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Maine - Good, Bad, or Eh...ok?

I've been fortunate enough to travel the great state of Maine for work purposes, and so I've been fortunate enough for the last 2 years to sample some of the best that the state has to offer. In reading the boards, I've been curious to know what places I have been missing. Since I get to travel from Portland to Ellsworth and everywhere in between, along 95, 295, and Rte 1.. I'm curious to know other's opinions. Here are some of my samples:


The Front Room, Congress St. Great food, relaxed atmosphere. Small place, get there early on weekends.

Fore Street & Street & Co. - Typically great fare all around, some of the best I have found in Maine, considering same ownership.

Tony's Donuts - Portland. Share the top spot in donuts for me, along with:
Congdon's Donuts, Rte 1, Wells.

Bagel Mainea (sp?) - Western Avenue, Augusta. Great sandwiches + bread.

Bintliffs, Rte 1, Wiscasset. I know there is another Bintliffs on the Southern Coast, but this one is pretty good fare.

King Eider's - Newcastle. Good pub food, good atmosphere all around.

Lucerne Inn, Holden or Dedham. On 1A from 395 to Ellsworth on Phillips Lake. Great food all around - I have not been able to sample much of Bar Harbor food, but this place is definitely among the top in the Bangor area.

Big G's deli - Fairfield. "Interesting" sandwiches with lots of variety, and pretty tasty also. Don't take credit cards, so make sure to bring cash.

Full Belly Deli - Brighton Ave, Westbrook. Great Jewish Deli in Westbrook. Large & tasty sandwiches.

Liberal Cup, Hallowell. Great beer selection and better-than-good pub food.
Slates, Hallowell. Also a bakey - have not tried the food but heard it is very good.
Cafe Bangkok, Hallowell. Located on the same street in Hallowell as LC and Slates - very good Thai food and sushi in Augusta area.

Yosaku, Benkay - Portland. Two different sushi houses in Portland, on opposite ends of the Old Port. Both very good, in my opinion, and can't miss.

Cook's Lobster House - Bailey Island. Located at the very tip of a peninsula south of Brunswick... was famous for being in an Visa (or was it Mastercard) commercial a few years back, but very very good seafood. Also a working lobster pound. Worth the drive from Brunswick, but can be slightly on the pricier side.

Royal River Grill - Have not been, but heard good things - thoughts?

The Senator - Augusta. Located on Western Ave just off of exit 109 in Augusta - one of the better restaurants in the area, attached to a hotel.

Captain Daniel Stone Inn - Brunswich. Very good food and atmosphere, good choice for a romantic dinner. Kind of a pain to find, though.

Back Street Bistro - Brunswick. Also slightly difficult to find on a back street in downtown Brunswick, but very good food and wine selection.

Diamond's Edge Restaurant - Great Diamond Island. Have not been to, but also have heard very good things about.

Thats all I have for now... I travel to all of these areas frequently, so my goal is to try the best Maine has to offer. Thoughts?

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  1. The elephant in the room is the midcoast scene. From Rockland to Camden we have the pleasure of residing with many great chefs. Not seasonal places to pleasure the tourists but year round gourmet destinations. The big names that get the writeups in the major publications are Primo in Rockland, of course, and Francine Bistro in Camden. Others that deserve recognition are my personal favorites, Amalfi in Rockland, and In Good Company in Rockland. For a unique Maine seaside meal, Cod End in Tenants Harbor or further down the same peninsula, The Dip Net in Port Clyde are both exceptional for their niche. A couple of places that deserve a mention are Natalies at the newly renovated Camden Harbor Inn, and The Edge restaurant at The Inn at Oceans Edge in Lincolnville. Both of these places have great intentions and talented chefs on staff but are still making a name for themselves. Stop at the Market Basket in Rockport for great specialty foods and lunch to go if you find yourself driving by on Route 1.

