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May 21, 2002 10:00 PM

U-Maine-Orono Restaurants

  • m

I am going to be in Orono, Maine this Saturday and wondered if there are any neat places to take myself(a food junkie and caterer in Kennebunkport) and my 16 year old, daughter....Needs to be fun and funky for us!!!
Many thanks,

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  1. I would suggest you try Market Cafe on Stillwater Ave. halfway between McDonald's and Burger King (less funky than some, but tasty food). It is just a little converted store that serves Greek-inspired sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and usually a few entrees with pasta. Also, I think the type of food here is especially great for summer so you might get some useful summer catering ideas.

    If you are able to go into Bangor for lunch, then Cafe Nouveau across from the county courthouse on Hammond Street is fun, funky, and delicious. It is, however, more expensive than the Orono places.

    The Thai restaurant in Mill Street (past Pat's and Margarita's, opposite side) is tasty and the glassed in patio is good for people watching. Next door is The Store/Ampersand which is a small gourmet/natural foods store that usually has a soup and sandwich each day. On a good day this place is funky and the food is good. On an off day, the soup is just O.K.

    I wish I could tell you there is one place that is fun, funky, and has great food in Orono. Margarita's Mexican Restaurant can be fun, maybe funky, but I don't care much for their food. Ditto Bear Brew Pub, although I've only been there twice and they have some interesting menu items that I haven't tried. There is of course the quintessential UMaine dining experience of Pat's Pizza.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Albie

      "There is of course the quintessential UMaine dining experience of Pat's Pizza."

      Wow does that bring back memories...

      We used to have Pat's Pizza delivered to the dorm more than 40 years ago. The sign of a veteran Pat's eater was the "drain and eat" procedure: When taking the first bite of a slice, we would hold the slice pointed down into the box. A full half cup of oil would drain off the slice and then it was safe to take a bite.

      Or so it seemed.

    2. Agreed on Margarita's and Pat's -- Which seems to exist in a never-changing space out of time. The Thai restaurant on Mill Street is fine. The ingredients are fresh, and if you ask for spicy, you will get spicy. There is also Woodman's which is a bar with a sit down area. The steaks are excellent, the wine list is reasonable, and the chef can actually make a sauce.

      Another restaurant that exists out of time is Governor's, up near McDonald's in Old Town. It's a lot like old-fashioned diner food, with the hot turkey sandwich, lemon merinque pie, and so on. I've always enjoyed my time there.

        1. re: jackattack

          I remember my one visit to the Oronoka( in the late 1980's)as a standout dining experience-truly a memory, not just a meal. Came upon this post searching to see if the restaurant is still in business as I'm planning a trip to Orono this summer. Apparently it is no more but came across a nice article by B. Tatham Johnson online in Wolf Moon Journal about her memorable meal there.

          1. re: jackattack

            I've never been there for dinner, but I did go there a few times during my college experience to enjoy some bands around the 96-97 timeframe. Good times there!

          2. Yes! Another Black Bear graduate checking in. Haven't been that far north since, oh, 1990, but have fond memories of Pat's and Margaritas. Back then, I would scrape together $2.50 for a pizza with green peppers! Glad to hear there's a Thai restaurant in town. In Bangor, there also was a Mexican restaurant I remember that had the best cheese enchiladas, as they put raisins in them. The Bagel shop on the corner in town also was good, but not sure if it's not there.

            Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I haven't thought about these places in years! :-))

            2 Replies
            1. re: Addisonchef


              1. re: Addisonchef

                I remember a notable experience that I had many times during college was gathering together a bunch of friends late-late at night (3am or so) and making the trek down to Dysarts for ice cream, burgers, etc... Not exactly high-class food, but it sure was a nice experience.

              2. I was dreaming of good pizza today, and my thoughts always return to the best pizza I've ever eaten...Pat's!

                Have yet to find a good slice like that in Toronto. Absolutely delicious crust (not too thin/too thick-perfectly done), excellent tomato sauce, and the toppings! Oh those huge roasted red peppers and real pieces of baked ham. Fresh, fresh fresh! I'm getting starving just thinking about it.