May 20, 2012

DINE OUT MAINE: For real Maine diner experience, Dysart's fills the pie hole

By SHONNA MILLIKEN HUMPHREY

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Dysart's Truck Stop off I-95 in Bangor has been serving truckers and the rest of us for decades. Thankfully, this slice of Americana continues the glorious tradition of late-night pie.

Courtesy photo

DINING REVIEW

DYSART'S TRUCK STOP, 530 Cold Brook Road, Bangor, 942-4878; dysarts.com

HOURS: Open daily 24 hours

★★★★

BAR: None

CREDIT CARDS: All major

PRICE RANGE: $2.95 to $22.99, with most sandwiches and entrees in the $9 to $10 range. Breakfast served all night.

VEGETARIAN: Yes, but limited

RESERVATIONS: No

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: Yes

BOTTOM LINE: There's road food, and there's road food at Dysart's. If you find yourself driving on Interstate 95, skip the fast-food chains and get yourself to a Dysart's table for home-style Maine favorites, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Of particular note at this uniquely Maine location are the pies, both savory and sweet.

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.

The stars of the evening, though, were the pies, both the savory and the sweet. Chicken Pot Pie ($9.99), also available for takeout, is clearly scratch-made with buttery and flaky crust. The chicken, pulled and not cubed, was a nice complement to the fork-tender vegetables. The gravy was a medium texture -- neither gelatinous nor soupy. I look forward to ordering this comfort-food staple again on a return trip.

Sweet pies rotate, but I can vouch for the raspberry and the banana cream. If I closed my eyes, I would swear they were cut from my extended family's Thanksgiving buffet table. Neither was cloyingly sweet, and both were amply stuffed. While not mile-high, these pies are far from skimpy. With a bottomless cup of coffee ($1.99), a trucker essential, the pie was the crowning moment for an evening spent catching up across a table full of home-style deliciousness.

After supper, make sure to stretch your legs in the Dysart's shop. A sign advertising diesel oil endorsed by Ted Nugent (courtesy of the "Ted, White, and Blue") strangely welcomes shoppers seeking all manner of audiobooks, ceramic figurines, truck parts and snack cakes. Haircuts are available for truckers, as are church services and private showers.

On an interstate full of chain options, I am grateful for the family-owned Dysart's and its willingness to continue the tradition of late-night pie. If you reach Bangor with an appetite, opt for Dysart's. There's plenty of parking, and you will not leave hungry.

 

Shonna Milliken Humphrey is a Maine freelance writer and author of the novel "Show Me Good Land."

 

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