    9 Replies
    1. re: mainecoastchef

      Have to second Primo, Amalfi, and In Good Company, but particularly Francine because Brian was recently nominated for a James Beard award (best in the Northeast, I think - left the list at work). Good luck getting in there this summer. There are also several great restaurants in Portland that deserve exploration, Hugos' was also a JB nominee.

      1. re: bi11me

        The Beard list is the initial 20 for the northeast. That gets whittled down to the top 5 for the actual award. Anyone can nominate a chef, including themselves.

        1. re: bi11me

          Yeah, you already need a reservation all the time in the winter at Francine's. Brian Hill has now been written up in every major food magazine in the last few months. I go there a lot, but lately haven't been able to make reservations and even the 6-7 bar spots where they don't take reservations have been filled.

        2. re: mainecoastchef

          Josh, 'mainecoastchef' is so right. (He's a great chef himself.)

          I moved to the mid-coast last spring just for the amazing food thing that is going on. I am a food and wine writer and consulting chef and I have been helping dozens of businesses and it just blows me away. So much so that I am slowing down my consulting business and partnered up with a winery to open a distillery and brewery to bring some more good stuff to the scene. By next Fall you will be able to buy my whiskey, vodka, gin, etc. made from all Maine grown organic grain and botanicals.

          For great gourmet provisions, charcuterie, foie gras, cheese, boquerones, ice cream, the Sage Market in Rockland is a must.

          Francines, In Good Co.,The Edge, Natalie's are all great. I am starting to think that In Good co. may be my favorite. I have had problems at Primo's on more than several occasions. I hope they pull it back together for the 2008 season.

          Don't leave out Suzuki Sushi in Rockland. They just may have the best sushi in the state, and Yuki is developing some great new dishes. Her Maine Shrimp shumai are fantastic. I helped develop a new product that Suzuki and several other places will soon have on their menu. Smoked local uni. It's amazing stuff that is being made by Chef Carl Johnson of Grindstone Neck of Maine in Winter Harbor. i shopped it down in NYC this past week at top restaurants and to some of the best chefs and they loved it. Also Gourmet Magazine tried it and played with it in their test kitchen. they raved anout it and there will be an artidle in Gourmet.com and maybe in the magazine.

          By the way, the word is that The Dip Net is opening a location in Rockland where Amalfi's is right now, after Amalfi moves to their new location.

          1. re: JMF

            We just spent the weekend up in Camden, and had dinner at In Good Company in Rockland Saturday night. Fantastic meal, excellent wines, great atmosphere, nice pace, surprisingly reasonable bill. We look forward to going back this summer, though I fear the in-season experience will be quite a bit different from our off-season treat. The artisan cheese platter was exceptional and featured three selections: a blue, a raw cheddar and a Portuguese cheese whose name escapes me. Our salads were fresh and delicious. Can't say enough good things about the place. Go!

            1. re: man of salt

              In good company is serving dinner? I thought they only served Hors d'Oeuvres.

              1. re: Farnam897

                No, they serve meals, not a huge menu, but really nicely done, they have a cold filet of beef that is really excellent.

                1. re: aynne35

                  I haven't been there for over a year (wine gives my significant-other a migraine) — now I have an excuse!

          2. re: mainecoastchef

            Scott Yakovenko’s original Dip Net is no more. Has it been over a year now, longer? since Linda Bean purchased dock, stock, and barrels over in Port Clyde?

            As of this writing, still no word about the next Yakovenko treasure.

          3. Have you been to Cleonice in Ellsworth? We love it there.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Alica

              Yes Cleonice is special. Calypso, The Riverside Cafe, now serving dinner, and the Union River Lobster Pot, in the summer, are worth a visit too. All downtown Ellsworth.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Really? I only went to Cleonice once but wasn't impressed. Nothing we ate really jumped at me and several weren't that hot.

