Aug 112012

Abel’s gets everyone’s vote for “lobster pound in the best setting.” The large, open dining room provides postcard-perfect views of Somes Sound while you eat nestled in knotty pine.

Or you can sit outside at picnic tables in the spruce grove lit by torchieres, with the fragrance of the wood fires boiling the lobsters in the nearby shed.

Abel's Lobster Pound picnic tables

The staff runs – literally – back and forth between the dining room and this shed where the lobsters are also stored.

At Abel’s you don’t choose your lobster, but simply specify your size preference, but this curious reporter had a chance to get up close and personal.

The setting is the first thing that differentiates Abel’s among lobster pounds.  The second is the range of their lobster preparations.  For example, you can start your dinner with lobster stew or a lobster cocktail appetizer, although we generally prefer their steamed clams.

Lobster dinners, offered in the small, medium, or large sizes of the lobsters (plus twins), come with homemade rolls and baked potato or French fries.  But Abel’s presents many alternatives to the traditional boiled lobster dinner.  You can have your lobster in a salad, in fact, in a Caesar salad.  Or opt for lobster sauté, lobster Newburg, or lobster Alfredo.  If there are any visitors who don’t savor Maine’s iconic crustacean, Abel’s menu also includes prime rib, rib-eye steak, and grilled chicken breast.

At most of Mount Desert Island’s lobster pounds, you stand in line to order your lobster.  Waitress service is the third thing that differentiates Abel’s.  It’s fast and friendly, reflecting the fact that Abel’s has been in business since 1939.  After all, the proprietor started working there at eight-years-old.

Looking for the best places to eat during a trip to Acadia National Park?  Check out the restaurant reviews at OUR ACADIA, which include everything from tips on other lobster pounds to the best breakfasts in bar harbor to where to dine with kids.

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The Maine Debate:  Hard or Soft Shell Lobster?

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