Tag Archives: Maine

Maine 2013 – The Ramp Bar and Grill

4 Jul

If one visits Kennebunkport and take the lovely, long scenic drive past all the cottages and the waterfront inns to Cape Porpoise, you eventually get to a gravel parking lot that overlooks a bay (Goat Island Light according to Google Maps) and that has 2 restaurants: Pier 77 and The Ramp. While Pier 77 looks lovely, we turned our attention to the Ramp for this particular afternoon visit.

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When that is the view I have before entering the bar, you are rather spoiled. Anyway, The Ramp is a small bar located directly under the Pier 77 restaurant and has the look of a sports bar on steroids. Every inch of this place is covered with retro sports paraphernalia (a little too New England focused as a Montrealer but I’ll let it go this one time…). Any time a bar has an old Montreal Forum seat, a NBA backboard & hoop and autographs from Bill Russell, Bill Belicheck, Red Auerbach and Arnold Palmer in the men’s washroom, you know you’re in a sports fan’s dream. As one such sports fan, I loved every minute of this.

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Now, if this was just a simple sports bar, that would be one thing. However, this place actually rocked a great food menu on top of all that. The offerings go between typical bar food and more upscale stuff that highlights great seafood as one would expect in Maine. Spinach salad, a Greek mezze dish, Carolina style BBQ, burgers, fish and chips, a seafood stew, etc… All of that sounded great but we went for other options.

First, some onion strings with a smoked tomato ketchup. The plate was huge and delicious. The onions strings were nice and thin. The coating around the strings provided a nice crunch without being overbearing. The ketchup had a wonderful smokiness which added a nice note to the dish. A wonderful appetizer all around.

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For the main, there was only one option here: the Lobster roll. My first one of the trip, it was served with some homemade chips. The chips were nice and crisp as one would expect from chips but the real star here was the lobster roll. Beautiful fresh lobster pieces with just a little mayo, some celery and some scallions into a wonderfully buttery grilled bun. The naturally great flavour of the lobster is allowed to shine here. The overuse of mayonnaise is always a bad sign in a lobster roll. There was none of that here. Just the strong desire to eat another one!

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So great food, nice quirky sport bar look and atmosphere with a killer view… pretty hard to beat that overall combination. If every you are in the Kennebunkport area of Maine, you must check this place out. I am sure you find something to enjoy. Now I just need to go back when there’s a game on….

Cheers!

The Ramp Bar and Grill
77 Pier Road Cape Porpoise Harbor
Kennebunkport, Maine 04014
207 967-8500

The Ramp on Urbanspoon

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Maine 2013 – Bob’s Clam Hut

4 Jul

When one is in Maine, you can expect to spend most of your time eating amazing seafood. People who know me also known that I am a fan of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show. When the possibility arose that I would be close by one of the spots featured on the show, I couldn’t help but want to check it out. So, on our drive down to Maine from Montreal, we stopped over in Kittery to check out Bob’s Clam Hut.

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Bob’s is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a local joint that over time has become well known with travellers and tourists all while the Kittery Outlets have developed around it. It is a typical looking New England Seafood diner/ fast food joint with line-ups, loud speaker call-ups for orders, pickup windows, a huge menu and sadly high prices for what you think you are ordering. However, for me personally, if the food holds up, these are all minor complaints.

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First up, we had the clam chowder. Now, at Bob’s, the chowder does not have a rue. This gives their chowder none of the creaminess one associates with a typical chowder. It still has nice fresh clams and chopped up potatoes so you still get the taste you want. The difference comes as the richness you would get from the rue comes from the buttery broth. A little too buttery for my personal preference but a good “chowder’ nevertheless.

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My mother had the lobster roll. Didn’t try it so nothing I can say here except that I love the size of the lobster pieces they use. Thank you Maine for reminding me what a REAL lobster roll should look like.

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Bob’s Clam Hut is known for their fried clams so of course I would be having fried clams. Now, they have 2 varieties – Bob’s and Lillian’s (named after their long time employee who passed away earlier this year). Bob’s go straight into the flour mixture (3 parts corn flour, 2 parts white flour). Lillian’s gets a egg-wash before going into the flour. Anyone who was watched the Triple D episode knows the “debate” about which is better. I decided to order “the Clams 2 ways” and try them both. The order came with a side of fries that I would describe as underwhelming so let’s focus on the clams. Both varieties came in the same basket and honestly the differences between the 2 are pretty minor. Essentially Lillian’s have a crunchier texture but the taste stays the same in my opinion. Great fresh clams although they were a little oilier that I would have like. The homemade tartar sauce was quite nice as well – nice and creamy with a little crunch from the pickles. There was also cocktail sauce but I hate that stuff so we won’t talk about that here.

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I am happy that I got the chance to try out Bob’s Clam Hut. It is always nice to add a place to my “Triple D” list of visited restaurants. I enjoyed the clams but it probably didn’t necessarily hit the high notes that I had hoped for. Part of that may have been my expectations, partly the overly “commercial” feel and partly the price. I don’t usually ding restaurants on cost but 23.00$ for the basket I got seems a tad excessive. Given their level of fame, I really shouldn’t be surprised by these issues but I had hoped for otherwise. In the end, I would recommend going to try their clams but as a snack to share amongst your group and enjoy a Maine staple.

Cheers!

Bob’s Clam Hut
315 US Route 1
Kittery, Maine, USA
207 439 4233
On Facebook and Twitter @BobsClamHut

Bob's Clam Hut on Urbanspoon

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