                1. re: JMF

                  For little Ellsberg, Me, it's the best we got. Primo or Francine's it ain't. I'd hate to think of the dining options w/o it. I do not, however, care for their paella. Coming to the far downeast coast of Maine from, NYC, I feel, perhaps, your standards are higher than some poor schmuck who left the NY area 40 yrs ago. For us it is a place where we can eat tapas and drink sherry on a Fri. night and be home in 5 min. We appreciate that. Try it again.
                  The post is the Good, the Bad or the Eh... Cleonice is good.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Well said, Passadumkeg. I very much appreciate the amazing variety and quality of the restaurants and shops in the midcoast area, in all of Maine, really, and I'm just happy they're there.

                    wince when posters apply er-urbanized and overwrought critiques.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Passadumkeg and Shooley- I think you are making some major, and incorrect assumptions about me and reading a lot into the little I said. I much prefer the little places where a chef is trying to do the best they can with local products. Ur-urbanized? What is that supposed to mean?

                      By the way Shooley... do I know you? Which wine shop do you work in? TWS?

              2. What, no Great Impasta in Brunswick or Harry and David's. I agree with the back st bistro but you could also add MaryellenZ's in bath and the Kenebec Tavern for pub food, also in bath.....

                1 Reply
                1. re: jspear

                  Kennebec Tavern is decent and an easy place to get to from Rte 1 in Bath. You can see it from the bridge when heading South.

                  Try and go there once it warms up so you can sit outside.

                2. You have also missed Robinhood Meetinghouse, great food and atmosphere....CDS must be greatly improved from my last visit there to warrant a second look

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jspear

                    stayed at the daniel stone, what a wreck. the food by observation was only fair and the restaurant basically empty, doesn't speak well.....

                  2. While I have opinions on lots of these (and generally agree with you), avoid Diamond's Edge at all costs: horrible service, over-priced and indifferent food.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: mainemal

                      I agree to avoid Diamond's Edge. It is as expensive as the top restaurants in Portland but the quality and service doesn't come anywhere near the top Portland restaurants. Caiola's should be on anyone's Portland list.

                      1. re: hicow

                        I know Bangor is a place we'd all like to skip, but after living there for 5 years, I found there really is some good food. Not much, but some worth stopping for en route to Bar Harbor. DON'T go towards the mall. That's the trap everyone falls into and then you're stuck in chain restaurant hell. Get off at Hammond Street and go towards the real downtown. Stop in to Bangor Wine and Cheese and Cafe Nouveau. Such a great place to eat, sip some amazing wines, and eat some fabulous desserts. It's a gem. Also, Ichiban is one of my personal favorite sushi places. Better then any I have had in Portland or NYC. Have fun and don't skip Bangor. It's worth a drive by at least!

                        1. re: billyblue

                          Yes Cafe Nouveau is a find. So is the place around the corner that sells a lot of take out dinners. A Mexican hombre that serves a nice lunch, "International" cuisine. And BYOB too. What is the name? I was in Bangor yesterday and surprised to see the new Italian market and the bakery next to it. Have you tried them? Glad to see Bakkala(?), the Pakistani place, looked open. I've found the 3 Eng/Irish Pubs, so close together, all disappointing for food. Have you any recs.?

                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            You get up early.... Caught you on your home turf! A Zappa fan, no less, who loves chili. Who wouda thunk it for such an eloquent person that uses fifty-cent words. Mornin' to you!
                            BTW, is your handle related to the town or the Passamaquoddy indians?

                            1. re: Scargod

                              I don't sleep a lot. We have a great local community radio station,WERU (www.weru.org). If you listened late on Tues. night I played Zappa on Woodstock Radio. Today, a Latin show, Gracias A La Vida and I took in 2 doz, burritos for fund raising folk. I just made a good chicken mole verde. This Tues. eve. at 8, blues, Zydeco and Tex Mex on Southern Winds. As a side line I teach high school English.
                              At the end of April, I plan to head south for Russian Easter and hit some of the taco trucks in New Haven. Any recs.?
                              Havee you ever been to O'Rourkes?
                              North Haven is also an Island in Maine.
                              I love Rositas Al Pastor on Riverside in Austin.
                              Do the nasty nasty on the White House Lawn!
                              Mozart is the Man.
                              Carpe Diem
                              Tigers pee on Bull Dogs!
                              Julias' summer home was at Laupus Pt., Bernard Me.
                              Got it?

