Thursday, August 16, 2012

Travels with Brownie: Dolphin Marina in Harpswell, Maine


The southern coast of Maine is made up of lots of little peninsulas. Some are short, some are long, but I'd be willing to bet most--if not all--are beautiful. Harpswell, just off of Brunswick, is one such idyllic peninsula. Generations ago my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather owned a big chunk of Harpswell, alas I'm descended from his daughter so that land didn't get passed on. Still I feel a strange sense of peace and belonging when I make the drive out winding route 123. The Casco Bay views off of Harpswell are stunning and Dolphin Marina is no exception...

Just as I Facebook sourced my dad's birthday cake, I also found out birthday dinner spot view Facebook when I spotted some awesome looking blueberry muffins on a friend's FB page. Turns out blueberry muffins are something of a signature at Dolphin Marina. Our waitress told us that the muffins were a nod to the days when the marina used to serve breakfast. They don't do breakfast anymore, but I sure am glad they still make those muffins, because they were worth the ride themselves.

Sometimes I forget how wonderful warm muffins can be. I feel like a few years ago muffins were in with the cool kids. People were generally pro-muffin. Muffins were invited to breakfast and brunch. Then there was a shift. Muffins were exposed as half naked cupcakes--too fatty, too sugary. You might as well eat a Big Mac. If you regularly pass muffins by, these are worth making an exception. Moist, tender and filled with Maine blueberries, I had no problem splitting this warm bad boy down the middle and slathering it with some sweet cream butter. Yes, I said it, I buttered this muffin and I'm glad.

Muffins come with most menu items like their chowders and entrees (I enjoyed a particularly good baked haddock with cucumber dill sauce). The place was hopping from the moment we arrived until we left just before closing. As my dad noted, "it's rare to go to a restaurant where everyone leaving is happy." If you get a muffin, I guarantee you'll leave happy, too. I have a feeling this is going to become an August tradition for our family.

Dolphin Marina and Restaurant
515 Basin Point South Harpswell, ME 04079

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