We’ve traveled in Maine many times, but rarely have we ventured more than a few miles from the awe-inspiring coast. A visit to the Bangor State Fair brought us further inland in Maine than we’ve ever been, and lucky we were, as our search for dinner in the area turned up a gem in the nearby town of Brewer. Located on the banks of the Penobscot River, well out of town down Route 9, the Eagles Nest serves Maine down-home cooking to a mostly local crowd.
The restaurant is not large, and is casual in a comfortable sort of way. Our table next to the back window afforded a stunning view of the river beyond. We saw a fair number of customers chowing down on terrific looking burgers, but we took the lobster route, and were not sorry. The massive lobster roll (made from [hold your ears purists] bagged lobster) was one of the best lobster salad rolls we’ve had anywhere. We don’t know if there are different grades of packaged lobster, or perhaps it’s in the way it’s handled once purchased, but we do know that this lobster salad was freshly prepared when we ordered it, and it contained huge chunks, almost whole claws, of lobster meat with good flavor. The sandwich is almost like a Downeast version of a New York City deli sandwich.
The lobster stew was similarly loaded with large pieces of lobster, and was a soothing and lobstery bowl of comfort. And perhaps best of all was the extraordinary strawberry shortcake. Freshly prepared when we ordered it, as is so much of the food here, we heard the clickety-clack of beater against bowl as the cream was whipped while we waited. Served on a terrific homemade biscuit, drenched in sweetened berries, and piled with fresh whipped cream, this was as gorgeous to look at as it was satisfying to eat. In fact, the staff was oohing and ahhing as our waitress (the owner) brought her production number to our table.
The menu covers most of the home-cooking basics, with a definite Downeast slant. The food on other tables looked terrific, and we hope to get back to give some of it a try.