Maine - Best Route One Dining Brunswick to Camden
- Keefer Lucas
I was participating in a previous thread about Sarah's Pizza in Wiscasset, which got me thinking about Route 1 dining options specifically between Brunswick and Camden.
Naturally, folks are welcome to participate in any and all discussions on the board, but I would like to suggest that for my purpose here if you find yourself writing something to the effect of "Just a few minutes off Route One" or "Very close to Route One" that your contributions are misplaced. I am talking about making a left or right hand turn off of Route One, into the restaurant's parking lot.
The Miss Brunswick Diner is a GREAT choice for lunch - a redone, upscaled but still appealing Worcester diner on Pleasant Street (Route 1) in Brunswick. I haven't eaten there in about a year so I will refrain from discussing menu items, but will say that in the three or four times I have been there it has been a pleasant dining experience, both in providing a Worcester diner experience and decent food.
Across the street from the Miss Brunswick is the Starfish Grill, which ranks as Brunswick and the mid-coast's finest seafood restaurants. It seems quite remarkable to me that the Starfish Grill fairly owns the category of fine seafood dining within the immediate Bath/Brunswick area. The Starfish Grill promotes a nuevo seafood menu and would be a fantastic dinner choice if you are either arriving in the midcoast region at dinner time, or looking for someplace special to cap off a weekend stay on a Sunday night.
The Taste of Maine - Depending on the price flashing on their giant LED sign, it may well offer you the best value for a two lobster boiled dinner, and if that's what you are looking for its as good a place as any on the Route One corridor. Other than that, its a Sysco restaurant for better or worse ("Hey, this chowder tastes just like the chowder I just had last week in Stamford!").
The Miss Wiscasset Diner - I haven't been there since the state-wide smoking ban took effect, but back in the day it was a place where you could eat a well gridled breakfast and leave with the same smokey smell as your sausage. Unlike other "Miss" diners around New England, the Miss Wiscasset is NOT a Worcester diner, so don't get your hopes up. You know, I have seen alot written about the history of Worcester diners, but nothing to explain the origins of the near obligatory "Miss" in so many of their names.
The Sea Basket in Wiscasset has a great way with chowders and serves up consistently fine fried seafood. You will find the occasional negative post about the place, but thats fairly typical of an operation that is essentially on a high volume restaurant dealing with a deep fried menu.
Red's - what can you say that hasn't been said again and again? If you feel the need to wait an hour for an $18 lobster roll you won't be disappointed. I frequently suggest NOT waiting and grabbing your lobster roll at the stand located across the street on the little waterfront wharf (conveniently located right on Route One).
Sarah's - people have varying reviews of Sarah's. I have been consistently disappointed there as I am a soup and chowder kind of guy, and find that theirs haven't typically set up long enough for the flavors to meld. I'd suggest that you stick with the pizzas and calzones. That said, I find that when most people RAVE about Sarah's they are harkening back to the days when it was an off-beat, hole in the wall little funky place. It hasn't been that way for years now...
The Muddy Rudder - Edgecomb. I do believe it has closed down now. I predict that when it reopens it will once again offer a menu straight from "Suggested Menus" section of Sysco.
Moody's Diner - Waldoboro. Its a bit of a haul from Wiscasset all the way to Waldoboro. There are a couple of places in Damascotta (that place with the integrated rail car would count because they own frontage on Route One) but I haven't eaten there in over a decade. Moody's is fabled and one of the very few places that I believe has survived the transition from local favorite to cult classic. The service is consistently good, the menu hasn't changed forever, and the people in the booth next to you have been coming there for decades (as opposed to Red's, when most locals have never actually had more than a hotdog - if that). I would always get the meatloaf and mashed potatoes there - when its available. Also, be sure to leave room for dessert.
Bodacious Breads - located more or less across the street from Moody's, its THE place to stop and grab a couple of loaves of sourdough on your way home, so you have a few days of tasty bread to remind you of your trip Downeast.
Someone else is going to have to take it from here...
I agree that anyone looking for exceptional dining experiances in Midcoast has another thing coming but there are some edible spots along the way. I would suggest that anyone craving a sandwich in Brunswick head to Big Top Delhi. It's on the main street of Brunswick and about as close to Rt.1 one as it get's. Awesome sandwiches for breakfast or lunch. My suggestion is either the Tom Thumb or the Gobbler.
I would also suggest Treats in Wiscasset. Stop in for a cup of coffee breakfast or lunch. It's small but the food is good and it comes from a local farm which helps the economy. Awesome fruit pies
There is a new restaurant on Rt one just before the kayak dealer in Woolwich/Wiscasset. Supposed to be decent. It's owned by a couple who were in the world trade center when it was attached. Luckily they made it out but shortly there after they needed a lifestyle change and came to Maine.
If your looking to buy seafood along the way stop at Simpson's Seafood in Wiscasset. They are the best. If they have black back flounder.....get it.
Other than that your pretty much out of luck.
I second the Thomaston Cafe. But you forgot all about Fat Boy's (I think that's the name) between Brunswick and Bath, right across from the Naval Air Station. Oops, actually that's probably not Route 1, but is the old Bath rd, perhaps.
Anyway, I've only been there once, but they had a good cheap lobster roll (better than McDonald's, which they serve all summer in Maine), and decent cole slaw, but more importantly, it's one of those old places where you park and they come to your car to take the order and then bring your food on a tray that hangs off the window.
It's both the food AND the mood. Well, I'm not saying the food's great, but it's a great experience, esp. for the kids. And the lobster roll was decent, and cost under $5, if I recall correctly.
More votes for the folks across the road from Red's and a gazillion gold stars for Sea Basket. I will repeat, the BEST fish chowder around. Sarah's is good enough but occasionally too cute. I've heard mixed reviews on Thomaston Cafe, but our stop in August yielded top drawer everything. And Bodacious Bread, yes, indeed!
A couple in downtown Rockland:
The Brown Bag for excellent breakfasts and great lunch sandwiches, as well as baked goods.
And, of course, Wasses Hot Dogs.