Cafe Miranda feels real big. This is despite the fact it’s a converted fraternal hall with 40 seats, a handful of bar stools and a few tables on a side patio in the nice weather. It’s been open since 1993.

That giant experience comes from a variety of factors: a menu with a staggering variety of choices, a crammed but open kitchen with a brick oven and an extroverted chef, enormous portions of food with bold flavors, and a restroom that seconds as a museum of Elvis kitsch.

The furnishings are 1950s diner — metal-edged tables, a checkerboard linoleum floor. Salt and pepper shakers might be a pair of ceramic skunks or cows. Wavy glasses in which you used to get Hershey’s chocolate milk now hold your beer and ice water. A wall of vintage photographs is an homage to Aunt Fluffie. Strings of pink flamingo lights. This place has personality.

The menu statistics: Sixteen appetizers in the “Greenery” category, six in “Schmears and Spreads,” 28 in “Non-conformist.” Turn the page over to find 46 entrees, daily specials not included. Ingredients are local and organic as much as possible — chef/owner Kerry Altiero was an early adopter of this practice, and remains passionate about where all his products come from. Add to that the menu’s novel offerings, and choosing is just plain hard.

Sensitive types who shudder at concoctions such as “Bleu Job” (arugula, bleu cheese, sweet potato fries) or “Wedgie” (a salad) might find the eatery’s brash personality a tad too much. But most will find the milieu a great conversation starter.

We ordered all over the globe. From Maine, we tried a cup of squash soup with crab, the night’s special — yellow and creamy, crab-flecked and too salty ($8). Fire-roasted mixed greens were crispy, doused heavily with balsamic and partnered with mushrooms, garlic cloves and a hunk of feta to offset the dark and char ($13). Pricey, but delicious.

A dish called “Fabulous Bowl of Meat: aka f.b.o.m.” brought to the table spicy ground turkey, shredded carrot, lime wedges, cellophane noodles and romaine lettuce leaves for wrapping — a very good Thai-inspired dish ($13.50), but not quite what you might get from your favorite take-out. A luscious risotto appetizer ($18 and really an entree, but billed as a starter) was wonderful — not too rich or sticky — and came topped with strips of grilled and meaty Chicken of the Woods mushrooms.

We had scant room for entrees, but forged on. (Budget-watchers, be advised that you can eat very well and fill up just by adhering to page one of the menu, which is all starters.)

A delicious Indian-inspired dish called “Gnu Thing” was a soupy and fiery coconut milk sauce flavored with curry, garlic and ginger ladled over a collection of large shrimp, potatoes and a few green beans, all topped with slices of cucumber ($25.50). Jasmine rice and brown lentils were moderating sides, tasty in their own right.

Auntie Fluffie’s Pasta was cauliflower sauteed in brown butter and tossed with the restaurant’s al dente homemade rigatoni (how do they do it all), lots of shaved Romano, caramelized onions and a blizzard of fresh parsley ($18.50). The preparation allowed the cauliflower flavor to stand out, but about a third of the vegetable in this enormous portion was burnt. Auntie Fluffie might have served those pieces to the nieces and nephews, but it’s not for paying customers.

Haddock enchiladas ($24.50) introduced cuisine from a third corner of the globe to our table. While the fish and edges of the tortillas were a little dry, suggesting too much time in that brick oven, the heat flavor brought a salutory kick to the tongue, and the cilantro and lime slaw was a crunchy citrus offset.

There’s nothing timid or dainty about Cafe Miranda, service included. Our server was brusque but cheerful, if a little wired. Only two servers handled the entire room on the night we visited — call it diner staffing.

No explanation was offered when starters came 45 minutes after we’d ordered. My guess it was due to the risotto appetizer, a dish that demands time and attention. But why not bring soup and grilled greens beforehand?

A square of tiramisu, layers of mocha creaminess and light-as-air cake was a luscious finish ($7). No room to try more.

“We do not serve the food of cowards,” proclaims the legal-sized, two-sided, small-print menu at Cafe Miranda. Indeed, flavors, menu and portion sizes can be daunting. But unless you’re in the pinkies-up world, do find time to join the full-belly revelry that happens just steps from the dignified Farnsworth Museum and Robert Indiana’s outdoor sculpture, “EAT,” the illuminated letters flashing without irony over Rockland’s brick-lined Main Street.

While the kitchen can’t claim expertise on every one of the dishes it puts out, none of this stops the conformists and the non-conformists from descending upon this rocking Rockland hangout.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer.