Meals on paws

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Our new pup is putting a bit of a crimp in our travel style, since he’s too young to leave either at home or in a kennel. Instead, we’re using our travel as opportunities to socialize him, and bringing him to restaurants with outdoor seating areas that allow dogs.

We started with meals on the road en route home from Halifax, N.S., where he was born. We transported both Dooley, our pup, and one of his sisters, who continued on to her home in New Hampshire. That 12-hour trip included mostly highway rest stops, although we did stop at Just Barb’s in Stockton Springs, and the staff there couldn’t have been any more helpful or friendly. We ate outside on one of the picnic tables, and the waitress kept checking on us. Just Barb’s is great for an inexpensive meal. It’s famed for its fried fish, which is what we ordered. No complaints. The two of us split one order, and couldn’t finish it.

Last week, we took Dooley down to Round Pond for lobster, meeting friends who brought Jeff, Dooley’s dad. My usual digs are Round Pond Lobster, but this time we went to Muscongus Bay Lobster, right across the parking lot. It’s much bigger, and has a wider menu (crab and lobster rolls, oysters). We stuck with the usual, a one-pounder with steamers and corn. Really, you can’t beat the Round Pond setting, and the pup was completely exhausted (a good thing) by the time we headed home. Only down side was our timing. We arrived at peak hour. It took about a half hour to wind our way through the line to order, then another half hour to get the bugs.

Today, we took Dooley and his big bro, Bernie, to lunch in Rockland at the Brass Compass Cafe. It’s smack downtown, and has a nice shaded patio area, where we ate. This place is a gem. Great food, great service, all-day breakfast, delicious lunch specials and reasonable prices. I had eggs with a haddock cake—cake was nicely browned and crisp, while the potatoes and haddock inside remained moist and flavorful. Tom had a Tuscan chicken grilled tortilla—like a quesadilla—with pesto, tomatoes, and carmelized onions, served with a side salad. Another stellar choice.

Next up: Introducing Dooley to the pleasures of Round Top ice cream. Mmmmmm.

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