Marvelous Maribelle’s

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While in Cincinnati I ended up at a trendy restaurant called Maribelle’s Tavern. The service was speedy and good, with friendly and happy staff. And the food was delicious. I ordered the Black Bean Burger (which is just what it sounds like), and it was really tasty. I mean really tasty. I’ll remember this burger for a while. For the included side, I ordered the Roasted Sweet Potatoes which are served up with whipped goat cheese and candied pecans. For dessert I grabbed a slice of carrot cake (to go), and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It was moist and flavorful. I can’t explain in words how delicious this meal was, but if you have the opportunity to find out for yourself you should swing by Maribelle’s and do so.

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Maribelle’s in Cincinnati
-Roasted sweet potatoes with whipped goat cheese and candied pecans
-Black bean burger

Swedish Breakfast

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On my last trip to Ikea (of all places) I purchased some Kungsornen Swedish Pancake Mix from their marketplace and I experimented with positive results. This lonely pancake was the third (and best) of the batch and made for a satisfying and fun breakfast on a cold Saturday morning. Plus, I got to dust it with powdered sugar which is just about my favorite thing to do.

Fruitcake!

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For Christmas day I give you a lovely little treat: genuine homemade fruitcake! A colleague’s grandmother in Texas made this, and it was really delicious. Oddly enough, I’ve never actually had fruitcake before and it wasn’t quite what I’d expected. It was quite good — reminded me a lot of a really tasty granola bar.

Quiche, anyone?

20121217-130354.jpgI made this quiche from a recipe my mom got off the internet, and it was really delicious. I put spinach and black olives in it, along with garlic and green onions. It turned out really well, and it gave me the opportunity to use my pie dish for the first time.

This brings me to an interesting point: I am going to broaden the scope of Eat | Food | Yum to include dishes I cook (and most of the time I’ll cite the source of the dish, but in this case it came to me through my mother and I don’t know the source).

Afta Dinnah Special

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While visiting some friends-of-a-friend who live in Vassalboro, Maine, I wound up at the Pointe Afta in Winslow, Maine (no website). The restaurant was definitely a local hangout, with a majority of the patrons milling about, untethered to their tables as they wandered through the dining area visiting with friends. The Pointe Afta is casually decorated and immediately comfortable, and even though there aren’t a lot of vegetarian options on the menu, their choose-your-own-toppings pizza provided the opportunity I needed…and the pizza was delicious. While this is one of those “local hangout” establishments, I never felt out of place or alienated in the least. It was a laid back and easy dining experience.

Pointe Afta on Urbanspoon

Slated for Celebration

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I went to Slate’s Restaurant in Hallowell, Maine, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Slate’s is an eclectically decorated, cozy, contemporary space that is both inviting and spunky. The friendly waitstaff was energetic and welcoming, and made our dining experience a lot of fun. We started with the Homemade Hummus and Tarratore Plate (below), which was a great dish to split between the three of us. It made for a light and nutritious appetizer that suited the social situation and eased our very empty stomachs. For my entree, I ordered one of their grilled pizzas on the homemade whole wheat crust (above). The one I chose was Slate’s version of the traditional Margherita pizza, and was topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and parmesan with a delicious balsamic drizzle.

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Of course, no birthday celebration would be complete without a fancy beverage to spice things up. Our enthusiastic waitress told us about some fresh ingredients they had at the bar, and offered to have some cocktails specially made for us. I ended up with an extremely large and delicious Melon Purée Margarita (below), which was not only fun to look at, but fun to drink as well!

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Slate's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Savory, Indeed!