                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown? No...
                                Uh, I don't think I got it. :^(

                                Women's basketball game
                                Place on Lopaus Point Road (looks like a beautiful spot).
                                Nope, don't got it. Too cryptic for me.:^)

                                And, you're not going to believe this: I made chicken and chorizo in mole verde last night! I had to use sunflower seeds, but I had frozen tomatillos from the garden last year. Brown rice and avocado for sides.

                                1. re: Scargod

                                  Our sides were brown rice & pintos w/ a salad.
                                  Our eldest went to Wesleyan and we got to enjoy O'Rourkes
                                  I like Mozart too, besides Zappa
                                  I grew up near Princeton, you live near Yale
                                  I cook a lot of Mexican, but youngest is home this week from Amherst, so lamb and duck this week.

                                  If in the area try Chester Pikes Galley in Sullivan on Rt. 1

                            2. re: Passadumkeg

                              Montes International Catering and gourmet cafe is where the Mexican Hombre was cooking. They have great lunch items. everything homemade. Great sandwiches, salads and quesadillas. Their desserts are to die for.

                      2. Check out Cafe Miranda in Rockland. An amazing menu that includes mind boggling fusions of different flavors and cuisines. Its small only about 35 seats but has a wood fired oven. The seats at the bar right by the oven are best...only open for dinner.


                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Jim Amaral

                          Is this the same Jim Amaral of Borealis? Welcome to Chowhound. I actually need to talk to you about some Maine food stuff sometime soon. I hope my following comments don't upset you, but what is great about CH is that we can agree to disagree.

                          I have been to Miranda several times and I have to say that the place is one of those love it or hate it restaurants. I am not a fan of indiscriminate fusion, there needs to be a plan that brings it all together, but Miranda is all over the globe and not in a good way. Personally I have had two good meals, three barely mediocre ones, one I couldn't even eat, then got dragged there again since the fire and had a decent meal. They try real hard but that crazy menu with like 80 items is a pain in the ass. Lots of schtick but no substance. The first time I was there Kerry wanted to hire me as a consultant and that led in a progression to me moving to the area.

                          I know a ton of people who love the place... or hate it... and not many on the fence. I know they started the whole Rockland restaurant scene, and I am glad they did, but they really need to find some consistency and a solid voice of consensus, rather than a scream of a massed collage of cultures thrown together haphazardly and even nonsensically.

                          1. re: JMF

                            Captain Daniel Stone in Brunswic? No. Totally mediocre,esp. for price.
                            Miyake in Portland? YES
                            Still, though, what's with the heavy mayo at Miyake and Yosaku? My two favorite Japanese restos in Portland, but yuck. A tiny titch perhaps, but not a blob.
                            Thanks for listening.

                            1. re: mainehound

                              Captain Daniel Stone the restaurant is defunct (though the B & B is still going) and is now Augustine's, owned by the same guy as a place in Wiscasset. Haven't heard any reports on it, though.

                            2. re: JMF

                              Yes indeed that very same Jim Amaral. I'll be very happy to agree to disagree on this one. I think the food at Mirandas is well prepared, delicious, idiosyncratic, soulfull and anarchic.

                              Give me a call I have e-mailed you my number would love to hear about your project.

                              1. re: Jim Amaral

                                I think the food at Mirandas is well prepared, delicious, idiosyncratic, soulfull and anarchic
                                We ate at Cafe Miranda this evening and I would agree. However the menu is a disaster of enormous proportions. 80 items or so will give you a brain freeze just reading the menu. Service was friendly but all over the place. Blackberry sorbet was fantastic but the house made ice cream was poor and the coffee was best described as swill.
                                Still this place has a cool eclectic vibe and I was digging it. Service was spotty but our waitress was busting her behind.
                                The entree which was a local haddock fell just short of the mark. The chef needed to season the fish, clean the tarragon etc. A great dish and good flavor combinations but not executed perfectly.
                                A good meal over all and solid food.

