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Monday, March 22, 2010

A tale of two towns


For all of you who live here in Maine, I am sure if I say Naples to you, you may think, “Oh that is such a nice place to visit during the summer.” Or perhaps, “I drive through there all the time when I head up to the mountains.” One thing I bet you don’t think is, “I love stopping through there any time of the year.” Well I am here to tell you that perhaps you should. A couple of weeks ago right in the middle of Lion’s Pride Belgian Festival (I will get back to that in the second half of this post) Porter and I went up to Shawnee Peak. It was a rather nice day and Porter really wanted to snowboard. I hauled my cast covered foot up many, many stairs and sat in the bar while he was out. I was able to do some studying and a bunch of people watching so it was pretty easy to keep my mind off the fact that I wasn’t able to board myself. Once Porter was done we headed back towards home but had two places we knew we just had to stop at. The first is a place called Heroes. The owner, Mike, is one of my readers and knew just how much I love Portland Pie Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Shortly after I posted my write up on them he messaged me on facebook and told me I had to try his. He was right. It was very tasty. It definitely gives Portland Pie a run for their money. Heroes’ version is quite mild and all the flavors are balanced. The crust is amazing! They put some garlic deliciousness on it that adds something really amazing. The thickness is perfect too. For people who may have been afraid to try buffalo chicken pizzas because of the heat should try this one. I put a little extra hot sauce on mine and it was perfect. While we were waiting for our pizza Mike came over to our table and told us all about his business. Things haven’t been all that easy for him because winters are slow (go, have wonderful pizza and support a great business!) Mike also donates a lot to various things in the area. His children are big into sports and he is a big supporter. I know that if you stop by you will first want to go back for the pizza but you will then want to go back for the conversation. (Heroes Pizzeria, Route 302 Naples, where the batting cages used to be.)

After leaving Heroes, Porter and I went down the road to Bray’s Brew Pub. Bray’s has a great beer garden that I have visited in the past. Seeing it was winter we didn’t venture out there but we will be going back once the weather gets a bit nicer. (They allow dogs in the beer garden.) Bray’s is in an old house. Once inside you can’t really tell until you go to some of the dining rooms. They are each in different rooms of the house. The bar and main dining area are in an open area. We were there just for beer so we cozied up to the bar. They have a number of their own brews and had a Sheepscott on draft as well. Porter and I had just started our second when Mike came in. He ordered a Bud (Mike you have got to give some of Bray’s a chance, they are very tasty!) and we continued talking like we were old friends. This time we talked about education reform. Attention Maine Education: Talk to this man he has some great ideas. Once we finished our second beers we left for home. The next time we go through Naples, which will be sooner rather than later, we will be stopping at both Bray’s and Heroes. They are both well priced and delicious.


As I was saying earlier, Lion’s Pride was having their Belgian Beer Festival two weeks ago. In addition to the kick off that Porter and I went to, we also went to two additional evenings. On Tuesday night, Allagash Brewing was there. Jason, the head brewer, brought in some of the Cool Ship beer for us to try. It was very yummy. Jason and Naomi, (another Allagash employee) were both so friendly and talked to us about some of their processes. I asked about their greenness and I was very impressed by the answers I received. They recycle, compost (employee food scraps), upcycle. SO much. It is great to see companies who really care about the environment. In addition to the Cool Ship there were a number of other Allagash beers on tap that we tried. It was a great evening.

We also went on Thursday. Thursday the owner returned from Belgium and had brought back some gifts for some of his friends. He brought me a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin. Each person got such different types that we all decided to share them right then and there. Porter and I got to try some very delicious beers that night. Thank you Chris and thank you everyone for sharing. I am sure I have said this before but for all beer lovers you need to check out Lion’s Pride.

Let me start a checklist for all of you:

Go to Naples.

Eat pizza at Heroes.

Drink beer at Bray’s.

Go to Brunswick.

Drink beer at Lion’s Pride.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. You just might like it.


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