Thursday, July 3, 2008

Postcards from Vacationland

With sunny skies and warm breezes covering the state of Maine, Adam and I didn't think twice about where we would spend this week of vacation. The answer was obvious: Right here in Vacationland.

Earlier this week we took a trip up to the Midcoast. Our first stop was in lovely Camden, where we relaxed in the park overlooking the harbor. It was a wonderful spot to read the Press Herald and take in the ocean breezes.

But I had an ulterior motive in my visit to Camden. I was after the best hummus sandwich in the entire state.
And I found it tasting just as flavorful as I remembered at the Bagel Cafe. This little gem of a sandwich shop makes all its own bagels daily. I can't tell you how they season their hummus, but it's utterly divine.

Next we headed down to neighboring Rockport to check out the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Here we enjoyed shows featuring the work of Lois Dodd and William Wegman and a group show titled "The Gleaners." This exhibition on the top floor is quite fascinating as it consists of random objects collected by artists as a source of inspiration. The show was assembled by found-object artist Jesse Gillespie.

A short drive down Rt. 1 brought us to Rockland. Our first stop was at the Good Tern Natural Foods Co-op & Cafe, where we stocked up on snacks for the road. Once we were in downtown Rockland, we parked the car and headed into the Farnsworth Art Museum.
The museum is brimming with work by well known artists, including the lovable Robert Indiana. We viewed a number of new exhibitions, including those showcasing work by Louise Nevelson, Alex Katz and many treasures from the museum's permanent collection. We also checked out the Wyeth Center (showing works by N.C. and Jamie) and toured the Farnsworth Homestead. After popping in at a few local galleries (including the Caldbeck), we hit the road once more.

Our final stop on this coastal tour brought us to Brunswick. Since we were on vacation, we didn't feel bad about having dessert before dinner. And in Brunswick the best place to get a sweet treat is The Gelato Fiasco. All their sorbettos are vegan and they had oodles and oodles to choose from.
I finally decided to go with the strawberry carrot (how could I resist?) and the dark chocolate (you may have heard about my dark chocolate obsessions?). If the sorbetto looks a little sloppy in this picture, it's because I had to have a taste (or three) before I paused to take a picture.

And that strawberry carrot? Absolutely delightful. So good in fact I bought a pint to go.

With dessert out of the way, we headed over to the famed and funky El Camino. Even though my photos were less than stellar, the food lived up to all the delicious hype we've heard.

We started out with the chips, salsa and guacamole. I loved that the chips came with tiny lime wedges (doesn't everything taste better with fresh lime?) and the salsa had a deep, smoky taste. I ordered the vegan Rajas Tacos, which consisted of a flavorful medley of market veggies on corn tortillas and served with a side of beans and rice. It was a perfect finish to a fun-filled day trip and a testament to the abundance of tasty vegan eats in Maine.


J said...

What a fun vacation. That hummus sandwich is calling my name!

And too cool that you decided to vacation in your own neck of the woods. Next time we are in the market for a vacation, I'll have to see what sights Missouri has to offer, maybe we can have a blast right here at home!

Bianca said...

Man, I wish I could find vegan gelato in these parts...guess I should vacation in Maine!

Jen said...

Hurray for vacations! I work in Camden - you should've stopped by! I love that hummus sandwich, and can't order it enough.

My husband plays shows at Gelato Fiasco once in a while... getting paid in sorbetto is definitely an awesome arrangement!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful breezes, hummus sandwiches, art, and gelato!! Now that's a vacation!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely vacation. I'm very very intrigued by the strawberry carrot sorbetto. I'm thinking I might have to try making something like this now.

Jamie the Foodie said...

I must say, I am green with envy! I am so jealous! My husband is wanting to go camping--but we live in Florida & it is in the 90's here, not exactly ideal weather for camping! I really would like to visit Maine one day.