Our sailboat is in the shop. Not ideal timing, in the middle of July. But the upside is (and I'm searching hard for an upside), we get to use our weekends to do summer things that we'd otherwise skip in favor of sailing on Casco Bay. So that's how I discovered that I am a lake person.
I don't think I had ever been to a Maine lake in the summertime before. But yesterday was the perfect time to go, when the thunderstorms were rolling through creating a thick coastal fog. It was sunny and 75* up in New Gloucester or at least after those thunderstorms passed.
We headed to the northern end of Sabbathday Lake, lured to Outlet Beach by Bresca and the Honey Bee. Former Portland restaurant owners and chefs, Krista Kern Desjarlais and Erik Desjarlais bought the Snack Shack a few years ago (3 now?) and are serving really awesome lakeside food, cooked over a wood-fired grill.
When we first arrived at the lake, we had a little rain left to wait out, so we made a blanket tent on the picnic table and read books under it in the drizzle. When the rain stopped, the grill was fired up again, and we went over to the shack for lunch. The service is casual - order at a window and your food will be delivered a while later on a cheery red plastic tray. There's picnic tables (some covered) around the beach on which to eat.
The menu is (mostly) hot dogs, hamburgers, and salads; we went with two dogs and the Bresca shaved Brussels sprouts salad with pecorino, candied walnuts, and a roasted garlic dressing. I had the Indochine dog, with pickled carrot, radish, cilantro, basil, Fresno chili, cucumber, citrus chili, mayo and hoisin - spicy! and delicious. A. had the Canuk dog with smoked cheddar, caramelized onion, maple brûlée omelet, and herb relish - the omelet was amazingly crunchy and sweet, a fantastic and unusual hot dog topping.
After lunch, we took our inflatable dinghy out across the lake, and then killed the engine and floated in the sun until we got hot. A quick dip off the side into the cool, clear, blissfully fresh, and shark-free water had me hooked. I love lake, especially one with food as good as at Outlet Beach.
**Outlet Beach and the Snack Shack are cash only for food, beach admission, and boat launch rates.