February 3, 2013

Dine Out Maine: Food surprises at comfortable, fun Montsweag Roadhouse

By NANCY HEISER

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

The bar at the Montsweag Roadhouse is a popular gathering spot featuring 14 taps and a wine list of about 20 bottles.

Courtesy photos

DINING REVIEW

MONTSWEAG ROADHOUSE 942 U.S. Route 1, Woolwich. 443-6563; montsweagroadhouse.com

***1/2

HOURS: Serves food 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bar open until 11 p.m.; until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday

CREDIT CARDS: All major

PRICE RANGE: Appetizers, $5 to $11; burgers and sandwiches, $8 to $10; entrees, $12 to $21

VEGETARIAN: Yes

GLUTEN-FREE: Yes, a few choices

KIDS: Welcome; separate menu

RESERVATIONS: Yes

BAR: Full. This is a large and popular watering hole. Fourteen taps and a descriptive wine list of about 20 bottles, most available by the glass, $5 to $8. Entree specials on the menu are listed with suggested wine pairing.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

BOTTOM LINE: Montsweag Roadhouse's funky red exterior suggests strictly pub fare, but there's more. While burgers and sandwiches bear customary prices, you'll find some delicious and ample main dishes for well under $20 in a casual and unpretentious atmosphere. Big groups as well as locals seem to flock here, as there are menu choices for many tastes, large spaces to spread out and a high-spirited vibe.

Ratings follow this scale and take into consideration food, atmosphere, service and value:

* Poor **Fair  ***Good ****Excellent *****Extraordinary.

The Maine Sunday Telegram visits an establishment twice if the first dining experience was unsatisfactory. The reviewer dines anonymously.

Service was efficient, ultra-friendly and consistent with the atmosphere; this is not high tea at Downton Abbey. One particularly nice feature? Entrees were delivered all at once by two servers. This small but significant gesture was the case at all the tables we spied. No guest sat waiting for other dishes to arrive.

The list of homemade desserts caught our attention, and we devoured a delicious, warmed-up eggnog bread pudding with bread cubes intact but soft and vanilla ice cream atop.

Cheesecake du jour was grasshopper -- a chocolate crumb crust, creme de menthe cheesy part, and a slate of firm dark chocolate above -- an excellent mixture of textures and flavors (both $6).

Skip the ubiquitous chocolate lava cake -- it's the only dessert not made in-house -- and try something new, yet still comfortable and fun.

In essence, that's the spirit of Montsweag Roadhouse.

This eatery, which in some respects resembles a long-ago roadside inn (notably the basic, rustic wood decor and the potbellied stove), has cultivated a niche as a good-times spot, but it has also evolved with the changing food scene. The regulars keep coming, but food lovers in the area are making it their own too.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer and editor. She can be reached at:

nancyheiser.com

 

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