding road along coastal Maine in fading daylight:
Inside the bar, a movie poster:
and some production photos (See Paul Newman in the middle?)
Since it was getting late, we decided to take out instead of eat there. And so we did, heading out to our rental car with two cooked live lobsters (oxymoron?), drawn butter, paper plates, and a lobster cracker kindly thrown in for us, all for $30. Not a bad deal.
Just as we congratulated ourselves on our triumphal exit with lobsters and Costner poster photo, we saw the iPhone on which we’d so depended for its GPS to be not in service. Now we had to find our way out of this remote place before darkness totally engulfed us. It’s not as easy as you might think. It felt like forever for us to find our way back to the main road and headed north for another 40 miles to our motel in Rockport. It seemed a much longer drive when you had two cooked live lobsters in the back seat.
Another seafood restaurant I can whole-heartedly recommend is Archer’s on the Pier in Rockland, ‘the lobster capital of the world’. Just a 12-minute drive south of our motel in Rockport, Archer’s lobster is one of the best I’ve tasted for as long as I can remember. Of course a bit pricier than Costner’s place, but well worth it with all the extras, corn cob, coleslaw…
I haven’t seen much fall foliage yet but that’s ok. It’s been a delicious journey so far.
Follow my New England series: