Category Archives: Restaurant Review

Circumnavigating New Zealand — Akaroa; Best Fish and Chips ever at Murphy’s on the Corner


Akaroa, New Zealand

Ursula had heard that Akaroa is the place to go for fish and chips, and we read up on several recommendations. Alas, we did not go with those, but instead found a place on our own. If we had taken the most recommended place we would have wound up eating lunch at Bully Hayes:

Bully Hayes Restaurant & Bar

But a quick look at the offerings on the plates served outside left us yearning for a place we found on our own about half an hour earlier, when we stopped at the Coronation Library to snag a Wi-Fi signal for a bit:

Wi-Fi at Coronation Library on Rue Jolie near Beach Road

Just two minutes’ walk south, on the corner of Church Street and Rue Jolie, we passed a mouthwatering little place that was packed, with people waiting to take one of the few tables available. So, we headed back and decided to give this place a try. This is Murphy’s on the Corner:

Murphy’s on the Corner

The menu appears to change daily, as does the fish used in their fish and chips:

Murphy’s daily menu

I must say that heading back to Murphy’s from Bully Hayes was a definite win. I used to live in England, and I’ve traveled all over both Scotland and Ireland. In none of those places, world-renowned for fish and chips, have either Ursula or I ever had an example with incredibly tasty with a batter this delightfully light and crispy:

Best fish and chips EVER ! ! !

But enough about lunch. Let’s finish today with another view of the town:

Akaroa, New Zealand

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Post Cruise — Lunch at Crabby’s Bar & Grill in Clearwater


Crabby’s Dockside

Time for a late lunch along Causeway Boulevard at Crabby’s Dockside. That 37 Causeway Blvd. address is actually a bit misleading. The restaurant is more easily approached from Coronado Drive.

One look at the menu sold us:

Crabby's Dockside lunch 10-21-2019 4-29-16 PM

Crabby’s menu

Alas, the air conditioned spaces had a wait, so we went up to the open air third floor deck:

Crabby’s open-air dining on the upper deck

Despite the warmth of the day, and the touch of humidity, we enjoyed both the meal and the views:

View from Crabby’s upper deck

Ursula opted for one of her favorites, the stuffed flounder:

Ursula about to dive in to her stuffed flounder

It was rather tasty, and came with a choice of two sides. For this Ursula chose the coleslaw and the mashed potatoes:

Ursula’s stuffed flounder — Yummy!

I went with the fried grouper and shrimp, and I paired those with slaw and fries:

Grouper and shrimp for me

Let’s take a last look at Crabby’s from the Coronado Drive approach:

Crabby’s Dockside as approached from Coronado Drive

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Fall Foliage Cruise — Lunch at DiMillo’s, Portland, Maine


Tour boat heading back into Portland Harbor

Our boat tour was almost at an end, and Ursula had planned for us a lunch at DiMillo’s by the Water. This floating restaurant is actually inside an old ferry that has quite the history: Built in 1941 as The New York (service between New Castle, Delaware and Pennsville, New Jersey); sold to Virginia in 1951 and renamed The Norfolk (service between Norfolk and Hampton); sold in 1958 to Rhode Island and renamed The Newport (service between Newport and Jamestown); Sold in 1969 to the city of Pawtucket, R.I., and used as a youth center art colony; changed hands yet again in 1977 to the Setaucket Yacht Club of Port Jefferson, N.Y. for use as a clubhouse and for boat storage; and, finally, sold in 1980 to the DiMillo family, and opened two years later as the restaurant you see here in today’s article.

DiMillo’s is housed in a former ferry

But before we get to lunch, let’s enjoy the final few moments of our tour boat excursion:

Portland by tour boat

Now let’s had back into DiMillo’s Marina:

DiMillo’s Marina (floating restaurant in the background on the left)

If you’re looking for DiMillo’s on the Water from Commercial Street, you won’t see the actual restaurant as it sits way back at the end of the marina. You will find on the street, however, this convenient landmark:

DiMillo’s on the Water by land

I neglected to photograph the interior, and in retrospect that was a major omission on my part. It’s beautifully appointed inside. But let’s get down to the food, starting with a look at DiMillo’s lunch menu as of October, 2019:

DiMillo’s on the Water menu

Ursula opted for her usual, which by now you know means seafood chowder. Her taste was starting to go, apparently from a head cold, but rich, thick with seafood, and quite good:

Ursula’s seafood chowder

I splurged and ordered off the dinner menu. I went with the ‘Admiral’s Portion’ of the ‘Lazy Lobster’, which is lobster already liberated from the shell and served in butter. Along with it I opted for the cheesy polenta, which was okay but not great (I prefer my own crispy polenta):

Doug’s “Lazy Lobster” (admiral’s portion) with polenta

There was nothing disappointing about the lobster, however. It was quite a good size portion, as you can see from this closeup:

Closeup of “Lazy Lobster” in butter

After lunch Adventure of the Seas was less than an hour from departure, and we really didn’t want to miss the boat, so to speak, so we started hoofing it back to the ship. As we approached the ship, I decided to take this photo of disused pylons protruding from the waters alongside the cruise ship dock:

Old, disused pylons in Portland Harbor

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Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, Restaurant Review, travel, vacation