The weather was equal parts spectacular and, Daytime Dad thought, long overdue.
An authoritative sun shimmered with all its might, and only a vivid imagination could put clouds in this sky.
It was an ideal time for a Sunday lunchtime drive with the Little One and Expecting Mom.
The destination? Wherever the road – in this case U.S. Route 1 – would take us.
Or Wiscasset, in particular Red’s Eats.
We had never been to the Maine Street eatery before and it seemed like a perfect time to check it out.
Red’s Eats, a lobster shack in downtown Wiscasset, has developed an unparalleled reputation as the place to go for a hot dog, lobster roll or clams.
“And we have our homemade batter,” said Cassandra Bickford, 27, a Wiscasset native who works at Red’s Eats.
Bickford’s grandfather, Al “Red” Gagnon, bought the business in 1977.
“My mom (Cindy Gagnon), my aunt and two uncles run it now,” Bickford said. “And they haven’t changed a thing.”
When asked what is the most popular food at Red’s, Bickford said without hesitation,
“The lobster rolls. We went through eight and a half tons of lobster last year.”
Eight and a half tons? Impressive.
What about the hot dogs, Daytime Dad asks?
“The hot dogs haven’t changed,” Bickford continued. “We haven’t changed the price either. They are $1. They’re popular, too.”
We had never been, but the long summertime lines that are a constant with Red’s Eats, coupled with a few recommendations, piqued our interest.
So off we went.
When we arrived in downtown Wiscasset, we broke for Red’s and quickly got in line, a sense of anticipation growing.
Expecting Mom, needing a place to sit, took Little One down by the river with the hopes of finding a picnic table. Daytime Dad held our spot in line, and devouring a Red’s Eats lobster roll had never before been this close to happening.
And then it happened. We don’t know why or how, but Little One was in a Big Meltdown, the kind only an n-a-p could quell.
Expecting Mom appeared from around the corner with crying Little One in front.
“It’s time to go,” Expecting Mom says.
“Wait, time to go?” Daytime Dad thinks to himself. “We just got here. They have lobster rolls. And hot dogs. Time to go? Really?”
Daytime Dad scooped up Little One, his tears and screams drawing unwanted attention. The meltdown continued as we crossed Main Street en route to the car.
No lobster roll today.
There was some biting, including one that left a fine imprint on the shoulder of Daytime Dad, who inexplicably and regrettably dropped one of George Carlin’s seven dirty words.
Definitely no lobster roll today.
Little One was upset. Expecting Mom was upset.
We arrived in Wiscasset hungry and happy. We left hungry and emotional, a bad combination.
Red’s Eats was going to have to wait for another day.