13 June 10 • MAV

I have several eating spots which for years have felt like home to me. I am very curious if this kind of thing happens to you? I dream about popping my head into these spots, finding a place to sit and slowly enjoying the food and the people. I think about these places nonstop remembering certain meals I have had or certain people I have eaten there with. There is just something special about these spots. I walk in, maybe I know some of the good people who work there, making the food day in and day out, or maybe I don’t, and I automatically feel at my very best.

This sort of amazing feeling doesn’t come to me very often but when it does it sticks. I have been known to be a ‘regular’ at several places over the years saying ‘no’ to trying out newer eateries because I just need those regular comforts of ‘home’.

As luck would have it I will have the opportunity to show you a few of these favorite places over the next month. A couple are in the Midwest, where I’ll be visiting soon, and a couple are here on the east coast. One is right here in Maine and this week I took a much-needed day off from work and treated myself to a trip to that spot — Chase’s Daily in Belfast, Maine. This is a very exceptional and meaningful place in my life.

Chase’s is an easy 2-hour-drive from Portland and at least once a month, more in the summer, I drive up to this second home for breakfast or lunch and then meander down the coast back to my own home. When I tell people I drive 2 hours for lunch they look at me funny. It cracks me up! I love how shocked they are and all I can say is … it’s worth it!

Chase’s is strictly vegetarian (to which I continually have to endure eye-rolls from my father every summer when we go in for our traditional Chase’s family dinner) and all farm-fresh food. They do baked goods, cheese and farm veggies in their stunning space. They also always have a new and inspiring art show on display. I love how humble their offerings are and how they always have just what I am craving.

I have a hard time not ordering the breakfast burrito (when I go in for breakfast) and the beans & rice (when I go in for lunch) because I certainly am a creature of habit. My favorite baked good is their blueberry buckwheat muffin. Amazing! Not too sweet; whole grain taste. It’s just perfect!

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Throughout the summer I am going to show you some spots like these, my ‘second homes’, but also some of my favorite places (not just for food but rather for all good things!) right here in Maine. I get a lot of emails from people asking me for ‘Maine tips’ so let’s do it! I am excited to take you along for the ride.