#FDLobsterVacay with FreshDirect

If you’ve read this blog for more than a hot second, you know that I LOVE me some lobster.

Lobster De Mayo

On dresses…

Lobster

On my wall… (also, my stationary, NBD)

Lobster Party

In my mouth. (Slash on my dresser.)

So when FreshDirect invited me to Maine to learn more about lobster, I was ALL. OVER. IT. (True story: one of the other girls asked why we were all invited on the trip. Basically, the other people were local food influencers…”and Theodora just really likes lobster.”)

As I’ve worked with FD on several blog and work projects in the past year or so, I’ve learned a lot about the company and what they stand for. I’m clearly no chef (hi, try searching this blog for a recipe. Good luck.), but I appreciate good food, good ingredients and attention to detail.

I was really impressed by their co-founder David McInerney’s commitment to bringing his customers the best damn food he could find. Before founding FreshDirect in 2002, he was a chef in fine dining restaurants in NYC, so he understands the importance of good ingredients more than anyone else. We visited one of the lobster wholesalers they work with as well as a tomato farm where they source most of their tomatoes from, and David explained this trip was similar to the ones they usually take to visit their vendors.

Perkins Cove Maine

BRB, catching lobsters.

Lobster Boat Ogonquit

After landing in Portland, we drove to Ogonquit to get on a boat to catch lobsters. STAY COOL THEODORA, STAY COOL. DON’T THROW THAT LIVE LOBSTER, NO MATTER HOW SQUIRMY HE IS.

It wasn’t my first time on a lobster boat, but some interesting things I heard again:

– If they catch a lady lobster with eggs, they throw her back because she can have up to hundreds of thousands of eggs. (Very few of those actually grow up to be viable lobstahs, though.)

– They’ll clip a small piece of the female’s tail if she does have eggs so no lobsterman will catch her.

– If you like tail meat, ask for a female lobster; if you like claw meat, ask for a male lobster.

From there, we went to a place called Stone’s Throw in York for lunch, where had delicious lobster rolls and a view of the ocean. I think I was too hungry and happy to take a picture?

Lobster Wholesaler

From there, it was off to the lobster wholesaler’s. His building can hold up to 150,000 POUNDS OF LOBSTER and ships as far away as China. The lobsters are outfitted with thermometers that attach to a USB so you can download the temperature to make sure they’re still safe to eat.

FreshDirect Lobster Party

He had us over for a full-on lobster feast that night, and I think I died of happiness. I really don’t mind pulling the shell off, since I think it’s part of the charm, but he pulled our shells off in 2.5 seconds so we could get right at the meat. Smart man.

Dockside Inn

We stayed at the idyllic Dockside Guest Quarters. I’d stay there again in a heartbeat. All of us kept remarking how relaxed we were in the short time we were there. I stayed up late hanging out and laughing with the FreshDirect people, who are kind and funny.

Tuesday’s adventure = TOMATOES.

Backyard Farms

Backyard Farms, in Madison, ME, is where they source most of their tomatoes from. AND LOOK AT THEM. We tried quite a few tomatoes, and they were all perfectly ripe and juicy, with a hint of salt to bring out the taste.

2015 08 11 13 21 18

These are called cocktail tomatoes, but I did not see a glass for them?

Backyard Farms Tomato Farm

In all seriousness, what was most interesting about the farm was its labor practices: they like to instill a sense of ownership in each of their growers, so they have “personal growers” that tend to a certain plot of rows, and they are responsible for the lifecycle of their fruits. They’re all also salaried and have benefits, something uncommon in the industry.

And they make damn good tomatoes. They only sell them in New England and the Mid-Atlantic because of their commitment to quality and freshness, and they want to be able to guarantee that.

Allagash Brewing

Our final stop on the trip was at the Allagash Brewery. I LOVE beer, but rarely drink it any more because it upsets my stomach. However, Allagash is a beer I first heard about nearly 10 years ago, so I was happy to visit the brewery, although I was fading fast by that point. (No, I did not have Sriracha beer.) The cool thing about Allagash is that they let anyone contribute ideas for new beers, and sometimes these names you see on barrels are only working names, not the real names. They also have a really cool sensory lab where they workshop new tastes and flavors to get them just right.

Allagash James Bean

My dear friend Meg is a beer snob, and she told me to look out for this beer brewed over cold brew. They didn’t have it, but now I have new life goals, which is important.

It turns out, that if your flight is going to be canceled, a brewery is a great place to be stuck. The Allagash folk were amazing, staying open while we sorted our flights out.

And that’s all she wrote.

What would your dream food vacation be? I just went on mine, so I’m done here.

12 comments on “#FDLobsterVacay with FreshDirect

  1. Luke Ciciliano

    I’m officially jealous. I lived most of my life in the Las Vegas desert so to say I’m not used to fresh lobster is an understatement. I think a trip to Maine may be in order.

    Reply
  2. Shawna

    oh my gosh this looks amazing!! what an awesome experience. i love Maine and i love seafood, soooo, yeah. lucky gal. you’ve ridden the North River Lobster Co boat in NYC, i’m assuming?? i think i’ve gone 4-5 times already this summer!

    Reply
  3. Kate J.

    Such a yummy post. York ME is my hometown- I love living here and I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to our little corner of the earth! Next time you come hopefully you can squeeze in a trip to the beach and leave room for salt water taffy and ice cream- Welcome to Maine, the way life should be!

    Reply
  4. Molly

    I immediately knew you must have been at Allagash! My favorite beer name spotted on a barrel was “Respect your Elderberries.”
    Did you try their house beer? And did you get to go to the cool ship?
    Hands down favorite brewery tour!

    Reply
  5. Susan - Nurse on the Run

    I was up in Maine in July – LOVE it there. And eating lobster is always an experience – coming from the Midwest, we never really ate lobster, so cracking up the shells (and the insides…) always gets me. But it’s fun! There are about eight bazillion food trips I would like to take…

    Reply

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge