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Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

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Wabash, Indiana
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186 posts
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Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

My husband and I will be visiting Bar Harbor for the first time in June. We are going to be a little price-conscious, not pinching pennies, but if the food is just as good at one restaurant as another, we would pick the less expensive. We aren't really into "fancy."

I have read a lot of restaurant reviews and looked at some restaurant websites; some give price ranges and some don't.

We will be in the area for two lunches and three dinners. Here are some restaurants/take-outs I am interested in: Beale's Lobster Pier, the Lobster Claw, Stewman's Lobster Pound, Thurston's Lobster Pound, Jordan's, Route 66, Log Cabin. Any picks among these?

Also, the following three advertise early-bird specials: Island Chowder House, Poor Boys, West Street Cafe. Any favorites/un-favorites among these?

Or, what else would you suggest? Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Bar Harbor, Maine
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1. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

Of the places you mention I would recommend Jordan's for lunch or breakfast. Good prices, good food, good service.

Stewman's lobster pound is fairly expensive. Thurston's is a nice drive to the other side of the island from Bar Harbor, has a good view, and is reasonably priced. However, the lobster is just as good at West Street Cafe in Bar Harbor. Their early bird special is good. It includes blueberry slump for dessert. Yum.

Poor Boys in Bar Harbor is also very good. They have a wide menu and homemade desserts. Their cheesecake is especially good. The Island Chowder House would be good for lunch but so would Geddy's which is an old-timey tavern on Bar Harbor's main street. Geddy's has everything from whole lobster to brick oven pizza to great hamburgers. It is very family-friendly.

I wouldn't recommend Route 66. It's too "cute" and I've never heard anything good about their food. I wouldn't recommend The Log Cabin. It's too far out of town and it's kind of a "bus driver's eat free" type of place.

Another inexpensive place which has a deck out over the water is in Hulls Cove, just a few miles north of Bar Harbor. It's called The Chart Room. It would be good for dinner.

Wabash, Indiana
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186 posts
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2. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

Thank you; this is exactly the kind of input I was looking for. I will definitely have to try the West Street Cafe, to find out what blueberry slump is. Thanks for the tips on Geddy's and the Chart Room. They both sound interesting.

Brunswick, Maine
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3. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

Jordan's for breakfast, but go early or be ready to stand in line.

Thurston's for lobster. Definitely worth the trip. Go at sunset. Tie it in with a visit to the Lighthouse or to Seawall.

Brunswick, Maine
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4. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

One reason to go to Thurston's is to get that whole lobster pound experience. I think at least once you should eat lobster in a "pound" which is totally different from going into a full-service restaurant where lobster is on the menu. Eat at West Street for another meal.

The Little Notch Bakery on Main Street in Southwest Harbor is good if you are over on that side at lunch time.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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5. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

Personally, I don't think the lobster pound experience is worth having. I don't need to eat my lobster with a plastic fork. However, Thurston's is indeed a nice setting.

Brunswick, Maine
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6. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

Every pound is different, but if I can make some wild generalities:

At a pound you're likely to go to the tank and pick out (by pointing) your own lobster. They reach in the water, hold it up for your okay. Kids tend to like picking out their own lobster.

Then while you wait for your meal you might be able to walk out to the cookers and watch the lobsters actually being boiled. At some pounds (like Trenton Bridge) you'll see tourists walk out to take photos of the old guy at the cooker, who looks like a Old Salt himself.

Sometimes the smoke rising from the cooker actually smells pretty good.

You are also likely to eat it outdoors, maybe at a picinic table in an awesome setting.

It's also usually informal, which is good as the juice will go running down your arms.

The menu is usually fairly limited, the lobster usually comes with only a few accompaniments. No vegetable of the day, no rice pilaf, no five choices of salad dressings.

Little nuances you miss in a regular restaurant.

Lehigh Valley, PA
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7. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

Two other places to consider for lunch particularly if the weather is nice (since both offer outside dining) at Rupununi's on Main Street in Bar Harbor and Eat-a-Pita in Southwest Harbor. Eat-a-Pita is a quirky (almost hippieish) little place with slow service but excellent sandwiches, etc. Adn as abonus, you can sit outside and wtach life pass by in Southwest Harbor. Both are very reasonable.

As far as dinner is concerned, you might also check out the menu at Testa's right on Main Street. I think they also have an early special but I am not certain.

You didn't ask about breakfast (possibly you are staying at a B&B). It's my favorite meal so let me also recommend Jordan's and Jeannie's Chowder House on Cottage Street.

One final recommendation. You might want to consider lunch at the Jordan Pond House (different from Jordan Restaurant) located in Acadia on Jordan Pond. You can get get lunch there for a reasonable price and again they have outside dining which is real nice. My wife and I have lunched there several times. Last year, we stopped by in mid-afternoon after some hiking for lemonade and popovers out on the lawn. Very nice and relaxing.

Wabash, Indiana
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186 posts
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8. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

MicheleS, I love your description of a lobster pound. I hadn't even heard of a lobster pound until I started planning our trip to Maine.

Thanks to all of you for the great suggestions.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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9. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

I highly suggest the West Street Cafe. The food is wonderful and the service is excellent. Another option you might want to consider is McKay's Public House. This is by far my favorite restaurant in Bar Harbor. They have a wide range in prices on their menu.

bar harbor, maine
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10. Re: Price-Conscious Visitor, Restaurant Suggestions?

I would also recommend eating at College of the Atlantic's dining hall. Much of their food comes from a nearby college-owned farm, called Beech Hill, and it has been written up in Gourmet magazines. It is all home made, no corporate food service. A full meal with salad costs $6. It would be great for an excellent but quick meal.

Have a wonderful trip!