While visiting friends in Norway, we decided to give Fuel restaurant in Lewiston a try, as the July 14 article in the Portland Press Herald intrigued us (“Lewiston’s Fuel restaurant is offered as prize in essay contest”).

The owner is soliciting essay submissions, of which one will be selected and the complete restaurant business awarded as a prize.

The online menu looked interesting. The actual experience could only be described as rivaling the old “Candid Camera” show, in which service was close to being absent and rude when it made a rare appearance. The food was completely inedible, appearing to have been microwaved. We expected to see Alan Funt at any moment. The only positive was a well-priced wine list.

The staff was clearly uninterested and acted as if the restaurant’s closing was imminent. Indeed, Fuel was more than three-quarters empty on a Saturday evening.

I would suggest that anyone interested in the contest look elsewhere for a business opportunity. As for the owner, he should be ashamed of how dismal Fuel is in every category of restaurant operations. If anything, the name should have been a warning: Although “fuel” may be a term more associated with gas stations, in this case, the food was not quite on par with gas station fare.

I’d advise anyone considering Fuel to hold on to your pens and stay away!

Milton Schwartzberg

Boston