Brunswick, Maine is thirty minutes from Portland on I-95. From our home in Naples, Maine is an hour ride trip on winding back roads that pass by lakes, wooded countryside, rock walled pastures and farms.
My husband and I had one destination in mind and left the rest of the day to whatever we might find along the way. We had both read about Maurice’s Sausage Kitchen in Lisbon Falls. It is a family run institution that is well-known both locally and further away via the Internet for its high quality homemade sausage. It is made in small batches using hormone and antibiotic free meat. We put a cooler in the back of the car and headed out.
The Sausage Kitchen was easy to find right on Main Street in downtown Lisbon Falls. Pushing open the heavy wooden door, you face a long glass refrigerated case loaded with all kinds of sausages.
It was like going to an international sausage festival. There were English Bangers, German Bratwurst, Greek Loukaniko, Polish Kiebasa and Sicilian Wine and Cheese sausages just to name a few. They also had bologna, salami, ham and bacon. We bought a large bag full of sausages plus imported red cabbage and sauerkraut.
We loaded the cooler and headed for Brunswick. It was just a few miles down the road across the Androscoggin River from the historic town of Topsham. Brunswick is a typical, picturesque New England town most commonly known for it’s top ranking liberal arts Bowdoin College. It’s Main Street is lined with red brick shops, galleries and restaurants. In the center of downtown is a lovely green park known locally as “the mall” with beautiful historic homes on the street in back.
The mall was busy with a farmers market and we had to stop. There were about fifteen vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and flowers, homemade cheese, baked goods and more.
We found out from one of the farmers that the market requires that product come from a thirty mile radius and is one of the oldest farmers markets in Maine. We couldn’t pass up tiny red strawberries, young beets and peppered goat cheese.
Our fresh produce was placed into the cooler and we were off to find lunch.
We crossed back over the river to Topsham for lunch at the Sea Dog Microbrewery and Restaurant. It is located in a historic mill building with an outside deck overlooking the river. It’s a fun, atmospheric restaurant with a large menu suitable for both adults and children. They have at least 10 of their own beers on tap plus a full bar and a nice wine list. We had a good lunch starting with Mexicali Wontons with a tomatillo dipping sauce. We then had lobster gumbo, Waldorf Salad and finished with Upside Down Blueberry crumb cake topped with cinnamon ice cream.
We will be returning to this area again for further exploration and to visit the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. The museum has a collection of mementoes from the expeditions to the North Pole by Admiral Robert E. Perry and Donald MacMillan. In July and August there is the Bowdoin International Music Festival. We would also like to do a scenic drive of the bridge-linked islands known as “the Harpswells”. They are known for craft shops and galleries.
It was a wonderful day trip along the back roads of Maine. We saw pretty countryside; bought locally sourced meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables and had a nice lunch. I wonder where the next back road will take us.