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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Hit the Coast in Cape Elizabeth


5. Oddball Day

Lucky Catch's lobster boats offer a firsthand look at the Gulf of Maine's catch of the day.  

Leave the coast behind and get a taste of nearby Portland. Sit at the counter for a hearty blueberry waffle ($4.95) with organic coffee ($2.10 for a large cup) at Rudy’s of the Cape (517 Ocean House Rd.; 207-347-7165), a low-key locals’ haunt in Cape Elizabeth, before crossing the Casco Bay Bridge into the city. Head first to the harbor for a 90-minute Lucky Catch boat cruise ($25) to learn about lobster mating habits, fill nets with bait, toss traps into the bay, and measure each catch. Back on dry land, bring your catch next door to Portland Lobster Company, where they’ll cook it up and serve it with the requisite corn on the cob, coleslaw, and fries or a baked potato (market price). Sit on the dock overlooking the harbor and reap the culinary benefits of a morning out at sea. Next, cross the street to browse the shops of the Old Port, particularly Vervacious, which sells and offers tastes of a myriad of internationally influenced grilling and roasting rubs, balsamic vinegars, savory preserves, and finishing salts. Among the many houseware and antique shops, be sure to stop into the newly opened Merchant Company (656 Congress St.; 207-774-1803), where individual vendors sell handmade crafts and vintage items at stalls, creating a flea market atmosphere. Finish the day with a bowl of spicy Casco Bay cioppino or local oysters with pickled-ramp mignonette (both market price) at the Salt Exchange. (The restaurant participates in the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative and donates portions of their proceeds to the program.) Wind down with a pint at Novare Res Bier Café, an underground tavern and outdoor beer garden where 25 rotating taps include local craft beers and brews from Belgium, Germany, and the U.K., plus more than 300 international varieties by the bottle.

Published on Jul 8, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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