The seating at Day’s overlooks the Cousins River in Yarmouth. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

Whenever I cross back over the Piscataqua River Bridge after a weekend away and see all the cars with out-of-state plates going the other direction, I feel sad for those travelers who have to leave, and smugly satisfied with my life decisions.

I got to experience that feeling for the first time since the start of the pandemic, when on a recent Sunday I decided to take a spur-of-the-moment day trip to the midcoast and stopped at Day’s, the seafood shack on Route 1 beside the highway in Yarmouth.

Vacationers lined up in front of the window to order what I imagined was their last meal on the way out, while others ventured into the adjacent lobster pound to take a taste of Maine home with them. As I waited behind them in line, I thought, “Oh me? I’m just grabbing a quick bite.”

Day’s sits just off the highway on Route 1 in Yarmouth. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

But we all know, as much as people from away might think we eat lobster for every meal, it’s still a treat. I was pleased to find, however, that Day’s lobster rolls were on special for $15.99, and when you got two, which my day-tripping companion and I did, the second was only $11. That was a good enough excuse to add a clam chowder for $5.99 and try the coleslaw for $1.99.

When I heard the first order number called out and realized mine was 20 away, I worried I’d never make it to Camden and back that night, but the numbering system was deceiving, and it took less time than I feared – about 20 minutes.

Another pleasant surprise was the serenity of the seating area out back, despite the proximity to highway traffic. We chose a couple oversized Adirondack chairs lined up at the back of the lawn, where picnic tables overlook the Cousins River. There are also tables in a covered but not fully enclosed area by the pickup window.

A grilled hot dog bun filled with hand-picked lobster meat from Day’s in Yarmouth. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

When I looked into the bag, I thought the lobster rolls were missing, but there they were at the bottom, tightly wrapped in tin foil and seemingly small. Deceived again. The grilled hot dog bun was stuffed with fresh-tasting lobster meat, bound by just enough mayo. The clam chowder was thick but not gloppy and milky with a strong flavor of the sea. I thought it could use some salt and pepper, but there were no seasoning packets in the bag and weary of the pandemic rigmarole involved with doing anything, I just dumped in the bag of oyster crackers that came with it, rather than going to look for some.

For a pit stop on the road, the meal was more than satisfying, especially knowing I could come back and have it again the next day.

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