Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Eating our way through Midcoast Maine

Tuesday July 2, 2013
Site 60 Camden Hills State Park
Camden, Maine


Still raining!

David sets out in the rain for his walk.  He doesn’t get far before it’s really coming down.  And soon he’s out of sight.


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I ran yesterday or I would have been out today too.  I actually like to run in this sort of drizzle/short downpour stuff as long as it isn’t cold.  And I definitely could use the exercise given how we spend the day.



What to do when it rains in Maine?   Eat of course.


So that’s what we do.  Now that we have a lobster roll to compare, we decide to head back down Route 1 to Wiscasset   to investigate Red’s Eats.  We drove right past Reds on our way to Camden Hills on Sunday and couldn’t believe the line of people and the traffic backed up in both directions in this tiny town.   We were  just driving along when the traffic stopped and we started inching forward.  As we got to the top of the hill we saw it wasn’t an accident but a huge crowd of people standing around the town’s main corner.  I’m thinking it’s a festival.  But as we drive by we see that everyone is standing in line for a place called Red’s Eats.


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Traffic is backed up in the other direction too. After we cross the bridge and are on our way again I google Reds and find out it is world famous.  The best lobster roll in Maine, the best lobster roll in America, in the world.  It’s been written up in Gourmet magazine, Road Food, USA Today and a host of other “best of” publications.  I look it up on Yelp and the reviews suggest a near religious experience.  

OK we say, we’ll come back with Ruby and see about this.  There’s no place for Winnona here.  But that of course means a 76 mile round trip to come back.  This is something we almost never do, drive that far for food or for anything actually other than the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.  We normally try to plan our stays very close to what we want to do which is usually hiking, biking and kayaking.



We’ll make an exception for Red’s and today is the day. 

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Sure enough when we get here the line is down the sidewalk but at least not around the block like it was on Sunday when we first saw it.  Shorter line is due to the rain no doubt.  So we get in line at 2:17

And we wait, and we chat and no one seems concerned although it appears that there are no locals here.  But everyone seems to have read about Red’s.



Here is our progress. 
We begin of course at the end of the line..

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In a while we’re here

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Getting closer. We’re almost to the unmanned ice cream stand.  You have to ring the bell if you want someone to come out of the lobster shack and serve up the ice cream.  I know you are SHOCKED that I didn’t have ice cream as an appetizer while I’m waiting.  But I’m focused on that lobster.

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I mean look what they say about it.


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There is reading material along the line.  The menu is there just in case folks in your group would rather have some clams or a burger or a hot dog…..read that as too young to know what’s good for them or allergic to seafood.


The menus are covered in plastic and stapled above the ad for the book Red’s daughters have written about Red’s success with his little lobster shack.  I’ll bet it’s really interesting but I don’t buy ‘read it once’ books anymore sadly.  I’m even thinking it’s not on a Kindle or a Nook or any other e-readers.  This is a serious specialty item.  None the less, I’m VERY tempted.


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We’re closing in on the corner where they are advertising other stores in town.  Nobody is budging.


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Of course it’s still drizzling.   Umbrellas are up, rain coat hoods are up. At this point, the line isn’t as long as it was when we first got in it.  We’re at the top of the corner now.  Notice Red’s competition in the distance across the street near the bridge with a much better location and actual parking. And only two customers.   Maybe I’ll go over there afterwards and buy one and bring it home for a comparison.  There’s no line there.


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the competition

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Can you see David in his red rain  jacket on the right.  He’s is only 7 or 8 orders away.  LOL.   The group standing back is line #2, waiting for their orders to be made and their numbers to be called.  I’ll be in that line next.


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When we get close enough to see around the corner, I find that not only does Red’s sell history books but also T-shirts.  A really nice T-shirt in my size LAST ONE but the cost is not in my budget.  Too bad!  Long sleeves too but then you’d expect that in Maine where 9 months out of the year you’d need them. 


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Cash Only!

During a  later walk around town we notice a sign in the bank window saying they have closed their ATM but since Red’s only takes cash it appears that they have their own ATM for you.  Just in case.  Red’s is putting all the competition out of business, even the bank!!


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We’ve ARRIVED!  We’re next in line!!

And here she is, Red’s daughter, author of the book, taking your order.  She is just as nice as can be and thanks each person for waiting in line.  She says it’s humbling that so many people will come out for her dad’s lobster shack.  Her father, Red, died in 2008.  His children now run the business.


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David gets us a table with dry chairs while I wait for the order.
Can you see him there in the lower right in front of the Red’s sign??  Fine dining right on Route 1 just beyond the train tracks and the bridge.

Notice how much shorter the line got as it rained more.  We started out further down than our table.


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This is what we’ve waited for. 


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I have to admit I have never seen a lobster roll with this much lobster.
They say one whole lobster on each roll and I believe it.


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David takes my picture with my huge lobster roll and my raincoat sitting under an umbrella table behind Red’s right on Route 1 in Midcoast Maine.    I am a happy camper!


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The amount of time to stand in line, wait for the order and eat it - one hour.   Which do you think took the least time??

Looks like I’m not going to get that take-out I thought about.  The guy across the road has closed up and gone home.  It’s 3:15.


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Since we’ve come all this way, we take a short stroll around the little town which is all of one square block.   Hey they’ve left the phone booth.  No phone but at least you can get out of the rain in Maine if you want to use your cell.


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On our way back across the bridge, here’s what we see.  Traffic backed up in every direction.

