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The Maine Diner, is it all that?

I'd like your opinions. Seems that the Phantom Gourmet guys (I can't stand them, DH loves them) fall all over the place every other show. I regularly drive by there on the way to one of my favorite Wells eateries, Marcia's Mexican. And no doubt, at the Maine Diner there are always, always people waiting outside. Have you eaten there? Did the heavens open, choirs celestial sing, etc?

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  1. I know I'll get crucified for this, but I don't think there's anything special about the Maine Diner. The prices are reasonable and the food is generally acceptable, but no, the heavens won't open. You'll hear people wax rhapsodic about the lobster pie, which I've had, and which is virtually inedible. Basically it's a lobster casserole. They put pre-cooked lobster in a baking dish, cover it with butter and bread crumbs, and stick it back in the oven until the lobster reaches a temperature of about 800 degrees, which turns it into rubber. My advice is keep driving.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rufustfi

      I am sad to say I must concur with rufustfi's comment. Yes, I've eaten there. With all the hype how could I not. Breakfast twice and it was ok. In fact the hash was good though by now I should know better than to indulge in that dish if I'm unwilling to suffer later in the day (not their fault). But is just a place to eat and no more, not memorable for fantastic anything and we just don't stop there any more. The just off the street coffee and pastry shops in Ogunquit suit me more.

      1. re: feelinpeckish

        I have to concur. We went twice for dinner and with the exception of the seafood chowder (which was fantastic), the food is fair at best. The shepherds pie was awful, the scallops were tough, the burger was average, the biscuits were like rocks. With the exception of the seafood chowder go elsewhere.

        1. re: feelinpeckish

          Count me in as someone who doesn't get the hype. It just wasn't that good. Neither was the place across the street (can't remember the name).

          I have the same problem with The Wayside restaurant in Berlin, VT. What -is- it about that place that keeps it so packed all the time? A friend overheard an oldtime Vermonter speaking ruefully about it "The tripe just isn't as good as it used to be at the Wayside." :)

      2. To us, the Maine Diner delivers on its promise. There is definitely a reason why its so crowded: it's really good. We like the reasonable prices, the always terrific service and food that you'd pay a fortune for at some of the nearby overrated (and not as good) waterfront restaurants. It's hard to find a better chowder and lobster pie than at the Maine Diner. When we're in the area, this is our first choice!
        Guy Bocabella, VisitingNewEngland.com, http://www.visitingnewengland.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: Guy Boccabella

          Good taste is not democratic. Mobbed McDonald's too.

        2. Not worth stopping at and especially not worth waiting in line with the rest of the cattle.

          1. My husband and I thought it was "all that" when we were there over the summer. Had wonderful lobster salad and blueberry pie. Both were excellent. The service was friendly and prompt; the atmosphere busy and fun. Go at an off time and you won't have to wait long or at all. I say go and have a good time!

            1. The Maine Diner is indeed *all that*! We stopped there on our way home from Castine last summer. There were no lines when we got there. The food was exceptionally good; service friendly and prompt.

              We got their Whoopie Pies to take home. Big mistake. Should have had those for lunch, too. :D