                              2. re: JMF

                                A bit late but jumping in on the Miranda comments. It is for me in the hate it category. So many dishes that are just messy, poorly conceived and indiscernable. They make no sense and that menu is a jumbled mess. I always think of Miranda as a huge case of the emporer's new clothes. Francine, Suzuki's, The Edge, In Good Company, all are far better than Miranda. Primo is too hit or miss, but with the new bar, it is nice to have an option for a smaller meal and some great drinks.

                                1. re: aynne35

                                  We agree on many restaurants. Long time, no see. Been to Lily's yet? I was there last friday on their "soft opening" night. I felt really sorry for them. They should have spent a week practicing with friends and waited. Everything that could go wrong in the front of the house did. And some back of the house issues as well. I have to see how they are in a few weeks. It was such a funny fiasco that I got out to my car afterward and laughed myself silly, then went home and cooked myself a good meal.

                                  1. re: aynne35

                                    Saw this thread a while after the fact, and had to comment on Cafe Miranda. I'd compare it to Shopsin's in New York: if you think the menu has too many items, you're probably in the wrong restaurant. The whole point is for people who really love food to get something that'll be right up their alley. When my fiancée and I were there, the place more than delivered on flavour and texture: greens roasted to an amazingly perfect crisp, a gooey mound of blue cheese and roasted garlic. Most other upscale restaurants in the area have seemed to me like the kind of generic food that could be anywhere. Café Miranda is something really special, something worth a trip. (The one other place I've found up there that's in the same class is Red's Eats in Wiscasset: not just the lobster roll, but the fried shrimp and fried dough may be the best I've had anywhere.)

                                    Red's Eats
                                    Main, Wiscasset, ME 04578

                                    Cafe Miranda
                                    15 Oak St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                    1. re: Displaced Hoser

                                      <<Saw this thread a while after the fact, and had to comment on Cafe Miranda. I'd compare it to Shopsin's in New York>>

                                      I haven't been to Shopsin's, have only seen "I Like Killing Flies," but that seems like a pretty fair comparison. I am also a fan of Cafe Miranda's and go whenever I get up to Maine. Haven't been up there for a year, but still raving about a simple, but perfect salad of arugula, pine nuts and shredded beets I had - have tried to recreate it at home, but never quite hit the mark. Super-nice waitstaff at Miranda's, too.

                                      I like other Rockland spots as well - Lily Bistro, Rockland Cafe (fish cakes, oh my) - but Miranda always delivers an interesting, tasty meal.

                                      Cafe Miranda
                                      15 Oak St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                      Lily Bistro
                                      421 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                              3. When in the Ellsworth area try The Crocker House Inn in Hancock. I believe they are open for dinner but call for reservation. For the Bangor area my favorite is "The Muddy Rudder" in Brewer right on the river. Never been disappointed there.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Newdaawn

                                  The Crocker House is definitely a diamond in the rough. For being so far from anywhere this is a fine country Inn and Restaurant. The food is fresh and local, well thought out menu and well executed dishes. The wine list accompaniment is quite nice. The restaurant usually requires a reservation and is a local favorite. I have frequented the Crocker House about once a year for the last 10 years and I have always had a fine meal. (I very much enjoy staying in the Inn as well.) If you are in the Ellsworth or Bar Harbor areas this is a great choice.

                                  1. re: comet246

                                    Comet, "for being so far from anywhere..", the Crocker House is in my back yard! I drive by the Hancock Pt Rd twice a day. It is indeed a fine establishment. Thw scallops are my favorite.
                                    Le Domaine has fine, but expensive fare as well. We just ate at The Arbor Vine in Blue Hill. The duck served 3 ways was excellent!
                                    Welcome to chowhound!

