Thursday, August 17, 2006

My parents are inveterate drivers when they are on vacation. They used to be golfers, but now they prefer to drive long distances in their car, have lunch somewhere, and then return back from whence they came. They are here for the week with a couple whom I find incredibly annoying, so it was with much fear on my part that I packed myself into the annoying couple's car for a jaunt down south to find a spot for lunch. The car was packed with me, my parents, the annoying couple, and Charlie, the evil clown dog. Charlie is a miniature poodle with a severe underbite, making him, perhaps, the ugliest dog in the world. Poor Charlie looks like an evil clown. We tried to take the ferry to Vinalhaven, but the couple didn't want to leave their car unattended in a strange parking lot for the day (you see what I mean about annoying???) so we decided to drive to Port Clyde via Tenant's Harbor, a name that didn't please the annoying man, he said he'd only ever live there if the name was changed to Landlord's Harbor..hardy har har the immortal words of Bugs Bunny "What a maroon!"
During our journey, the annoying man spotted a sign for "Dip Net Restaurant...10 miles" He pronounced that our journey's end was going to be at the Dip Net. He then invented a song about it, which I won't go into. Between sips of beer, while driving, he sang and yodelled....uggghh.
The closer we got to the Dip Net, the more animated the annoying man became, annoying me even more. The annoying woman kept wanting to stop the car at every house with lobster traps so she could buy some "bobbers" as she called the lobster buoys. (she with the incredibly thick, upper-Midwest, flat, farm-girl accent--think Fargo). We finally found some for sale on the side of the road for $3.00 and she loaded up, thinking how unique they were.
So, down to Port Clyde we went and found the Dip Net, the ultimate stopping point for the annoying man. The restaurant is actually an outside deck above the water, overlooking the piers, behind the general store. The place has mostly picnic tables to share and some round tables made out of old wooden cable spools. The restaurant building was a shack off to the side. Kind of charming, very Maine, very touristy. We found a nice spool table to ourselves in the sun and the shade and sat down. The annoying man started to complain almost at once. All the tables were full, about 45 to 50 people with 2 servers. The AM wanted alcohol fast so he ordered it from both servers to see which one got it out first.
The food took a while and was not stellar. My dad and I both had the chicken basket which arrived with three pieces of mostly breaded chicken over a basket of underdone fries. the AC both had the lobster roll which was mostly mayo and lettuce and my mom had the fresh swordfish salad which was a piece of swordfish 1.5" x 1.5" over a bed of vegetables with some green sauce over the whole thing. My advice is to stay away from this trap and find another.
I had a headache from all the complaining at this point and I quietly said, here we are on vacation in a beautiful spot on the water, how lucky we are. This could be so relaxing if we just let it be. Then I told the AM to put himself in the server's shoes. full tables, two servers, not their fault if service isn't fast enough....I don't think he heard me because he has turned with his finger raised in the air, calling the server over from across the deck.....
So much for paradise!


Sunday, August 13, 2006

My parents arrived yesterday for a week. Last night we had a delicous dinner (Thank you David for your amazing part in our mom was SOOOOOO happy!!!!!)

We are having a dog picnic today at their rental house in East Belfast with my sister, her dog, Chowder; our two giant black beasts; and my parents Westie, Charlie.
I have about three cups of leftover couscous from dinner the other night and I made a couscous salad that is lowfat and very tasty. There is now a tri-colored cousous on the market that makes the dish very festive. I added a handful of fresh finely chopped basil, about a 1/4 cup green scallions, a cup of diced dried apricots ($1.99 for the imported Turkish kind at Ocean State Joblots in Belfast), and some cinnamon and allspice, a smattering of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Its fabulous! You can add something like pistachios for protein. I found this recipe at epicurious and just adapted it to what I had on hand.
I am serving with my curried chicken salad and good fresh bread.