First things first: the Fishermen’s Grill is a small, deli-style restaurant on outer Forest Ave. next to the Fisherman’s Net (seafood market) and Haggerty’s (Brit-Indi take-out). Near RSVP? Are we all together now? This is usually how my conversation with people goes. It’s a bit back from the road, marked by a small green awning and very easy to miss.
Recently, the Fishermen’s Grill was recognized as the number one seafood restaurant by Yelp in all of New England. The subsequent Bangor Daily News article was the most I’d heard of the restaurant in one go, previously only having seen the rare facebook updates from friends involving pictures of mountains of fried seafood.
So a casual mention of this to coworker/friend Dr. P led to a suggestion that we should go for lunch. Like that day’s lunch. Like right now. I balked, saying I’d brought a sensible, healthy packed lunch and shouldn’t be spending money. He countered with point out that it tooks us months of discussing Duckfat’s poutine to before finally making it to the restaurant for a plate. Point, counterpoint, you win.
The Fishermen’s Grill is the very definition of “no frills.” It is a deli-style counter, but there’s about eight seats inside, and I perused a gun catalog while we waited for our food. Dr. P and I split a Seafood 3 Combo ($22.95) and chose Maine shrimp, haddock, and scallops, skipping over clams (they were temporarily out) and clam cakes. The combos come with coleslaw and fries as well.
And here it is: my very own picture of a mountain of fried seafood to post to facebook. While I will concede that I think it’s hard to screw up fried seafood, everything we had was delicious. My favorite was the fried scallops (don’t think I’d ever had them before) and of course, the fried Maine shrimp. I don’t know where owner Mike Nappi sources them, but once I confirmed they were Maine shrimp, I didn’t ask any more questions.
The haddock portion was plentiful, the fish inside still moist, and the batter coating crunchy. Everything was hot, but not scalding. The menu also includes lobster rolls, all sorts of combinations of fried seafood, burgers, chicken and fish sandwiches, and every kind of seafood chowder.
This place isn’t sexy, but the food is the real deal. The seafood is ordered fresh daily and sourced locally. Once there weather warms up, I could see sitting outside or getting food to go and enjoying it in Baxter Woods across the street. It’s not necessarily cheap, but portions are big and easily feed two. The Fishermen’s Grill is cash only. Go check it out and enjoy the “locals only” feeling.