                                2. I too like Cleonice in Ellsworth, but it's not my favorite.

                                  Things to add, that I don't think have been mentioned yet:

                                  Bagel Central in Bangor - been around for a really long time, jewish deli, good soups (and bagels!)

                                  Finelli Pizza in Ellsworth (also in Bgr, but Ells. location is better) - delicious thin crust pizza. I've met people there who drive from Machias just for the pizza.

                                  Beale Street Barbeque in Bath - yummy pulled pork, french fries, cornbread, and fizzy lemonade! (also in Portland and August, but I've only been to Bath)

                                  Guiness & Porcelli's in Bar Harbor - if you want to go that far. Delicious fancy Italian. And largish portions. (compared to most other fancy restaurants)

                                  Thistle's in Bangor - fancyish, lots of business people there at lunch during the week

                                  21 Replies
                                  1. re: BirlyFive

                                    We heard about Finelli's pizza, tried it and ended up liking Pat's Pizza better. I guess pizza is such a personal thing, but how lucky are you to have two good places in one area. I have never heard of Guiness & Poecelli's! Is it new? What is it near in Bar Harbor! HOW did I miss a great Italian restaurant!!

                                    1. re: BirlyFive

                                      I know where Guiness & Porcelli is! We went there once. Do you like that better than the restaurant it used to be? We used to LOVE the other Italian restaurant it was, sad story about the owner, he was great. LOTS of garlic!

                                      1. re: Alica

                                        Don't forget Havana. Cafe Bluefish has an excellent lobster strudel.

                                        1. re: Alica

                                          what about the owner of G & P ? I have not heard anything ?

                                          1. re: irwin

                                            Oh no, I'm sorry, I mean't the owner of the previous Italian restaurant there. Was it Anthony's, I forget the name, but what we heard was he died of a heart attack and he was only in his forties. We thought he was a very nice owner and we loved that restaurant.

                                          2. re: Alica

                                            Which Pat's? I haven't been to the one in Ellsworth for 20 years or so... but I have noticed that the parking lot is always full, so they must be doing something right. I do like the Pat's in Orono and Hampden. The problem is, if I'm in Ellsworth, how could I not go to Finellis!?

                                            I only lived in BH last year, so I had never really eaten at restaurants there before then. (We always try to avoid downtown BH if at all possible.)

                                            1. re: BirlyFive

                                              We liked the Pat's in Ellsworth, right around the corner from Finelli's. You know, I think the owners of Finelli's are from Rhode Island (where I am) and I think there is a Finelli's here. I'll have to double check that. We have many favorite restaurants in the BH area. We are coming up the end of September and CANNOT wait. We love Cafe Thisway, we used to love lompoc but it has not been as good the last few times, we love Cleonice in Ellsworth.... What a great area!

                                              1. re: Alica

                                                They used to own a finelli's in Providence, RI, sold it and moved to Bar Harbor. I checked on their website.

                                                1. re: Alica

                                                  The owner of the Lompoc died too. Finelli's owner Paul was in Rhode Island, Bar Harbor too. I think it was called Felinni's, couldn't bring the name w/ him. He is a German-American native of Yonkers NY. We just had Pat's last Mon. night. As our U Maine son said the one in Orono(the original) is better. Pat's is good and cheap, but Finelli's is better.
                                                  We enjoy the tapas at Cleonise.
                                                  A Joisey Boy speakin'

                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                    Did the owner of Lompoc die recently? Do you think that is why it has not been as good the past few years? I guess I'll have to give Finelli's another go!! You might know this, what ever happened to the owners of Bubba's? We used to love that place. Did they just decide to get out of the business?

