Kittery, York, + South Berwick
By Joe Ricchio
Loco Cocos Tacos
Ill be the first to tell you that good Mexican food in Maine is truly a rarity, so you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon some of the states best in Kittery, of all places. I dont think I could have been happier than I was when eating a plate of barbacoa tacos drizzled with one of their several housemade hot sauces, sipping a Bohemia, and listening to the Mexican hip-hop on the stereo. Actually, I could have been a little happier if I didnt have so much work to do later that day, which would have allowed me to sample the tequila
36 Walker St. | Kittery | 207.438.9322
Carls Meat Market
Great Beef, No Bull are the words they live by here, so I went for just thatfatty ground chuck with some sliced deli cheese and a bag of Martins brand potato buns. As I began cooking my burgers in a cast-iron skillet, I repeatedly set off the fire alarm and became painfully aware of how weak my hood system is at home. Instead, I recommend you have them grill the burgers for you, grab a big bottle of beer from their extensive selection, and go enjoy them in a pleasant, smoke-free environment. Great locally owned butcher shops are getting harder and harder to come by, so be sure to support them whenever possiblethe product is always worth it.
25 U.S. Route 1 | Kittery | 207.439.1557
I have been a loyal customer of the Clown, in its variety of locations, for many years. They are one of the very few wine shops where you will find not only interesting bottles but a range of vintages as well. When youve worked in the wine business for a while, its rare that you enjoy browsing through a stores selection simply because youre excited that you keep finding something unusual. Its clear that a lot of thought was put into whats on the shelves.
659 U.S. Route 1 | York | 207.351.3063
By far the best Indian food I have ever had in New England, and maybe anywhere, is found in this small restaurant housed in a former post office. We were literally scraping every last bit of the beautiful, delicate sauces from the serving dishes, and we continued to eat well beyond the point of being painfully full. Surprisingly, they also offer several excellent wine and beer selections, which is certainly a rarity for Indian restaurants. Because of its size, reservations are recommended.
2 Government St. | Kittery | 207.451.9511
It took me a good three to four hours to digest the epic amount of food I consumed on my visit to Pepperland, but it was well worth every minute of discomfortmy only actual regret is that I arrived one day too early to sample this seasons whole pig. Everything is made from scratch here, from the buns on the pulled-pork sandwich to the house ketchup, which is unbelievably addictive. Add their selection of hard-to-find beers and youve got the perfect place to spend your entire winter working through the menu.
279 Main St. | South Berwick | 207.384.5535
South Berwick is a small rural town. So who would have guessed that it had so many great restaurants? Relish, formerly Margaux, is a modern and intimate dining spot serving a concise, mostly French-influenced menu complemented by a focused wine list. Cocktails are a standout here, featuring classic favorites such as the French 75 (actually made with VSOP cognac, the way it should be). Reservations are strongly recommended.
404 Main St. | South Berwick | 207.384.8249
AJs Wood Grill Pizza
Although the pizza is excellent, for some reason I cant get over how good the Buffalo hot wings are as I smother them in blue cheese and wash them down with cold PBR. The ingredients are all standout here; they make their own sausage and smoke the chicken and bacon in-house. I was officially won over when informed that they use mortadella, one of my very favorite smoked sausages, in their Italian sandwiches.
68 Wallingford Sq. | Kittery | 207.439.9700
Anthonys Food Shop
There are really several reasons to like Anthonys: (1) its a gas station that serves excellent sandwiches, (2) its pizza is perfect for curing a hangover, and (3) the large selection of wines is perfect for causing a hangover. I think that they should add a dry cleaner, a bank, a car wash, and a pharmacy to truly eliminate the need to go anywhere else.
679 U.S. Route 1 | York | 207.363.2322
Green Leaves Chinese Restaurant
OK, Ill admit itI love frozen piña coladas. And the only restaurants I order them in are tiki bars (which I dont make it to that often) and Chinese restaurants that devote at least an entire page of their menu to ridiculous cocktails. On this particular visit, I ignored the funny look I received after placing my drink order and proceeded to have some of the better Chinese American classicssuch as crab rangoon, hot and sour soup, and General Tsos chickenthat Ive ever had in Maine.
647 U.S. Route 1 | York | 207.363.2025
Le Creuset Factory Store
I know its a little strange that Ive included an outlet store, but if youre into food then you should know about Le Creuset. This is the kind of cookware that youre going to have for a very long time, and it comes in bright colors to complement my rapidly changing moods!
283 U.S. Route 1 | Kittery | 207.439.4811