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Aug 12, 2008 02:42 PM

Kennebunkport -- Bandaloop?

We'll be visiting relatives in Biddeford in October, and would like to take them out to dinner on the Saturday night. They know good food; he's a retired innkeeper/chef. They wouldn't be comfortable if we took them someplace too fancy (eg, The White Barn). (Not that they wouldn't be comfortable in the atmosphere; we know they just won't be happy if we spend in that category.) I'm a vegetarian who will eat fish but prefers not to. Everyone else is an omnivore.

A search of this board and elsewhere led me to Bandaloop, which sounds like just our kind of place: good food and drink, reasonable prices, organic/local ingredients, nice location, casual atmosphere.

However, I just read a Trip Advisor review that said the service has gotten just awful -- discourteous, running out of ingredients, way-too-long waits, etc., etc. The last thing we want to do is treat our guests to an evening of good food but bad service.

One other consideration: noise level. Since we haven't seen our relatives in several years, we'd like to be able to talk. Reasonable noise is fine; a pounding bass line at 98 decibels, not so much.

So, can anyone who's been to Bandaloop recently advise on whether this is a good choice or not?

Other places we're considering are Joshua's (in Wells) and The Kennebunkport Inn (more traditional, I realize).

Any chowhoundish advice would be most appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. Keep in mind that reviews on Trip Advisor, like those here, are neither objective nor screened, which allows those with an ax to grind to do so anon. Throw out the high and the low, and pay attention to repeated comments by a multitude of voices.
    I haven't been to k'port yet this year, but I expect to be down that way before the end of the month. I dined solo at Bandaloop last year, and it was good. It is somewhat boisterous, though, and quite cozy. It's also been a while since I've dined at Joshua's. It was an excellent meal, and a casual white-tablecloth place. Haven't dined at the K'port Inn. Have you considered Pier 77 or On the Marsh?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mainegal

      Thanks, Mainegal. I'll check out Pier 77 and On the Marsh, although Bandaloop and Joshua's are still on the short list. (I know what you mean about the high and the low, and Bandaloop scores well overall.) If you think of it, please post a review, however short, on Bandaloop when you get back. Your recent opinion will be valuable. Thanks again!!

    2. Anutha Mainuh chiming in for Pier 77. Food, service and atmosphere are top notch.

      Mia's at Pepperell Square in Saco is also very nice, if a bit slow for service. It's also tiny and reservations are a must.

      1 Reply
      1. re: joaninmaine

        We are leaving for Maine tomorrow and Bandaloop is one of the restaurants we will return to. There are several options for vegetarians and very good fish. The food is very good, but tends to be non-traditional. We have never had a problem with the service, but needed to wait for a table if we did not have a reservation. Pier 77 is more traditional. Very good fish. I do not remember what they had for vegetarians though. The view from every table at Pier 77 is gorgeous and parking is easier than at Bandaloop's. In my opinion, both restaurants are good. I would say that Bandaloop's is trendier and Pier 77 is more elegant.

      2. Agree w/Oceans on Bandaloop and Pier 77. Both have good seafood. Bandaloop does tend to have higher noise level. We also once sat across from open kitchen area, and chef would shout out to wait staff when order was ready. This was distracting when we were trying to carry on a conversation. Seems odd that they didn't use a quieter, more efficient way to notify wait staff when order is ready. Maybe they've changed this since we last visited. That said, the fish and salad were excellent, and we had no problem wih service or wait time (had a resv). The setting and harbor views of Pier 77 are gorgeous, esp if you go around sunset. Dishes are more traditional, but still very good. Atmosphere is a little more upscale and quite a bit quieter than Bandaloop, and more space between tables. Have never tried Joshuas, so can't compare. Bandaloop, Pier 77 and Joshuas all have websites w/menus, just google to ck them out.

        1. I've been hearing great reviews of Frankie and Johnny's in Cape Neddick: great food, somewhat peculiar in being (a) BYOB [no corkage fee]; and (b) CASH ONLY! My SO was there last week and raved, as did her out-of-town guests. Sounds like it would fit your requirements.
          Any 'chow recent visitors?

          2 Replies
          1. re: mainemal

            I must check out Frankie and Johnny's -- we have lots of BYOBs here in Philadelphia, and love many of them. Meanwhile, onward to checking Pier 77 as well. I'm getting spoiled for choice!

            1. re: mainemal

              I dined there last year, and really enjoyed it. Way laid back, kinda funky. Portions are humongous. One warning: No credit cards "plastic isn't natural."

              Menu is online: