Today is my second write-up about Maine this summer. I took another trip up to the vacationland for my cousin’s bridal shower. Except this time I went WAY up in Maine. My family lives in a small town called Cherryfield (and by small I mean unpopulated…we’re talking 1000 total residents across 44 square miles) about 4 to 5 hours north of the state border. To give you some perspective, the closest major grocer is about a forty five minute drive. The mall is a mere hour and a half haul along with the closest highway. Cherryfield is untouched; it still looks like it probably did 40 years ago. A small little old fashioned general store/grocer is your option if you forgot something on your trip out to the large grocery store. Also, forget about cell-phone service; once you’re in town your social media browsing and texting goes out the window. But, in this town it’s perfect to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the quiet and beautiful surroundings. It’s overgrown with wild blueberry fields (their claim to fame is their title of [wild] Blueberry Capital of the world) and houses are speckled across the town’s 44 mile expanse. Everybody knows everyone and it’s a community unlike anything you’ll find in suburbia NJ. It’s just one big family. I spent countless summers with family up there and this was my first warm weather visit in over 12 years. Albeit, my visit was a short 36 hours I did manage to pack a lot into my time there.
The actual food write-up of this post ironically isn’t about someplace in the town of Cherryfield. It’s about a restaurant in Ellsworth, the town with the major grocer I referred to before. Ellsworth is the main hub for local activity. It houses a handful of big name stores like Walmart, TJMaxx, and LLBean. It also has a fantastic little downtown with boutiques and restaurants.
As a quick aside , it is sometimes so fun to be known for writing about food. I love when my friends and family want to take me for a visit or recommend their favorite hometown spots or travel food stops they’ve encountered. I’m spoiled! This wraps into this story because my aunt and cousins were raving about a burrito place in Ellsworth that I just HAD to try.
86 This! Burritos and Wraps. I have to admit, the prospect of getting a good burrito in the middle of what most people would consider, nowhere, seemed slim. However; my family also happens to be a bunch of foodies like me, so I trusted their judgment. As promised the food did not disappoint.
86 This! had a constant line to the door for the 20 minutes we were in the restaurant. The open air kitchen showed off the preparations of our burritos and wraps using what the restaurant promises to be all local and fresh ingredients. While waiting you can grab a cold beer from their soda fridge (Why doesn’t NJ have take-out like this!) or snack on one of their homemade cookies. The oatmeal cranberry had the perfect flavor balance with a small hint of salt, which in my opinion is critical to a perfect oatmeal cookie!
With burritos in hand we went back to our car and ate on the journey home. All four of us who dined got different burritos and taste tested to compared and contrast. There were no losers at this meal. I went with their Rockabilly Burrito which included chipotle citrus chicken, beans, rice, cheese and what they called a chimmichurri sauce. I will admit that it was not what I would consider a chimmichurri but, it was very tasty nevertheless. Another fan favorite in our car was the Yam I Am burrito. The roasted spicy sweet potatoes were almost caramelized; they were so rich with flavor. Pair the potatoes with pico de gallo, avocado, rice, beans, chipotle crème and cheese and you have yourself one delicious entity.
It’s too bad 86 This! isn’t local to me because this would be a regular quick meal stop off. For those of you who would love to discover Maine, I have now written about two very different and equally worth areas for you to visit. First was York, Maine to discover the southern beaches and a special Lobster House. And now, DownEast Maine (ie Cherryfield and Ellsworth). For those of you who don’t feel there may be enough to keep your attention in these two small towns, think about spending time in Bar Harbor or Acadia National Park (both about an hours drive and perfect for vacationing) and then making a day trip to pick up those perfect little burritos. I promise you that Maine will force you to slow down, relax and enjoy that list bit of summer.
For more information on 86 This! Burritos and Wraps visit their website: http://www.86thismaine.com/
…all for the love of the dish