Hotel Indigo No Go

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bar Harbor Bundle

Cadillac Mountain--sunrise starts here
Toward the end, I fell into complete and utter vacation mode, and stopped posting. So here is a bundling of Bar Harbor info:

We went on the Acadia National Park Tour with Santo, who was much more positive than Cappy.  This beautiful centerpiece of the island rocks and rocks.We made three stops, the top of Cadillac Mountain, the Nature Garden (closed), and Thunder Hole, which was my favorite, dangerous crashing waves on rugged rocky coastline.  There is a little “hole” where the water gathers and spews up at you, and at high tide you can get drenched.  Or you can get pulled out to sea and drown.  Yes, this tour too had death warnings, Santo confessed that “we lose a couple of people a year up here.”

Thunder Hole-careful!

You can hike it, you can bike it, you can walk it, you can climb it, you can sit on it and meditate.  You can see for miles from the top and for smiles from the middle and you can walk on Sand Beach at the bottom.

Acadia National Park from the top

The Bayview only serves breakfast, so we did a lot of dining out. Darling little restaurants scatter the scene. Not a chain in sight. Here’s a roundup:

Paddy's Irish Pub and Grill, harbor side tables, breezy, delightful. They are heavy on bacon here—they use a bacon strip as a stirrer in a Bloody Mary. And there were bacon bits in my lobster salad. Pigs try to creep in on this island, there is even a BBQ place, but lobsters beat them up. Irish music on tape during the day, live at night.

Café This Way, so named because it is on a side street and you have to follow the arrow that points “this way.” This menu has a bit of a healthy focus. We had fried Brussels sprouts, which were sweet, and sweet potato cakes which were sweet, and sweet butter with the bread. No offense, but the restaurant was a little too sweet across the board. Where were my fries? Oh right, I had them at lunch. 

Havana We didn’t eat here but it is the talk of the town because of Obama's visit. Curious why he was all up in the rice and beans when he could have had a lobster pulled from the ocean a block away. But we know that Presidents don’t always eat at the best restaurant in town.  Witness President Clinton’s visit to Mi Nidito in Tucson. The other President who frequented Bar Harbor was Taft. We don’t know where he ate. Probably everywhere.

Bibbed at Bar in Bar Harbor

Fish House Grill Never eat at the restaurant in your hotel. Never eat at the restaurant advertising "Mom’s cooking."  Add never eat at the restaurant closest to the waterfront.  We went early—6:30 p.m. and the host wanted nothing to do with us.  Couldn't give us an outdoor table for 20 minutes. There were plenty of them. He relegated us to the bar. There we had a burly bartender who broke up Judy’s hard shell lobster with his bare hands. And the "steamahs" were great.

Mama Di Matteo’s just next to Reel Cinema.  Lovely linguine with clams atop. The absolute best chocolate pudding. We almost went back just for the dessert.

Mache Bistro a little French action, very nice and on the “upscale” side for BH. Marred by a fingerling potato failure. Unless it was supposed to be a goldfinger.  We split slow roasted pork with “bacon jam” (what did I say about pork?) and slow cooked duck confit. The smoked carrots were great.

The Reading Room at the Bar Harbor Inn. Step back to a period where patrons sit in plush gold chairs, where the maître de looks like Liberace, and where a piano player massacres beautiful songs like Here Comes the Sun and My Cheri Amour. Pretty much music-cide. And watch couples sit across from each other and not speak a word during the meal. But from our oceanfront table, we could see The Terrace Grille below on the lawn  with diners laughing and enjoying life. It was like the scene in Stardust Memories where Woody is on the dreary train  and he looks over and sees a train going in the other direction full of glamourous people drinking champagne. I had lobster pie. Don’t have lobster pie. Gilding the lily big time.

Lobster Bennies
Brunch at Two Cats Restaurant. Funky, hip, rusticky place. Breakfast only, open until 1 p.m. The porch had a lovely breeze, they had a kick-ass hot sauce. I had lobster Benedict. Fantastic. Judy had success in her search for gluten free goodness with her cheese and bacon pancakes.

Extra/Extra! We went to Reel Pizza twice. We exhausted the inventory of cinema on the island, after Wonder Woman, seeing The Promise about the Armenian genocide, or as the Turks would call it “What Armenian genocide?”


Improv Acadia, allegedly the only improv company in the state of Maine, was excellent. Four talented funsters making light of everything on the fly, and stealing the show by reenacting the meet cute story of a couple in the audience. Nothing second rate about it. Go and laugh.

Bar Harbor, this single destination has it all—mountain, sea, ice cream and lobsters. It is accommodating to the hiker, the biker, the walker, the runner, the boater, the beachcomber, the reader, the moviegoer, the 500-piece puzzle maker, the napper, the slacker. All in a little town of 5,800 residents. Part of its charm is you may see your yoga teacher at her souvenir store, or your hotel driver at the restaurant. If you want ski ball, cotton candy and roller coasters, don’t come here. But if you want anything and everything else, do.

Lichen it so far

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