The Hot Chocolate and Kahlua Cocktail isn’t on the menu at Muddy Rudder in Yarmouth, but the bartender would be happy to make one upon request. Sande Updegraph / For The Forecaster

This will be a departure from my usual list of food and drink activities, but I have recently tasted some yummy items in the area that I want to share with you. These are not elegant or considered gourmet – just tasty and satisfying.

Sande Updegraph lives in Brunswick and is a longtime food writer. She can be reached at

• Hot Chocolate and Kahlua Cocktail at Muddy Rudder in Yarmouth. This is a smooth and perfectly blended opening or ending to a meal on a chilly night. It is served very hot and topped with real cream. I think that it is best sipped through a straw to get all of the rich chocolate and coffee flavors with every taste. It is not on the menu (yet) but the bartender can make it for you. 1335 U.S. Route 1, Yarmouth.

• Monkfish Stew at Frontier Café is one of my favorite fish soups. It is prepared by Hurricane’s Premium Soups and Chowders in Greene and combines monkfish and lobster stock with Maine potatoes, carrots and cream. The result is a rich, flavorful stew with a bit of piquancy. It is also available at the Brunswick Diner and Sea Dog Brewery in Topsham. 14 Maine St., Fort Andross, Brunswick.

• The Grilled Cheese with Tomato sandwich at Scarlet Begonias is perfectly prepared. The sourdough bread is crispy and buttery on the outside while remaining soft and chewy inside. The cheese is gooey without being stringy and the tomato slices add a complementary bit of acid to balance the richness. My favorite grilled cheese in the southern Midcoast. 16 Station Ave., Brunswick.

• I had the Turkey Salad on Honey Wheat sandwich at Wild Oats Bakery & Café, and it is now a new favorite. The turkey is blended with maple syrup, mayo and sundried tomatoes, then layered with fresh baby spinach leaves and grated carrots. It is a simple but satisfying combination of sweet, savory, smooth and crunchy. 166 Admiral Fitch Ave., Brunswick Landing.

• The Beef & Bean Chili at Sea Dog Brewing in Topsham is perfect on a raw, damp spring night. It is a crock full of ground beef and beans with just the right amount of pepper for a tangy aftertaste. Topped with melted cheese and salsa, its spices warm your whole body. 1 Bowdoin Mill Island.

• Cheese Crisps from Park Row Kitchen in Brunswick are superb snacks or accompaniments to cocktails or any kind of tart beverage. Made from lots of cheddar, butter and spices, they melt in your mouth and leave a peppery finish that lasts just long enough to compel you to have another. Order online at

Food and other news

Maiz Colombian Street Food will open its new Brunswick location at 11 Pleasant St. around May 1. This is the location of the former Odd Duck Restaurant. Owner Martha Leonard said the menu will focus on arepas (stuffed corn pockets), empanadas and bowls based on rice and beans filled with vegetable and sauce options.

The Maine Tasting Center in Wiscasset is opening for the season May 28, offering cooking and pairing classes, Maine-made food items in the tasting room and special events. 506 Old Bath Road; for details.

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