If you recall last year, we had a post about eating vegan in Bar Harbor, Maine (2010). We love Bar Harbor and the whole of Mount Desert Island. This year, we went back again and have a few updates. Many of our observations from last year still hold, but if anything changed, we’ll note it below. Read up, and enjoy.
1. Eden has reopened. This was the best news. We loved hitting it up a few years back and were psyched to go back this year. The menu had a few familiar items (clam cakes, fried mushrooms) and lots of great new stuff. The entrees were great, and the vegan cheese cake was mind blowing. I’d suggest making a reservation for the deck if it’s a nice evening.
2. Our go to espresso spot of the trip was the Trailhead Cafe. This was actually the spot previously known as the Randonnee Cafe. The espresso was awesome, and the staff was even better. I spent quite some time talking to a staff member about his previous job as a bike fabricator. You know I love some cycling talk.
3. CJ’s Big Dipper was a hit again. The flavors this trip included vanilla with raspberry swirl, toasted almond and cappuccino. I was always tempted to get a shake with cappuccino soy ice cream and a shot of espresso. It never happened as they were always busy, and I was never sure if they actually had soy milk or not.
4. The new coffee shop in town was called The Independent, located right next to the town green on Firefly Lane. The espresso was excellent, but when I asked for soy milk, the barista looked at me like I had 6 heads. He grabbed an anti-septic carton of almond milk from a shelf, and proclaimed, “we have almond milk.” Alllllllll riiiiiiiiiiiighteeeeee. It was a tasty beverage, but I’m not really big on almond milk with espresso (that goes double for coconut milk).
5. Jeannie’s Breakfast is STILL awesome. Love it there.
6. We had one great meal at Lompoc Cafe and one near disastrous meal. The food was excellent but during the nearly disastrous meal, I was too worried about my wife to enjoy my meal. You see, the Lompoc Cafe has a bocce court. This is all fine and well, but when my wife is sitting with her back to it and a snotty 8 year old is overhand pitching those balls, there is no chance I will enjoy my meal. I had to speak to this kid twice because his dad was busy drinking beer with a large party of adults. The second time was preceded by me shouting “WATCH OUT” which caused the whole deck crowd to duck. The ball bounced loudly and harmlessly off a beam, but enough is enough. Watch your kids. Not the cafe’s fault mind you, but it didn’t make me want to rush back (regardless of how ridiculously good the dilly bean appetizer was).
7. The Full Belli Deli in Northeast Harbor had the tastiest sandwiches. Great home made bread, fresh hummus. And the sandwich was HUGE. This is a great place to grab a sandwich before taking a ferry over to Little Cranberry, which incidentally, is a great place for a picnic!
8. Southwest Harbor also has a great sandwich spot, Eat A Pita. But since they serve pitas, they get the title, “Best Stuffed Pitas on MDI.” Seriously, great stuff for vegans and vegetarians. We both had excellent sandwiches. She got fresh squeezed lemonade and I got fresh squeezed orange juice. That’s a win in my book. The service was a little … odd. Our waitress was plenty relaxed, but another waitress was both slow and rushed at the same time. Her treatment of the confused family next to us made me super anxious. I wasn’t into that attitude. But, the food was good. No doubt.
9. Tamarind morphed again. We stepped in, saw fewer vegan options and stepped back out. We overheard the manager/owner say they were out of vegan cheese, so we quietly backed away. I hope they find a winning formula soon.
10. Reel Pizza Cinerama has soy cheese. I never ate there so can’t vouch if the cheese is vegan or not. I would hope so.
Bar Harbor and MDI are always awesome. You can count on us going back again soon. Can’t wait.
Update Fall 2012: A new restaurant has opened on Cottage St: CASA On Cottage. It’s a Mexican with a slew of vegan options. Loads of burritos with pan seared tempeh, tofu adobo, portabella mushrooms & marinated garbonzo beans. Plus, they serve Daiya cheese. Go for fajitas or the vegan muffaletta. We almost dropped in on our Summer 2012 visit, but our child wasn’t in the mood to sit in a restaurant. Now I’m kicking myself for not going in. D’oh.