OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine - For many families in the Northern Seacoast a visit to summertime playground Old Orchard Beach is a time-honored tradition.
We took the train up on Tuesday from Dover, and it only takes about 50 minutes to get there. Fares can range from $8-12 bucks for adults and around $4 for kids over 2, which is a bargain considering the cost of gas these days.
The nice thing about it is the OOB station is right downtown, just a few hundred feet from Old Orchard Street, the main thoroughfare that runs to the ocean.
We found the beaches, arcades and Old Orchard Street food stands doing a brisk business, but there are few places where you can sit down and eat in the shade.
We ended up walking up and down Old Orchard Street including The Pier and found restaurants either closed till late afternoon or as in the case at The Pier, just too pricy, like $25-$30 for a fried clam or scallop dinner.
We finally opted for the Beach Bagels Cafe, a bustling little place on the north side of Old Orchard Street near the GFB Scottish Pub.
We might have tried the pub, but it wasn't open till 5 p.m. and we needed lunch now.
Beach Bagels Cafe is a bit cramped for space, but it is clean and the staff are very friendly.
They also have quite a few outside tables with umbrellas to shield the sun.
They have a variety of specialty coffee chillers and smoothies for about $5 that are quite good.
Most of their full breakfasts are around $10, and their sandwiches range from $6-$9 and come with chips and a pickle.
Believe me, if you've got a hungry family to feed, you're gonna like these prices.
I had a tuna salad sandwich, which came with a generous helping of tuna, not too much mayo, and on a nice bed of green leafy lettuce and a kosher dill pickle for $9.
And they have gluten free bread for those who are gluten sensitive. I recommend you get it toasted however, be aware there can be some cross contamination since they use the same toaster.
Kudos to our server, who was well versed on gluten issues.
Another thumbs up as Beach Bagels Cafe uses only premium Boar's Head meats and cheeses.
They are located at 34 Old Orchard St. and are open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more info go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/beachbagelsoob/