The standards for a great breakfast in Maine are high, hearkening back to the logging camps.
Lumbermen would refuse to work if they didn’t like the food. The output of the cooks, whose reputations grew among workers in the Maine woods, was as much a factor as pay in selecting where to work.
Camp cook culinary renown grew with mastery of breads, pastries, pie, and, of course, baked beans – which hearken back even further to Maine’s Native Americans, the Wabanaki, who prepared them with maple syrup and bits of venison or other meat.
That tradition of a hearty breakfast is alive and well today for visitors to Acadia National Park at Jeannie’s at 15 Cottage Street in Bar Harbor, which serves The Great Maine Breakfast.
It’s hard to resist the namesake breakfast on your first visit. The delicious homemade baked beans come with three eggs, grilled ham, home fries, toast, and a buttermilk pancake.
Of course, if your preference goes more toward black beans, you might opt for the three-egg Spanish omelet with provolone cheese. Topped with a very fresh and spicy salsa, it’s also served with home fries and homemade toast.
No Bar Harbor breakfast spot is popular – and, believe me, Jeannie’s is – if it doesn’t offer some version of eggs with lobster. Jeannie’s lobster specialty is an omelet filled with that iconic crustacean and topped with a creamy Mornay cheese sauce.
If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed. You can choose from blueberry pancakes or French toast stuffed with cream cheese and jam. Jeannie’s is also known for its strawberry rhubarb fruit spread, which is packaged with pancake mixes, as a great gift to take to those who had to stay home.
Vegans can relax with vegan oatmeal and walnut pancakes topped with a warm, savory homemade applesauce. If you’re a vegetarian who loves tofu, as my daughter does, go for the scrambled eggs with spiced tofu, peppers, and onions. It’s also topped with that deliciously fresh homemade salsa.
There’s nothing fancy about Jeannie’s, which doesn’t take reservations. But friendly and fast service will get you out early, as well fueled as any Maine woodsman, to tackle your hiking trail or carriage road in Acadia National Park.