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It is a fun time we spend doing Red’s and if you are traveling up Route 1 I’d suggest that you stop.  Parking is right along the railroad track behind Red’s.  Not difficult.   The lobster portions are huge but the lobster itself tasted no better, IMO, than what we had yesterday much closer to home.  There was just more of it.  Of course, lobster is terrific everywhere and anywhere.  How can you ruin lobster unless you cover it with sauces or hide it inside something else.  :-)) 

Red’s big portion comes at a bigger price too.  The lobster rolls with butter or mayo (eekkkk) are $17.00.  About average for a whole lobster.  The large order of sweet potato fries we had was $4.95.   The total bill came to $40.08 with tax.

I would definitely come again on my way up Route 1 but I wouldn’t drive 38 miles to do it again.  As you can see we had a great time.


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But what about dessert??

We’ve got that covered too.  On the way down to Red’s we saw the famous Moody’s Diner also in Road Food and every other down home eats book

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The couple who opened it and whose family runs it now are named Moody and they have made great use of their name.


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Moody’s has a long history from its opening in 1927. 





It began as a little motor court for the just beginning traffic on the just created Highway 1.


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It has retained its diner look and feel.  We love diners with their home cooked, usually over cooked, vegetables, and great meatloaf and fried chicken.   Notice the picture on the flat screen.  No sports TV here.  Just pictures of Moody’s through the years scrolling by.


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While David contemplates the menu I get some pictures of the front section with the counter and booths and the rear dining area.   I know what I want.


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Now just look at this pie !  


Home made Maine Blueberry pie and home made walnut pie with whipped cream.   Oh MY!!


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Our waitress whose picture I only get from the back in order to show her great T-shirt, has worked here since she graduated from high school.  I’d say she’s in her 40’s now.  She says she wouldn’t work anywhere else.


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We are certainly well fortified for the trip back. 



Why is Moxie everywhere in Maine?


I had never heard of Moxie before reading Stephen King’s book and now I’m running into it all over the place.  These signs grace the restaurant.  This large banner is in the parking lot.


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Who knew Moxie was Maine’s “official soft drink”.   You gotta love Mainers!!

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Before we leave,  we think we’ll check out Moody’s separate gift shop.  Moody’s has a following and in the restaurant on one wall are pictures of folks in various versions of Moody T-shirts taken in places all over the world.  


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Remember that red union suit from Vermont Country Store that I thought David should have?   Well these are even better.


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Does this look like a guy with Moxie?   Or maybe he needs a Moody T-shirt!

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Great fun on a rainy day!


  1. So fun...glad you are sampling the restaurants in Maine...makes me want to come up there! But we're heading to IN tomorrow. Not as much fun as Maine and not as good eatins'.

  2. GREAT picture of the two of you at the table in front of the Red's sign. You look like you're having a terrific time. Would love to hang out with you in a diner over a slice of pie. That blueberry looked insanely good.

  3. Now you're in my neck of the woods. Although I've moved away as an adult, I was brought up in the town just west of Wiscasset-Woolwich. Spent summer camp in Lincolnville. Maine has changed soooo much since I left; I hardly recognize it now.

  4. Now you're in my neck of the woods. Although I've moved away as an adult, I was brought up in the town just west of Wiscasset-Woolwich. Spent summer camp in Lincolnville. Maine has changed soooo much since I left; I hardly recognize it now.

  5. You and David sure know how to make standing in line seem like lots of fun! I've seen the Road Food Book. There's also one, I think, about diners and dives--something like that. So glad you're enjoying every minute of your trip.

  6. Wow - Red's does a bang up business - and it sounds like that's only because their portions are big...then they get the reviews and whatever they want to charge, people will pay. Good deal for them. Good picture of you guys there!! Yum, yum! Seems when you read or learn about something (i.e. Moxie), you start seeing it everywhere. Amusing! A good day in Maine - blueberries and lobster included :)

  7. Kate and I once stood in line for 2 hours at the Currituck fireworks to get a funnel cake. After you stand there for 1/2 and hour, you figure you've stood there that long, you might as well keep standing there. My Mom said, "Was it worth it?" Yep. Glad you are having fun! I went to Chris Greene today and went swimming. Last year I think I only went swimming twice all summer and that is unacceptable.
    Love, Pam

  8. Eating the day away on a rainy day is a good idea. I hope you have some drier weather so you can get out walking and kayaking. I am looking to buy a kayak at the big sports store near where I am at. What is the brand name of your kayak? Do you have any kayak buying suggestions?

  9. That looked like a WHOLE LOT of lobster! I'm not sure how long I could afford eating out in Maine, but I have to get some Maine blueberry pie before I declared bankruptcy.

  10. I just can't stand it. Well? yer old enough now to have let all that eating catch up with you.. and it hasn't ... ought to be a law.

    AGaiN ... my kinda day ... eating and walking in the rain in beautiful Maine... poetic

  11. Now that's the way to spend a rainy day!!! What I want to know is how does lobster and pie stack up against JMC??? ;o))) Boy now there's a threesome!!!

  12. Looks like a great way to spend a rainy day

  13. That's a lot of lobster but I'll still stick to the blueberry pie. Interesting contrast of moxie and moody. Hope David got the hat.

  14. That Lobster Roll looks like it was worth the wait - even in the rain.

  15. Yea the Lobster bla bla bla, but that pie is worth the trip....

  16. I'm impressed that you had room for desert after that lobstah roll! :c)

    Of course, there's always room for blueberry pie! And what a pie that appeared to be.

    With food like that, if I was in Maine, I'd be praying for rain every day! :cD

  17. I would eat blueberry pie for dinner :) You guys are sure having a good time!

  18. All I can say is yum. You do make a rainy day in Maine look quite appealing.

  19. Sounds like the wait at Anthony's in San Diego where you can wait for hours if you don't show up when they open the doors and wait later to have your meal. The first time, it was definitely worth the $s ... the second time, not so much. Mui would be in lobster heaven with that roll ... he'd even share seeing as how I would want just a bite or two and there is plenty of lobster to go around on that roll.


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