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One drizzly Wednesday morning, I ended up in an eclectic little restaurant called Savory Maine, located in the village of Damariscotta, Maine. Savory Maine is housed in an old church, and they’ve made it a wonderful space. It’s full of character: one table is housed up where the altar would have been located, and the tables in the main body of the room incorporate old pews into the seating against the walls. The walls are covered with local artwork, and the food reflects this interest in the local. One feature of Savory Maine’s food is that 90% of the ingredients come from Maine, and 99% of the ingredients are organic. The result? The food is wonderful. I ordered the breakfast sampler (and the waitstaff was more than willing to substitute strawberry rhubarb for bacon to accommodate my vegetarian needs), which was delicious. It was a simple assortment of foods — a pancake, an egg, and home fries — but was very nicely done. I’ve had my fair share of mediocre breakfasts, and this was definitely not one of them. I also ordered a nice hot cuppa tea, which was delightfully presented: the tea selection came in a cute wooden basket, the cream came in a ceramic cow, and the hot water came in its own ceramic tea pot. Savory Maine is a lovely place, and the food is truly exceptional. If you’re in the area, you should definitely make time for a visit to this great little restaurant!

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Savory Maine, Dining & Provisions on Urbanspoon

Camden Delight

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I ducked into the Camden Deli while visiting the beautiful seaside town of Camden, Maine. I was starving, so I got myself a little treat to begin with: a lemon cupcake with raspberry filling (above). It made a delicious appetizer, and was really cute as well. For my entree, I ordered sandwich #37: the Lazy Jack (below). This vegetarian sandwich is served on the bread of your choice, and comes with Monterey jack cheese, fresh avocado, black olives, tomatoes, and mixed greens. All of the ingredients were fresh, and the sandwich was very tasty.

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Of course, once I finished my entree, the friend I was with opted for some Maine blueberry pie (below). I helped her out by having a couple of bites, and I have to say that it was a very yummy pie. The blueberries were especially flavorful, and the pie itself was quite good.

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While I don’t eat meat, my Maine-blueberry-pie-eating friend (who is also a native Mainer) opted for the Lobster Roll. I thought that, since I was in Maine, I should probably mention the Lobster Roll at some point. I’ve included a photo of her Lobster Roll (below), which she told me was not bad, but was also nothing special. It certainly looked pretty, though!

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Finally, I have to point out the very best feature of the deli: the view! I’ve included a photo from the second floor patio, because it’s pretty much everything a visitor could wish for from a restaurant in Maine. Overlooking a quiet waterfall that feeds directly into the harbor, it was a lovely way to spend an hour as we enjoyed our sandwiches and sweets in the sunshine.

Camden Deli on Urbanspoon

A True Treat

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I visited Treats in Wiscasset, Maine, several times during the short time I was in town. Their cute interior design made it a pleasure to stop in, and their creative menu added an element of surprise to my morning scones. My favorite scones were the Strawberry Rhubarb scone (above) and the Ginger scone. I also experienced some made-to-order vegan cupcakes (ginger) that we had for a friend’s birthday. They were, like the scones, a real delight. In addition to their delicious baked goods, Treats also boasts an extensive selection of Harney & Sons teas, and great, friendly service. I think this is one of the most aptly named food establishments I’ve been to. The name really does say it all!

Treats on Urbanspoon

A (Yummy) Elephant in the Room

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I went to Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro in Portland, Maine, and it was such a treat! First off, the decor was really lovely — contemporary chic meets classy & cozy. I was with friends, so we ordered several dishes and sampled off of one another’s plates. I started with the Fresh Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce (above), which were extremely light; they were mostly lettuce, with carrots, avocado, rice vermicelli, and mint wrapped in rice paper and served…and they were great for a warm summer day.

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I also tried the Hot & Spicy Soy Sticks (above), which were made of soy chicken on bamboo skewers and were covered in a spicy garlic-chili-cilantro sauce. I also sampled a friend’s salad (below), which was a seasonal special topped with fried fiddleheads! I’d never had a fiddlehead before, let alone heard of one, and they were really scrumptious!

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Finally, to finish everything, I had a cup of tea. Green Elephant serves teas by a local company called Homegrown Herb & Tea, and I had one of their hibiscus fruit teas that was absolutely delicious. It was a nice, light way to round off a fresh dinner.

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Green Elephant on Urbanspoon

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