Meredith and I have wanted to visit the town of Belfast, Maine for quite awhile. With a historic downtown on the water, a number of cool shops, and a food scene that fits nicely with the rest of Midcoast Maine’s top-notch restaurants, it seemed like the perfect place to spend a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago. Belfast also has the backing of a number of our friends, some of who make the trip two hours north at least once a month… just for the food!
Whenever we hear someone raving about the food in Belfast, two places are almost always the first to be mentioned – The Lost Kitchen and Chase’s Daily. Although we didn’t have a chance to try the former (trust us, it’s on our list), the much-talked about vegetarian brunch at the latter seemed like the perfect fit for a chilly, overcast Midcoast morning.
There are a few things that led us to believe that Chase’s Daily was the perfect decision once we arrived. First, the space is fantastic – large, open, warm with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls, and full of light from the front picture windows. Second, the sheer number of people and line of customers that didn’t balk at the idea of waiting half an hour to sit for breakfast. I’m pretty sure that the entire town of Belfast passes through the front doors at some point every Sunday morning. And finally, it always helps to see two people who’s taste and sense about great dining you know and trust, sitting at the first table inside the door – two hours from home! Our friends from the neighborhood, Darren and Michaela, in town for a wedding, are usually spot-on about some of the best places to eat, so seeing them sitting there only reassured us that we were in for a treat.
I’ll have to admit that when Meredith told me (conveniently after it was too late to turn back on our way to Belfast) that Chase’s Daily was a vegetarian restaurant, I briefly paused. Meat is not a requisite in my diet, but… what is brunch without country ham, sausage, or bacon?! Should I stop at a diner on the way to get a to-go bag of breakfast meat?! Why oh why cruel world, have you forsaken me?! All of these things quickly passed through my mind, but I decided to be an adult and begrudgingly continued on my way, and a couple of hours later, stuffed to the brim with deliciousness, had completely forgotten that pig wasn’t part of this happy equation.
In the typical Sunday Brunch, “treat yourself” fashion, Meredith and I ate like it was going out of style. We both ordered breakfast scrambles (with just subtly different combinations of feta, cheddar, mushrooms, onions, and kale), complete with delicious thin-sliced (almost potato chip style) home fries and grits (yes grits – not cream of wheat, or polenta, or whatever Northerners typically have), and split an order of thick sourdough french toast, because why not? Meredith even started with some chocolate milk, and before we knew it the fresh, wholesome, and very tasty ingredients of our meal had lulled us into a post-brunch stupor that we were all too happy to walk-off around town (we recommend the Veterans’ Memorial pedestrian bridge across the Passaagassawaukeag, with views of Belfast from the water) before climbing back into the car for the return trip south.
Belfast, and Chase’s Daily, you can bet we’ll be back.