The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Blaze


After a day of hiking, we stopped at Blaze in downtown Bar Harbor for dinner.  The restaurant was crowded, but lucky for us there was an open table on the patio near the entrance that no one wanted because it was a bit chilly out.  We started off with some clam chowder and poutine.

Clam Chowder

Poutine

This was the clam chowder we’ve been looking for.  Thick and creamy with a nice flavor.  Blaze is famous for their duck fat fries, so we had to try them with the addition of gravy and cheese curds to make it a poutine.  You could feel your arteries hardening as you ate it, but it was worth every bite.  I really don’t know that the fries cooked in duck fat tasted that much different from any other well cooked french fry, but add gravy and cheese and it’s just delicious.  Loren went for the haddock tacos and I decided to try the duck menag a trois.

Haddock Tacos

Duck Menagatrois

The tacos weren’t really anything to write home about.  They were pretty plain and the fish was just ok.  My duck dish didn’t quite satisfy the way I had hoped it would.  The grilled duck was a little tough in places, but otherwise tender.  It was served with a sweet berry compote that complimented the duck well.  The white part of the sunny side up egg was very overcooked and like rubber.  The hash had duck, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes but the brussel sprouts were way overpowering.  They just didn’t play well with everything else on the plate.  We decided to stick it out for dessert and ordered the chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake

This was quite delicious.  Creamy and mousse like with a deep rich chocolate flavor.  This and the poutine were the highlights of the meal, especially when the bill for $73 came.  Service was slow throughout the meal.  I was pretty sure the waiter had forgotten we were even one of this tables.

Blaze
198 Main St
Bar Harbor, ME
(207) 801-2755

Blaze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.4/5

We started our drive back to Florida from North Carolina and stopped in Athens, Georgia for lunch at Etienne Brasserie.  This turned out to be one of the best places we ate on vacation.  It’s a little French bistro kind of place with someone who knows what they’re doing in the kitchen.

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We started off with the fried calamari.

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We eat a lot of calamari, it’s one of our favorite appetizers, and this one did not disappoint.  It was perfectly cooked.  Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and not at all chewy.  It was served with a delicious lemon aioli.   Loren got the French dip and I went for the Croque Monsieur.

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I actually ordered the Croque Madame which came with a fried egg, but they forgot to put it on.  The waiter realized the mistake and asked if I wanted to send it back, but I figured it was just going to make it super messy and difficult to eat, so I settle on the Monsieur instead.  Both sandwiches were delicious.  Flavorful meats and cheeses.  The only thing I didn’t like was the herb mustard.  It was a little too strong for me.  For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the chocolate mousse.

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Yum!  Perfect ratio of mousse to whipped cream and it had a deep, dark rich chocolate flavor.  Perfect ending to a lovely lunch.  Total bill with a drink was $37.

Etienne Brasserie
311 Broad St
Athens, GA
706-850-8008

Etienne Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value3/5
3.9/5
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  • Filed under: French, GA
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    We tried going to BurgerMonger last week but couldn’t find a parking space.  This location on Enterprise Road is notorious for not having enough parking for all of the businesses in the little shopping center.  I think this space has turned over at least 4 times that I can remember.

    You order at the counter and they bring the food out to you.  It’s set up and looks a lot like Five Guys with the open kitchen.  The food came out fast and was surprisingly very tasty.

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    You just never know what to expect from these quasi-fast food restaurants.  Their claim to fame is the Akaushi Kobe beef that they use in their burgers.  It was a tasty burger.  They cook them well done unless you ask otherwise, which we both wanted medium and they were cooked a perfect medium.  Loren added bacon, cheese & a garlic sauce that he really liked.  I went with mushrooms, onions & cheese.  We also got the 1/2 lb of fries.  They actually could have been cooked a little longer.  They were a bit limp and not quite crispy enough.

    What this place has over some of the others is a strawberry butter cake.

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    This was awesome.  It had two big scoops of Hagen Daaz vanilla ice cream, sweetened strawberries and a tasty butter cake.  Worth every penny and calorie.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

    BurgerMonger
    2454 McMullen Booth Road, Suite 207
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-4001

    Burgermonger on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5

    We were headed out to John Chestnut Park and stopped at Vettures for lunch beforehand.  The restaurant was empty when we got there.  We decided to split a meatball sub and some fries.

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    The meatballs were tasty, but the sub was so sloppy that I had to eat my half with a fork.  There was no way I was going to be able to pick it up & not end up wearing it.  The fries were hot and crispy.  Lunch with a drink ran us $14.

    Vetture’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
    36137 East Lake Road
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-797-4858

    Vetture's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.7/5

    Quite a few restaurants are closed on Memorial Day so we ended up at the new Five Guys in Boot Ranch for lunch.

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    The restaurant is big and bright, plenty of windows letting in lots of light.  The burgers & fries are what we’ve come to expect from Five Guys and I actually think these were a little less greasy than the ones we got recently at the Westchase location.  A little cheeseburger with grilled onions & mushrooms for me and a little bacon cheeseburger for Loren.  Plus you can’t leave here without some awesome fries.  Total bill was $15.

    Five Guys Burgers & Fries
    300 East Lake Road
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-784-8965

    Five Guys Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5