A random but fun post about Dallas’ favorite lunch spot. Photo credits: Dallas’ iPhone. True story. Gorgeous, no?
We’re on the road a lot, and while we still “make” about half our meals while traveling (either packing a cooler or picking up food at the local Whole-Foods style market), we do dine out quite a bit. Unfortunately, most restaurants offer a serious set of challenges in our quest to Eat Good Food. First, eating out often means you are forced to sacrifice on food quality. I doubt the local burger joint in Anytown, USA buys grass-fed beef or cooks with coconut oil, and I rarely get a breakfast “fruit cup” that closely resembles actual fresh fruit. In addition, many of these restaurants are just a thematically decorated box with small tables and uncomfortable chairs, designed to get you in and out as fast as possible. They offer little in the way of a social or cultural experience – something from which we (as a society) have grown woefully distant in the last few decades.
The most difficult part, though? The ordering process, which is at best cumbersome, and at worst, downright contentious. “I’d like two Mexi-burgers, rare, no bun, no cheese, extra avocado, extra salsa, no fries, sub broccoli, can you steam the broccoli, and then can you double the broccoli?” (And that’s just Dallas’ order.) It’s rare that our waitress gets everything right the first time around, and sending food back to the chef more than once can be a frightening prospect.
So when you discover an eatery that (a) serves heaping plates of local, fresh, healthy food, (b) offers family-style seating, independent films and eclectic musical offerings, and (c) employs staff who don’t bat an eye when you do weird things like bring your own avocado to top their salad, you sit up and pay attention. And if the restaurant happens to be a LOCAL establishment… well, you fall a little bit in love with a place like that.
Welcome to the Frontier Cafe, Cinema and Gallery in Brunswick, ME. The Frontier has been in business since 2006, and came to life from the vision of founder Michael Gilroy’s travels as an expedition leader around the world. Gil’s passion for connecting people with experiences that provoke a sense of discovery compelled him to create a special kind of meeting place reminiscent of a traveler’s crossroads – where stories, ideas, culture and food interact in a rich, dynamic environment.
Aside from the cool vibe and comfortable, family-style accommodations (complete with a cozy living-room themed eating area), the Frontier has some of the best food in Mid-Coast Maine. They offer fresh, locally grown, made-by-hand salads, sandwiches and soups, and aren’t afraid to mix things and customize their offerings. Dallas’ favorite fare includes a spinach salad (hold the goat cheese), with chopped local beets, sliced almonds and double turkey, with a house-made roasted red pepper basil soup. (And yes, he’s been known to bring in his own avocados.) And if you’re in the mood for something decadent, the Frontier stocks the best carrot cake on the planet. A local baker brings it in from time to time, and it is always a treat to see it in the dessert case. (Trust us when we say it is 100% worth going off the reservation for this cake.)
You never know where your travels will take you, but if you ever find yourself in Brunswick, Maine, stop into the Frontier and see what they’re serving up. Got your own favorite local eatery, or think you can top the idea of bringing your own avocados to a restaurant? Share it here!