                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                      I agree that Finelli's is definetly a better pie. We usually come up and stay at our camp on Newbury Neck about 6wks out of the year and Finelli's is a staple for a quick comfort food fix. Some very unusual beer choices as well. Not the most comfortable seating around. Owners and staff very friendly. Is there anything new and exciting foodwise in the area?

                                                      1. re: kickin back

                                                        Not much. World Soup is gone in Blue Hill.

                                                        We were in Blue Hill on Sunday at I thought Arbor Vine and Wescott Forge should be added to the list. Fisherman's in Stonington as well.

                                                        We live just opposite Contention Cove. Keep your eyes pealed for a handsome, silvered-haired "young" man in a red kayak.

                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                          I too have a red kayak but it stays in the Morgan Bay area off Newbury Neck. Ever eaten at/with Perry at the Lobster Shack. I am a big fan of WERU. Listen all the time when in ME. and on computer in the sunny south.

                                                          1. re: kickin back

                                                            I just finished Southern Wind at WERU, am kicking back w/ a glass of wine before bed and facing the eager young learners at EHS. I work as a kayak guide in the summer. No to Perry.
                                                            Listen Sat. at 11 am.

                                                          2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            My Grandfather was born in Sedgwick, we still use the land there
                                                            every summer.
                                                            I can't believe how big Fisherman Friend is! They blew apart
                                                            Bartlett's market and overlooks Stonington Harbor, The food has always been good but with this location they got to be making
                                                            money! is the whaletail still open?

                                                            1. re: brucekc

                                                              Do you know what Stonington is called in the Ellsworth-Bangor area? Land's End. It is just so far to drive to on bad secondary roads. Goos for them, bad for us. Have you ever eaten at the Mrxican place in Sedwick? Any good? Both the mosquitoes and black flies are fierce.

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                Sedgwick looks like a blink and miss it kind of place. The black flies and skeeters are fierce competitors for the Mexican food?

                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                  Scar, my man, Segwick is to look out from at the gorgeous Maine coastal scenery! I do wish, however, that The black flies and mosquitoes would eat at The Mex, in Ellsworth, and die! Tex black flies and mosquitoes together are the Maine equivielent of being tied to a red ant mound in the great state of Texas.

                                                2. re: BirlyFive

                                                  Beale Street Barbeque sold their place in Augusta a coupla' years ago. I do like the one in Bath and they have a cool new location in South Portland.

                                                  I like Mary Ellenz in Bath, also. They have a chicken with balsamic vinegar and polenta that is so good.

                                                  1. re: skeptical

                                                    Amen to MaryEllenz, I don't do the barbeque as often as I should.

                                                    1. re: skeptical

                                                      This thread sure is all over the place.

                                                      For accuracy's sake...Beale Street BBQ was owned by brothers. The partnership was split up...the location in Augusta was taken by one brother (now Riverfront BBQ), the other locations remain with other brother as Beale St.

                                                  2. In Brunswick, we've had quite good dinners this past winter at two new restaurants: Clementine's and Bacari. Both are on Maine Street; both are small. Bacari is owned by a member of the family that runs the Dolphin Restaurant in Harpswell, which we've enjoyed in the summer. The deserts at Dolphin are outstanding, and the view overlooking the harbor is lovely at sunset if you can get a window seat.

                                                    1. if you erase Benkay and Fore Street you have a pretty tight list there.

                                                      Hugo's is the next Fore Street

                                                      I always liked Cinque Terra, fresh Italian food that doesn't make me feel like I ate an entire truck load of pasta.

                                                      Bintliff's is my newer obsession, strictly for the bayou eggs benedict...DELICIOUS!

                                                      bunch of other great places in the Portland area...

                                                      1. Cook's is vastly overpriced. The food is all your basic New England seafood classics...lobsters, steamers, fried seafood. You pay for the view, and it's over 1/2 hour drive from Rte. 1 at Cook's Corner. For the best lobster, steam it and eat it at a picnic table in your backyard (it's just *so* messy), or if you don't want to work for your lobster, get a lobster roll from Red's in Wiscasset. For excellent fried seafood go to the Rockland Cafe at lunch, or Shaw's Wharf down in Pemaquid.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: skeptical

                                                          Shaw's Wharf! Yum! I've only ever had fish and chips, but everything else looks good too. It's also nice to actually be able to smell the ocean.

