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Don't understand the love for the Maine Diner

Stopped by the Maine Diner yesterday and just don't understand why people think it is great. The place was hopping at 3.30 and I think in part to the lack of restaurants open at this time of year. I had the cup of seafood chowder and it was quite good but sadly the only thing that was. Hub had clam chowder and while he said it had good flavor, it had few clams in it..mainly just potato and broth. I had the buffalo shrimp and it was awful..not spicy just super vinegary and the shrimp texturally were like eating mush. Not pleasant. I explained that to the server when she asked me if I would like her to pack it up and she gave me some inane " the shrimp are small" I don't know.. I just know it was gross and inedible. Hub had the Maine crabmeat melt and that too was not good either. There was no way there was more than 2 o/z of crabmeat and it was covered with a big salty blog of cheese. Our comment to each other was that had we made this ourselves at home we would have thrown it out.
Finally...I find the price point a tad high. Fine for market value seafood...but this slop cost us close to $40.00 with tip.
Maine crabmeat melt $12.95..add fries that's $14.90. A club sandwich with fries $11.90? Not diner pricing has far as I am concerned. Should have got a clue with all the Phantom Gourmet references on the menu. As far as I am concerned that is never a good sign.

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  1. I don't understand it either!

    1. My sentiments exactly. We stopped there a few weeks ago on our way north, and I had the lobster roll, which was fine, and fries, which again were fine. My husband had the Irish benedict, which featured canned hash and hollandaise that was clearly artificially-flavored reconstituted powered stuff. We won't bother returning.

      1. We went to a diner in North Woodstock, NH that we'd heard raves about and saw lines out the door. I paused and experienced some alarm when I saw the "Phantom Approved" sign on the door but we went in anyway. Blech! The food and service were awful. Now, if I see anything about the Phantom Gourmet on a restaurant door/window, I keep on walking.

        1. I wonder if this isn't north vs south? When we, Ellsworth residents, drive south and need chow, we are always surprised at how much more food costs in "Little Boston" (Ouch!) area of Maine, than it does downeast. If these prices were charged in Milbridge, the only ones that could afford it would be tourists. Price reflects locale.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Passadumkeg

            I just wonder how many of the patrons are tourists and not repeat customers. Standard diner fare such as mac and cheese with kielbasa pricing should be fairly easy to control. It's $9.50 at the Maine Diner. I find that on the really high side for diner food.

            1. re: tunapet

              I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the Maine Dinner is not as good as advertised. I think there prices reflect there press reviews more than there actual substance. I recently had the open faced turkey sandwich and was assured by the waitress that it was real turkey. But it was nothing but grocery store turkey roll. And not a very good tasting one at that. And they didn't even have any cranberry sauce. Earle Ct.

          2. I'm glad to see so many feel this way. We stopped at the Maine Diner a couple of years ago on our way to Portland as we had heard a lot of favorable things about it. I ordered scallops, the SO had the lobster roll, and we decided to split an order of mac and cheese just to see how they handled a diner classic. What a disaster. The lobster roll was drab and didn't seem fresh, which given the location was a real disappointment, while the scallops bore the tell-tale mark of having been previously frozen. That is, they were raw and still icy on the inside--after the first one, I started cutting them all in half and saw that it was a general problem. The mac and cheese was oily and flavorless. To their credit, they did take the price of the scallops off the bill. The room was packed, and most people seemed to be enjoying themselves, but it's not a place I'd visit ever again.