Friday, May 29, 2009

Paddling season begins!

Memorial Weekend sure was busy at the Birchwood Motel in Camden. Typically, things don't get rolling here until June. So a big thank you to all our guests — both the new and the loyal returns — for coming out. Mother Nature did her part, too, with some glorious weather. Great spring deals are still available. Call us at 207-236-4204. Midweek rates start as low as $60/night.

Devoted innkeeper, Jenny, snuck away for a few hours to paddle with Sean. Sean is a beloved guest, returning for his seventh annual visit to Camden, Maine and the Birchwood!

What a fella! 
Sean hauls Jenny's new boat "Sweet Pea"
to the edge of Lake Megunticook

Additional gratitude is extended to Ducktrap Kayak in Lincolnville. Dan Henry is certainly one of the most knowledgeable paddlers around and really knows his gear. Years ago, when we first arrived in Camden — and before we knew better — a bigger outfit really took advantage of our kayak ignorance. Dan not only righted that wrong for us, but his commitment to making a personal connection with his customers made me a lifelong fan. If you need to buy or rent a kayak, your first call should be Ducktrap Kayak at 207-236-8606.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Good local eats

I'm in the mood for steak, simply because its near me.
If you're in the mood, Peter Ott's is one terrific restaurant.

Warm atmosphere, yummy food, lovely waitress I could trust. Yet, maybe not at first because she suggested I try the calamari appetizer. Calamari appetizer? Sounds boring, typical.

"You should. It's really fresh." she said. And it was. Very light, crispy, in a minimal batter that showcased the extremely fresh fish. 

Entrées include salad bar. Uh oh. Salad bar. Trust issues again. But then I saw that instead of the typical iceberg disaster there were lovely mixed greens, homemade beets with a light hint of cinnamon (YUM!) and a lot of other fresh vegetable choices. All the dressings were clearly homemade. Eric chose blue cheese (decadent and excellent). My choice was parmesan peppercorn. Both were terrific.

On to dinner. Should have brought the camera because my meal was a vision. Like I said, I wanted a great steak, and the menu had several choices. Menu envy set in so I requested the chef decide for me by cooking his favorite, medium rare. My plate held a perfectly cooked sirloin with a velvety dijon sauce and caramelized onions. Eric chose the duck breast and e. also a sirloin. Everyone was more than happy.

Somehow we all fit in dessert. Some local restaurants are feeding us stuff from the food service truck. Not Peter Otts. All homemade. Blueberry pie was already sold out. Bummer. But oh my goodness, warm gingerbread cake with caramel sauce. The chocolate mousse was also delightful but we kept going back to the cake. Oh my goodness! Wait, did I already say oh my goodness? 

Please support responsibly run, local chef-owned, restaurants like Peter Otts. Our guests at the Birchwood Motel often ask for our dining recommendations and Peter Otts is now on the list.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Open Season in Camden

The Stars & Stripes fly again on Curtis Island, signaling the start of the season to all who enter Camden harbor. 

Impish but sweet E. waits for the honor of raising the flag 
©2009 D. Conover