Wednesday, April 16, 2014
If you’re looking for that little slice of heaven (the way life used to be?) — and exceptional food — then head over to the shores of the sweetest little bathing hole called Outlet Beach where the inimitable Bresca and the Honey Bee has set up shop.
The best ice cream nearly anywhere at the snack shack at Outlet Beach
The order up window at the Honey Bee
Nestled deep in the greater confines near the Shaker Village settlement, on a picturesque wedge of Sabbath Day Lake, Outlet Beach has been a neighborhood summer haven where traditions have been kept up for years.
Krista Kern Dejarlais radiantly happy in her Honey Bee kitchen
Krista Kern Dejarlais, formerly of Portland’s Bresca, and her Honey Bee have given new life to this little culinary-minded snack shack. She not only commandeers the food but owns the little bathing beach, which she bought from its long-time owner who still lives across the road. You pay a nominal fee to enter this waterside camp with all your gear to sunbathe, swim, boat and splash around in the warm waters of the lake.
The shack has been at Outlet Beach for nearly one hundred years. And I went there this Sunday during a spell of perfect summer weather.
The Outlet Beach strand is storybook pretty
Frolic-free, a swimmer perfecting handstands in the lake
Krista's menu is still basically burgers and dogs but with a difference. Call it the artisanal version of a master chef’s way with the snack shack genre. The lettuce and tomato on the burger are local, fresh from the garden. The burger is perfectly cooked, just a shade beyond pink. Even the hot dogs have substance, being all natural, nitrite-free specimens.
A refreshing glass of perfect old-fashioned lemonade
Margo, Outlet Beach denizen and former proprietor of the beach grounds
We ordered the Honey Bee Burger made from natural beef and topped with pickled jalapeno, tomato, smoked cheddar and bathed in a special sauce.
The Honey Bee burger
The Beach Dog was delicious with its incredible cheese sauce stoked down the middle and topped with onions caramelized in Belgian ale.
The Beach Dog
The camp grounds along the beach
A perfect spot to enjoy the setting
Don’t’ miss Krista’s homemade ice cream. The strawberry, with its custard rich smooth-creamy texture was intense with strawberry essence made from this year’s crop. The black raspberry ice cream was just as intense. Both were served with pizzelle wafers from Dejarlais's bake shop on premises.
The perfect scoops of ice cream--black raspberry and strawberry
Dejarlais is renowned as a world-class pastry chef and when the snack shack stops serving its daily menu after Labor Day it will still be open on weekends, fall through the winter, offering her wondrous pastries. Once the lake freezes it also becomes a hot spot for ice fisherman who will be able to amble up to the shack for pastries, sweets and breads, and where a fire pit along the shore will be an inviting feature indeed at this special lakeside destination.
Photography by John Golden and Craig Dame
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.