Long Lake Sporting Club | Northern Maine’s Unique Ployes

Review by: ayersian

Way Up North

Aroostook County, known to Mainers as simply “the County,” comprises practically the whole upper half of the state. You won’t find a bigger county east of the Mississippi River. Both Connecticut and Rhode Island could fit within its boundaries. Unknown to the typical tourist, the County offers a wild, wooded, wonderful away-from-it-all feeling. Towns are few and sparsely settled. We make the trip to find northern Maine’s unique ployes.

Through thick forests, Long Lake materializes as an untouched sportsman’s paradise. Boats dot the lake in the summer, and snowmobiles blaze across the ice in the winter. Sinclair’s Long Lake Sporting Club on Route 162 has been wowing locals and curious folks since 1922. They come for large portions of hearty food as well as its idyllic lakeside setting.

The Dinner Ritual

The same family has run the supper club for three generations. The waitstaff is comprised of veteran servers whom we’re happy to see again when we visit the County every few years. When we enter, they lead us to the bar. Here, a waitress takes our drink and dinner order. “Help yourself to a basket of popcorn,” she says, pointing to the movie-theater popcorn machine across the room. Our waitress soon returns to lead us into the white-tableclothed dining room. A piping-hot meal awaits.

Taste of Maine

Pressure-fried chicken’s plump, crunchy crust envelops extremely juicy meat within. A quick dip in Long Lake’s own BBQ sauce allows its subtle flavors to blossom with tongue-tickling zest. Breading that covers the large shrimp and scallops does not prevent the savory taste of either seafood from shining through. It augments the firm, fresh texture of each morsel.

You can taste Aroostook’s French-Acadian culture in northern Maine’s unique ployes. They accompany each meal. Eat these chewy buckwheat pancakes plain, buttered, or even sweetened with syrup from a table pitcher.

A small bowl of salad—Long Lake’s spin on coleslaw—features cabbage and carrots tossed in a tangy dressing similar to the house BBQ sauce. French fries come as oversized planks that spotlight the golden crust and creamy insides of Maine potatoes. Or choose corn-on-the-cob or baked potatoes. Other main course choices include steak, big lobsters, ribs, clams, and salmon.

Long Lake has convenient slips for boats and a snowmobile parking lot, and can even accommodate seaplanes.

Directions & Hours

11am - 9pm
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

What To Eat

Pressure-Fried Chicken

DISH
Shrimp & Scallop Combo

DISH
Ployes

DISH
French Fries

DISH
House Salad

DISH

Long Lake Sporting Club | Northern Maine’s Unique Ployes Recipes

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One Response to “Long Lake Sporting Club | Northern Maine’s Unique Ployes”

Chris & Amy Ayers

January 19th, 2009

Maine’s Aroostook County, known to Mainers as simply “the County,” comprises practically the whole upper half of the state. It’s the largest county in land area east of the Mississippi River, and one could fit both Connecticut and Rhode Island within its boundaries. Unknown to the typical tourist, the County is wild, wooded, and absolutely wonderful to get far, far away from it all. Towns are few and sparsely settled, and through the thick forests, Long Lake materializes as an untouched sportsman’s paradise. Sinclair’s Long Lake Sporting Club on Route 162 has been wowing locals and curious folks since 1922 with their large portions of hearty food and idyllic lakeside dining.

For three generations, the business has been kept in the family, and the wait staff is comprised of veteran servers that we’re happy to see again when we visit the County every few years. Upon entering, we’re led to the bar area, where a waitress takes our drink and dinner order. “Help yourself to a basket of popcorn,” she says, pointing to the movie-theater popcorn machine across the room. Boats dot the lake in the summer, and snowmobiles blaze across the ice in the winter. Not long after, our waitress returns to lead us into the white-tableclothed dining room, where our piping-hot meal is waiting for us.

The pressure-fried chicken’s plump, crunchy crust envelops the extremely juicy meat within, reminiscent of the same from the sadly departed Shingles in Tallahassee, Florida. The skin is not overly spiced, but a quick dip in Long Lake’s own BBQ sauce allows the subtle flavors to blossom for a tongue-tickling zest. The breading that covers the large shrimp and scallops does not hinder the savory taste of either seafood to shine through, and it only augments the firm, fresh texture of each morsel. Aroostook’s proximity to Canada enabled French-Acadian culture to spread across the nearby Saint John River, and this influence is represented by the Acadian ployes that accompany each meal. These chewy buckwheat pancakes are eaten plain, buttered, or even sweetened with syrup from a table pitcher.

The sides are equally amazing. A small bowl of salad—Long Lake’s spin on coleslaw—features cabbage and carrots tossed in a tangy dressing similar to the chicken BBQ sauce. The French fries are oversized planks that spotlight the golden crust and creamy insides of Maine potatoes. Corn-on-the-cob and baked potatoes are also available, as are steaks, three- to five-pound lobsters, BBQ ribs, clams, and salmon. Long Lake welcomes all boats with convenient slips, boasts a snowmobile parking lot, and can even accommodate seaplanes! At least one trip to Long Lake Sporting Club will certainly make any trip to Northern Maine more magical.

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