                                                          1. re: BirlyFive

                                                            It's one of the few places where you might watch the fisherman haul your lobster out of the water and be eating it an hour later! (But if you sit outside, watch out for the seagulls!) :)

                                                          2. re: skeptical

                                                            Cook's isn't cheap, but if you're staying on Bailey Island and want some lobster, it was good the time I was there. At the time it was the best, freshest lobster I'd ever had. It was very slim on non-fish options for my husband, but it was nice to not have a long drive from our motel to get good lobster. :)

                                                            1. re: Morganna

                                                              Cook's is fine, but somewhat of a tourist trap. Dolphin Restaurant in South Harpswell, mentioned above, has better food and a more "genuine" feel.

                                                          3. Have been really disappointed with Royal River Grill in Yarmouth. Menu, service, food just not what it should and could be. It's a shame - such a good location.

                                                            1. You totally missed Freeport and Yarmouth! I hesitate to tell you about Conundrum in Freeport, by the Big Indian, as it is already wildly popular and hard to get in. Nice little wine bar with great, inexpensive cuisine. Miyako has good Japanese food (Main St. above China Rose, which is also good), and the Harraseeket Inn--lunch buffet at the Broad Arrow (or anything else there) is really great-- costs $16 per person. Azure Cafe has a great lunch, and both Azure and Broad Arrow have outdoor seating in good weather. For quick but yummy fare, grab a sandwich, soup, salad or baked goods at Clayton's in Yarmouth (closed Sunday), and delish, but not very spicy, burritos across the street at Bruce's (also closed Sunday). Enjoy!

                                                              1. I used to go to Bagel Mainea but then I found Bay Wraps, which is also in Augusta on the rotary. I love their eggplant parm wrap. In addition to the Liberal Cup, you might try Slate's which recently reopened after a fire. It's good. Their brunches are especially yummy. The A-1 Diner in Gardiner, just up the road from Hallowell, is also worth checking out.

                                                                1. How did I forget Le Domaine on Rt 1 in Hancock, national write ups Normandy cuisine. My wife's birthday favorite.

                                                                  1. Henry and Marty in Brunswick has some seriously good food. I also like the Robinhood Free Meetinghouse in Georgetown, for the wonderful atmosphere as well as good food, but I liked the food at H and M even better.

                                                                    1. Will give you my opinion......
                                                                      Henry and Marty's in Brunswick is just OK at best.
                                                                      Clementine is probably the best in Brunswick, and as stated above, service, food, and atmosphere is good. The place is also spotless, and parking is easy.
                                                                      Broad Arrow Tavern in the Harraseeket Inn is also very good.
                                                                      I really do not like Azure, but Clayton's on Rt 1 Yarmouth is also excellent and offers good variety of sandwiches and baked goods.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: irwin

                                                                        any recommendations for a vegetarian restaurant in or near Portland? going to be visiting in a few weeks and need to take someone to dinner.

                                                                        1. re: topfuziel

                                                                          Pepperclub Restaurant
                                                                          off Franklin
                                                                          lots of vegetarian selections
                                                                          also, Local 188 Restaurant on Congress St

                                                                      2. Hi All,

                                                                        Just returned from a great trip to Maine, and with the help of this board we ate very well! Harraseeket Inn--lunch in Freeport was very good! A real sour note on the trip however was the Whales Tooth Inn in Lincolnville. Just bad from beginning to end, bad service and horrible food - Lobster bisque was salty and the lobster was fishy. We also had baked Haddock which was over cooked and not fresh, as well as Maine shrimp which was well past the due date. When we spoke to the server we received no help, just a load of attitude. Fellow travelers beware!