This post is part of Melissa’s “Beauitful Life Friday” over at The Inspired Room.
We’ve returned home. Our New England road trip is a pleasant memory now. There will be photos and stories in a future post, but first I’m compelled to tell you about this little restaurant we found on the side of the road in Maine.
After our visit to the Flume Gorge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, we struck out across Maine. It was quite a jaunt for a one day drive. We soon found ourselves famished and in the middle of nowhere after our vigorous walk up and down the mountain to see the Flume Gorge. At least it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. That may have been because we were in unfamiliar territory.
On a whim, we pulled into the charming village of Bethel, Maine. It was a little town with a main street called (what else?) Main Street. There were a lot of Main Streets up there. In fact, just about every little town we visited boasted a Main Street. I believe it’s like Peachtree Street in Georgia. If one is good, a thousand are better.
We had no idea where to eat. That’s one of the stickiest things when you’re traveling. When you’re visiting a place for the first time, you never know where the good food is to be found, and when you’re still on the road to your destination, you’re truly at the mercy of your own random choices. It’s always a pig-in-a-poke unless you give in to the national chains or the not-so-appetizing fare you’ll find at rest stops and service centers.
My husband just asked Lucy (our GPS) for her opinion. One of her suggestions was Café DiCocoa’s. My husband seemed to feel good about the name. Not the best way to choose a restaurant, but that’s how we ended up getting one of the best meals on our entire trip. I didn’t say fancy. I said best.
The food was not the usual fare. Everything was made from scratch. It was a little gourmet-sandwich-soup-salad-dessert kind of place, but that description doesn’t really give it its due. I don’t think my husband would have chosen it if he’d known it was all vegetarian, and we would have missed out on a great lunch.
He got a bean burrito, and I went with the roasted vegetable sandwich on fresh bread, drizzled with olive oil just before it was placed in the Panini press. The roasted egg-plant, onions and mushrooms were perfection. My husband enjoyed his burrito too.
The portions were a tad small compared to the usual bucket of fries and pound of steer we’ve grown accustomed to in our culture. This is something we’re beginning to hear a lot about. We tend to eat more when given larger portions, but it really is possible to feel more satisfied when we’ve eaten quality over quantity.
The dessert case was all but empty. One lone pear/cranberry tart and a couple of éclairs remained. We chose the tart and two cups of cocoa. Again, the servings were small but the flavor was huge. I’m telling you that small portions and high quality are the way to go. We were completely satisfied. We were still talking about our good fortune a hundred miles down the road. I only wish I’d had room for the soup!
Two vegetarian soups were offered
If by chance you find yourself wandering through the beautiful state of Main, and you happen upon the lovely village of Bethel, do yourself a favor. Stop in at Café DiCocoa’s, sit a while at one of their tables, take in the view, breath deeply, and try the soup for me.
Café DiCocoa’s offers cooking lessons and “gentle dining” (dinner parties) in the Victorian next door.