Monday, July 7, 2014

Maine Monday: Bresca Beach

It's only fitting that here in Maine we maintain our high foodie standards even at our lakeside snack shacks. Thank goodness multiple James Beard Award nominee Krista Desjarlais packed up her tiny Portland restaurant Bresca and decamped to serene and super family friendly Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester.

Outlet Beach on Sabbathday Lake is less than a 45 minute drive from Portland and you'll feel like you've escaped to your own private Maine watering hole with amazing burgers and homemade ice cream just a few steps away. Bresca and the Honey Bee, as the snack shack is now known, brings you summer classics with a locally forged and mostly organic twist. If you were lucky enough to eat at Bresca when it was open then you'll be happy to know the famous shaved Brussels Sprouts live on at the lake, along with all natural hot dogs, burgers, and pressed sandwiches.

The water is warm (very rare in our state, especially in July) and the pebbly beach gently slopes into the lake providing plenty of space for the little ones to splash and play. A dock in the shallow area has two small slides perfectly sized for tiny tushies and the water will barely cover their belly buttons as they whoosh down into the water. A little further out are two floating docks, one with a diving board and the other with a giant slide (and a bucket for dumping water to speed up the sliding) for the bigger kiddos and the kiddo-like grown-ups.

Inflatable inner tubes are available to rent ($5 to rent for the day, less by the hour) and they come in a variety of sizes. The little C&Gs use them to get out to the docks and I steal them back to float around while they slide and dive their afternoon away. But they'll happily paddle back to shore under their own steam when it's time to get a sweet treat from the snack shack, ice cream is made from scratch and the flavors vary daily. Yesterday I had the most amazing creme fraîche key lime pie ice cream (super tart and velvety) and Little C&G ordered strawberry ice cream that tasted like it just came out of a nearby patch.

Outlet Beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, seven days a week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and there is a small admission fee. Adults are $5, children 3-13 are $3, and under 3s are free. The lunch menu is available Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and you can get ice cream 7 days a week from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm.

You'll need to swing by the ATM on your way to Outlet Beach, it's cash only (a good thing to know ahead of time) and keep in mind if it's raining the menu might be limited. With Bresca and the Honey Bee Chef Krista has created the quintessential Maine summer spot, delicious food to enjoy with a beautiful view and sand between your toes.

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