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Waterville, ME grub

LA chowhound going to visit some old family in Waterville, ME later this month - anything special worth seeking out in that twon or the vicinity? (will have car)
Anything special would be appreciated, but looking primarily for places to eat around $10 per person, $20 max w/o drinks

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  1. Weathervane is a New England chain and the quality is hit or miss....we've had some outstanding steamed clams there and also the world's worst lobster roll. Prices are low.

    Governor's is a Maine chain where you can usually find fried maine shrimp or an appetizer-sized portion of broiled scallops in your price range. Daily specials under $10.

    Alden Camps is the best kept secret in the area. I think dinner is about 20 bucks and its BYOB. They only accept reservations on a few nights of the week but it is well worth the drive out to the lake. Sample menus are on their website, they have quite a few choices, and though there is a new chef this year, food there has always been exceptional. www.aldencamps.com

    Don't miss the North Street Dairy for unbelievable Fresh Banana Ice Cream, Cookie Dough Ice Cream, or maine-fave Grapenut Ice Cream. Peanut Butter Ice Cream with dark chocolate chips is another good one. I don't recommend their chocolate-based flavors however.

    Bolley's Famous Franks is the classic Waterville stop for snapper hot dogs smothered in onions and served with some of the best french fries since the county fair. Sprinkle them with vinegar and eat them waterville-maine style!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jackattack

      all three of these are now musts.
      and i'll sprinkle vinegar on anything so the fact that it's encouraged is a big plus!

    2. The Last Unicorn, on Silver Street, downtown. Affordable daily specials, and soup/sandwiches, more pricey regular entrees, very good quality overall, including greens and vegetables. I had a steak there last winter that I'm still thinking about fondly. My sister had a chicken dish with gouda - also delicious (we swapped bites).

      The mexican restaurant adjacent to the Railroad Square Cinema -can't remember the name, but the businesses share the same entrance. Their menu is small but the burritos and enchiladas I've had there have been tasty and generous portion-wise. A good place to catch a bite before going to see a non-mainstream film.

      Brick-oven pizza also right next to Railroad Square, across the parking lot at The Grand Central Cafe. Salads there are a little iceberg-y, but the sandwiches and pizza are very good, and the atmosphere is funky and relaxed.

      For food to eat at home, my favorite place to shop in the area is The Green Spot, just off the old interstate exit 33 headed toward Oakland/Belgrade. A traditional European-style (whatever that is - but they are so much more than just a farm stand) green grocer, lots of local produce, some of it organic, fresh fruit, also baked goods, pies, and deli salads made on the premises, then a large selection of wine, cheese, and fresh seafood. Run by two sisters who are a pleasure to visit. I like to stop to pick up something when I'm headed out that way to visit family.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sarahsbooks

        I'm not too sure how "local" that produce is at the Green Spot. In the early mornings, I've seen the same truck that delivers to Hannaford stopping at The Green Spot, and unloading produce.

        1. re: jackattack

          I've seen that truck too - most of the fruit and some of the veg is standard supermarket stuff, you are correct. But I've also seen the Maine produce truck, and have gotten good local salad greens, carrots, taters, etc., there. Also, the local berries right now are very fine, raspberries, and blueberries of course.

          1. re: sarahsbooks

            Good to know! I'll have to stop in and check it out. Here we've been shopping at the supermart thinking it was all the same stuff at half the price. Raspberries.........yum!

      2. also--

        Lobster Trap has good deafood, reasonable and very casual.

        Jorgenson's downtown is great for sandwiches, snacks.

        And the best sandwiches ever-- Big G's in Winslow. YUM!

        1. i heartily second the Big G's reco. very fresh sandwiches on homemade bread, ridiculously sized, and very reasonable. also great baked desserts. also, in winslow, there is a thai/chinese/korean place called 'taste of asia' or asian taste' that is family run and quite good. i was in waterville a few weeks ago, and followed jackattack's reco for north street dairy and was delighted. it's a trip back in time in terms of decor and prices, but delicious. enjoy!

          1. Bread Box Cafe (<$20 for substantial lunch and more expensive ? dinner) sorta bistro, excellent salads and nice fish and pasta, and Freedom Cafe - just dinner - soul food. Both are just delicious!

            1. Well we took some of these reocmmendations and had some very nice chow around Waterville.

              1st stop: north coast dairy, which was w/in walking distance of my family. Had the ginger and the grapenut. I love ginger and that ice cream was gingerfilled and just perfect. And I had to try the grapenut. Now I don't milk on my cereal so my meories of grapenut are quite dry and tough to say the least, but grapenut in ice cream was perfect - softened it up idelaly and had a good earthy flavor.
              also tried bites of black raspberry...mmm

              also went to Big G.s in Winslow....wow, what a menu. I ordered the whole Sammy Davis Jr.: corned beef with hot peppers, tomatoe, mustard, on pumpernickel (i opted out of the cream cheese.) First, i love sammy davis jr., second, i love corned beef. This was an amazing sandwich and HUGE - four sandiwches. I ate three. Slices of bread are like an inch thick; the hot peppers will now be standard on all future corned beef sandwiches of mine.
              next time I'd try it toasted. My diniing companion had the Miles Standwich - turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing. She loved it. We also shared an m&M cookie for dessert- perfect butteriness.

              wanted to get to alden creek but couldn't get my 90 year old great aunt to agree to it, so we went to the local Lobster Trap, which I've been to many times when visiting. Crab cakes and steamed clam apps were the best things I tasted there. the fried maine shrimp and fried scallops on others plates were also excellent: sweet, tender, lightly fried. Pesto scallops were also great. My salmon was not good at all however: dry, poorly cooked, tasteless. I had also ordered the salmon special which had tomoatoes and lemon and garlic that i was looking forward to, but was served the plain boring regular slamon. The service was also awful. We waited 30 minutes to order, then 30 more minutes to get apps, then ten minutes to get silverware to eat the apps, and then our drinks came. I understand busy, but this was bad. Then we waited an hour between the apps and our entrees. This felt like an infinity.
              And the worse part of it was that we left at 9:03: 5 minutes too late to go to north coast dairy one more time !!! I was not happy, but the company at the meal was wonderful, and everyone else's food was good, so it wasn't that bad.

              Also tried bolley's hot dogs for breakfast on the way out of town. The dogs were very good - better than the local dogs here in LA, but not up to snuff with my favorite chicago dogs. Only bad thing was the grilled onions that came on the dogs were burned and had to be removed. Not good. The fries were aso very unappetizing to look at: many black fries and potatoes with black inside them. The vinegar was fine, and i could easily bet that they would be more on their game if I had gone at a more normal hot do eating hour, rather than 10am.

              Thank you very much for the recommendations mainiacs!!

              3 Replies
              1. re: mr mouther

                i went to college in waterville, the miles standwhich was one of the best sandwhiches I ever had. Big G's also does amazing breakfasts. One thing that isn't on this board, but should be, is the Thai restaurant in Waterville, Pad Thai. Their pad thai, pad see ew and curries are the best I've had outside of Thailand. yum

                1. re: Cookanddog

                  Was Pad Thai near Bolleys, on College Ave? If so I think they've closed.

                  1. re: jackattack

                    They used to be, but moved to over near the old wal mart off the first exit of 95. They have a much bigger place now.

              2. Oh, man....North Street Dairy closes on October 1, I'm hoping to make it there at the end of September and hope they won't be all out of Grapenut like they were last year!!!