Maine: A Tour Downeast | Helen’s Restaurant - Machias
Writing this piece is bittersweet. A fire on July 11, 2014 burned the restaurant to the ground, days after we dined here. The story saddens me a bit, but it also reminds me of the stamina, dedication and resilience of Mainers. I don’t have an photos of our meal here; only the blueberry pie we ordered to go. It is THE pie of Maine. Helen’s Machias location (there is a newer one in Ellsworth) was opened in 1950 and is a Downeast institution, recognized by many, including Gourmet Magazine as a place to get amazing pie. The pies are filled with a mix of fresh and frozen Maine blueberries, a speciality of this part of the state. And boy is it hefty! There is no skimping here on the blueberries. The rest of the menu is classic coastal Maine fare - lots of simply and expertly prepared fried seafood. They seem to fry most everything in Maine (except lobster). Who knew? And I love it! There are some meat dishes, which I ordered. Don’t make the mistake I did. Get a seafood entree. And then order yourself a slice of pie.
Obviously, you can’t get this right now. But, the community has rallied behind Helen’s and owners David and Julie Barker plan to rebuild. So go and support this fine American classic when it reopens sometime in Spring 2015!