This morning I pondered going to yoga but ended up on a long bike ride instead, as tomorrow's weather doesn't look conducive to outdoor enjoyment. My destination was Scratch Bakery and Spring Point Light afterwards. For the past few days, I've been craving a ride and bagel and weekends are the time to make it all happen.
When I arrived at Scratch, I was shocked to discover I had the place almost to myself, comparatively speaking. Meaning, instead of a line for bagels 30 deep and another to pay, I only stood in front of all the tempting goods for about two minutes total before I was released from the hypnotic sights and smells of the bakery. But even then, I almost bought almost everything. In reality though, I purchased a many-seeded bagel and cream cheese, then headed to my favorite Maine spot: Spring Point Light on the SMCC campus. I ate while enjoying rhythmic waves, gull calls and a very light sprinkling rain from atop the old fort wall. I would have stayed longer but wanted to get back to town and ready for the next part of my day before the sky really opened up.
Next on my agenda was GASHAROO, an event held at Novare Res, which celebrates Allagash Brewery. Over 26 Allagash-brewed beers were available until the kegs kicked, which a couple did in the first few hours. Luckily, I scored a glass of the one I really showed up for: Avance. Visit the Allagash website for a true description (http://www.allagash.com/beer/avance/?ao_confirm) but my thoughts on it were thus: great pinkish color, sour and fruity taste and strong ABV percentage which meant I only needed one. I later had a Golden Brett (http://www.allagash.com/beer/golden-brett/) which I remembered being more pineapple-y but it was a lovely yellow color and easy to drink.
In between beers was when I made my way to Sip of Europe. Eating at Novare is fun and delicious but not when it's super-packed and you have crêpes on the brain. The cafe was empty save one man when I entered but in my time there, three others came in to fill the place a bit. I want Sip of Europe to succeed, if only because I don't know where else to eat crêpes outside my own kitchen, now that The Merry Table on Wharf Street has closed. The owner, Yulia, is a charming and energetic Russian woman who's always dreamed of owning her own cafe. She had a place in Old Orchard Beach but, as we all know, Portland has a better food scene.
I ordered a mocha, a savory ham/cheese/mustard crêpe and a sweet banana and Nutella crêpe in subsequent order, in order to savor it all. The crêpes were made on a traditional, round cooking surface and were soft, warm, stuffed full of fresh ingredients and comforting. Once upon a time in a land far, far away, I learned to make crêpes and have enjoyed them at home ever since but I use a regular sautée. The effect is somewhat the same but the uniform consistency of Yulia's crêpes were perfect. I seriously wanted one more (or three more) of each kind but kept my stomach in check, most likely because I had already planned on going again on Sunday. Lucky for me however, I walked five miles and biked eight over the course of the day so some of the carbs from the bagel, beers and crêpes were displaced.
My meal was so good that the environmentalist in me didn't even lament the paper plates and plastic utensils. Though when I go back, I will have to bring my own. How is it any different than bringing your own mug to a coffee shop? Find more information to plan your visit here http://sipofeurope.com/ or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sipofeurope!