Is McLoons Lobster in South Thomaston the new Eventide? According to the just-released EATER 38 New England best restaurant list, it’s in the running. The national food site gives the no-frills clam shack top billing next to the James Beard powerhouse on Portland’s Middle Street.
Primo in Rockland (another Beard winner) got a shout out, which is no surprise, but hard-to-find spots like the tiny Palace Diner in Biddeford? And McLoons?
Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison singles out McLoon’s lobster roll for its correct moisture quotient. “Mayo is slathered on the bun, not the meat, and hot butter is an at-the-ready alternative,” he writes.
At the Palace Diner, chefs Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell are credited for their “burgers, breakfast sandwiches, and flapjacks pulled off with a special finesse that makes waiting for one of the scant 15 seats well worth it.”
(Note, Conley will be on my Facebook Live show Coffee with Cooks tomorrow. He’s got a new trick up his sleeve called Rose Foods coming to Portland soon).
At Palace “slices of grapefruit become something else entirely when tossed on the grill. A thick layer of iceberg lends a cool crunch to the tuna melt, heaped with tuna salad and pickles. Thick-cut challah french toast arrives with the top bruleed for built-in sweetness,” Addison swoons.
In total, nine Maine spots made the list. Shout out to Tandem Coffee, Drifter’s Wife, Long Grain, The Lost Kitchen, and Maine Diner in Wells for Grandma’s lobster pie, “A voluptuous casserole of hunky crustacean pieces drenched in butter and topped with equally buttery cracker crumbs. Easily one of the best dishes in New England.”