My travels this week took me up Route 1 to the Wiscasset area where I happened to drive by the Taste of Maine restaurant. After seeing the ads for “Taste of Maine, Route 1, Woolwich” repeatedly as a kid, I finally got there 25 years or so later. Yes, it took a while, but Taste of Maine can officially say that their ads worked on me. We actually drove by and decided to turn around and try it instead of enduring the tourist traffic until we got to the next restaurant which could have taken forever.
Upon coming back to the seafood eatery, we promptly parked, and with hunger setting in, shuffled our way right to someone who could seat us. We quickly got assigned to a table after requesting outdoor seating and gawked at the menu left with us in addition to the drink and dessert “flipper” that stays on the tables. I was particularly joyful at the presence of Atlantic Brewing Company’s Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale which is difficult to find around Portland and was available for a mere four bucks. Some people don’t like it, but I feel it has genuine blueberry flavor and because of that, it’s my favorite Maine-made blueberry beer.
When the waitress came, we asked the market price of the lobster and crab rolls – $20 each – and then both ordered the blueberry ale. The waitress left to get our drinks and we debated what to order for food. I considered some fried seafood, a crab roll, or even some baked haddock before finally deciding on the Lobster Roll. My wife decided on the same. The menu stated that the rolls came with fries and a pickle. Not being a particularly big fan of fries, I asked if I could substitute onion rings even if there was an up-charge. Unfortunately, the waitress indicated that my only option to try the onion rings would have been to get a full order which would have been too much. I settled for the fries.
Viewing the scenery from the back deck and drinking our beers was a great way to pass the time while waiting for our food. The water and trees created a beautiful panoramic facade and made the calm, sunny day even more relaxing. The beer burned a bloody blade of blueberry bliss into my brain. We watched as other customers’ orders came out. Visitors were sucking down beer, chowder, lobsters, appetizers, and whatever made them happy. The food smelled good and we drooled all over ourselves while waiting for it.
Our meals arrived just in the nick of time like any good superhero would. Lobster on a hot dog roll, a small pile of fries, and a pickle spear graced the plate. The lobster was mixed with mayo and that seemed to be all that was in there besides the bread. The fries looked to have just a bit of batter on them. The roll was pretty full with lobster – probably the typical four ounces you find in most rolls around here. It all looked good and I was ready to try.
As I picked up my roll, a few pieces of precious lobster fell out. Without a desire to wait any longer before eating, I took my two-handed approach to roll eating and, like a laser-guided missile, I fired the lobster roll into my lobster hole with pinpoint accuracy. It was good. The lobster seemed very fresh, the mayo was perfectly proportioned, and the white bread tied it all in together. Next, I tried a fry. Despite my excessive French fry pickiness, they were not bad – crunchy, salty, and ketchup-worthy.
We finished our food and talked about ordering some dessert. We finally decided on the Homemade Maine Blueberry Cobbler. It wasn’t an easy decision because the apple crisp was calling my name too, but HMBC to share with my wife it was – vanilla Ice cream on the side and no whipped cream – I didn’t want that stuff ruining my cobbler. We anxiously awaited our sweet treat and discussed obscure musical recordings of the 12th century in order to pass the time.
The blueberry cobbler came out and I dug in. It was hot. Once I got through the fire, I actually tasted it. It was very good – sweet, full of blues, and with some cinnamon which I found to be an unusual, but tasty, twist. While not the best I ever had, it was worth trying and I enjoyed it overall. We spooned that into our faces until it was done. With dessert finished, I was ready to go home. We asked for the bill just as the table next to us ordered two of the famous $60 “World’s Largest Lobster Rolls” which were each equivalent to four of the standard offerings.
The total cost of the meal with tax and tip came to about $70. I thought it was a bit pricey, but the lobster rolls definitely have a bit of a “tourist tax” attached to them. It hardly mattered though because they were quite good. I had a good time and the service was good. I definitely don’t get to Woolwich often, but I’d consider going back to Taste of Maine if I did. After all of that advertising, I had finally gotten there, and they did not disappoint.
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