Friday, March 19, 2010

Eating our way through Bethel, Maine

Last weekend, Zach and I took a mini vacation to Bethel, Maine to relax and do some snowboarding at Sunday River. I hadn't been on vacation since April of 2009, so this 3-day getaway was sorely needed (for the both of us). The town of Bethel is extremely quaint, and fairly old-fashioned (in a good way) for being right next door to a popular ski resort.

I'm very lucky in the fact that Zach enjoys trying new restaurants and discovering a certain town's cuisine just as much as I do. So, when we weren't snowboarding or hanging out, we were eating. I was pleasantly surprised at the various options Bethel had, including a pizza joint that served gluten-free pies, and Cafe DiCocoa's, a vegan/vegetarian-friendly bakery and cafe.

This funky coffee shop had everything from gourmet cheeses to sandwiches/wraps and pastries. I loved the pro-vegetarian bumper stickers they had plastered sporadically around the interior, and the overall eclectic decor. I ordered a simple, perfectly boiled bagel with scallion and chive cream cheese, although some of my other spread options included Nutella and vegan cream cheese. Zach opted for the Brie and spinach whole wheat quesadilla, made with caramelized onions and fresh apples. I had a few bites of Zach's, and the quesadilla was incredibly innovative and tasty. Considering the high quality ingredients they use, DiCocoa's prices were quite reasonable, too.

Another highlight was where we ate dinner our first night in Bethel: The Suds Pub, a watering hole not too far from DiCocoa's on Main Street. Sud's is a pub in the basement of the Sudbury Inn, but the result is a dark dive bar that caters to families, locals, and ski bunnies alike. The place was just so inviting and friendly, and the food was ideal pub grub: burgers, fries, salads, and pizza. Oh, and they have 29 beers on tap. Hence why we went there.

I ordered the turkey burger and substituted regular fries for sweet potato fries.

The burger was simple, served with tomato and lettuce, but the flavor of the meat was anything but bland, which can be a curse of turkey burgers. I also ordered several locally-made brews, like Geary's and Shipyard.

The final highlight is the breakfast we had Saturday morning before our first full day of snowboarding at Bethel's Best. This hometown eatery is tiny, but the staff is more friendly than most people I encounter on a daily basis in Boston. Plus, the food was homemade and comforting. Zach had the tomato, egg & cheese English muffin ($2.99), while I ordered the Western Sandwich ($3.99), which was grilled homemade bread full of eggs with ham, green peppers, onions and cheese.

The bread was amazingly light and fluffy, although I could have done without all the butter from the grilling - I could have easily wrung out the bread to create a puddle of butter on my plate. But, what the hell - I was on vacation. What's another clogged artery?

All in all, we had a wonderful mini-vacation, with some amazingly delicious (and crazy inexpensive) eats. Since we're saving for Italy, we also saved quite a bit of money in other ways during this mini trip, which I'll share with you in my next blog post.  


  1. I'm realizing more and more how Maine is the perfect place for a quick and easy mini-getaway. It sounds like you had a blast and when I was in Maine a few weeks ago, I definitely imbibed in a few of the local brews, especially Shipyard!

  2. Yes, agreed! Their motto ("Maine - the way life should be") is spot on. The local brews help to make it that much better, too! ;)