So, it gives me great pleasure to say that I have finally eaten at the A1 Diner in Gardiner Maine...a place that I have been dying to try for such a long time. Greg, our irreverent friend Mary, and I took a road trip to Portland over Halloween weekend to see Mary's daughter in a play called "Zombies." It was quite a night to say the least.
but onto the review:
The A1 Diner, Gardiner, Maine
I love diner food and have been hearing and reading about the A1 for a long time. From what I heard, it not only served traditional diner food, but also served a bit fancier fare. I was very excited when the group took my "suggestion" that we stop there for lunch on our way to Portland. The diner is in an old rail car and is festooned with chrome and stainless steel everywhere. The interior was the original art deco, a bit down at the heals, but groovy nonetheless. I looked around at my surrounds and found that the original 1930s deco interior was pretty much intact, including the green slag glass in the cleristory (time to get out your dictionaries, though I'm not sure I spelled "cleristory" correctly.
We opened the menus and were happy to find so many choices. I ordered Tuscan minestrone and the Spicy Basque chicken paiella with peas. The soup was fantastic and came with a flaky biscuit. The paiella was not so spicy and a bit sticky and mushy for me. I'd give it a B for effort.
Mary went all out and had a calimari Greek salad. She said it was good for a diner...the calimari was not too chewy, and the salad portion was really large. Greg stayed with the traditional and ordered a bacon cheesburger which looked great...big and juicy. He also ordered the onion rings which were great. I prefer mine seasoned, but these were very crispy and tasty too.
We passed on the pie selection because we figured that we needed to walk and not roll out of the joint. All in all a nice place. Because of the atmosphere, I would try the place again, maybe for dinner some night.
Overall rating B+