Waterville + Winslow
Each month Joe Ricchio gives local insight into his favorite places to eat and drink. He recommends that you pace yourself as you Eat Maine.
1 | Uncle Dean’s Good Groceries
After vanquishing their competitors, “Auntie Mildred’s Outrageously Crappy Groceries” and “Cousin Jacques’ Comme Ci, Comme Ça Groceries,” Uncle Dean’s has been satisfying Waterville’s needs for all things natural and organic. A newly expanded wine selection complements the array of fresh produce, bulk foods, and vitamins, not to mention the fact that you will be supporting an operation that has been independently owned for more than twenty years.
80 Grove St. | Waterville | 207.873.6231
2 | Jokas’ Discount Beverage
I still get so excited about shopping at liquor stores that I carefully map out each drink I intend to consume in the evening ahead. There will be a few bottles of refreshingly delightful Belgian sour ale to start, followed by two bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I will then freshen my breath with a nip of Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint Schnapps in preparation for several glasses of vintage Port. If you can indulge my hobbies, I promise never to give you a hard time about your scrapbooking obsession.
52 Front St. | Waterville | 207.873.6228
3 | Buen Apetito
I was pretty damn surprised to find Mexican food this good in Waterville. Attached to the Railroad Square Cinema, it’s the perfect pre-movie food spot. I recommend a few margaritas outside on the patio, accompanied by their wildly addictive chips and salsa. If you don’t have to rush off to catch a movie, you can attempt to conquer their large plate of chile rellenos, served with rice, beans, and a liberal helping of their fiery house-made Jalisco Hot Plum Sauce.
4 Chaplin St. | Waterville | 207.861.4649
4 | Bolley’s Famous Franks
Some things never change, and in the case of Bolley’s Famous Franks—and that’s just how the locals want it. All you need to know is two dogs, loaded, with fries and a large chocolate milk. Yes, you can order chocolate milk and no one will treat you like a five-year-old, but be advised never to ask for spicy mustard unless you would like to be curtly informed that Bolley’s only has one kind of mustard and it “ain’t the spicy kind.”
96 College Ave. | Waterville | 207.873.6264
5 | Apollo's Bistro
I find it comforting to know that after a sixty-minute massage, a replenishing facial, and a manicure and a pedicure at the Apollo Day Spa, I can book a table for one at the neighboring bistro, where I can let other diners marvel at how radiant I look. Home to some of Waterville’s more refined cuisine, Apollo serves up fresh local ingredients prepared in a creative, internationally influenced style.
91 Silver St. | Waterville | 207.872.8736
6 | Lebanese Cuisine
Just to give you a heads up: if you are in search of Eritrean or Peruvian cuisine, this is not the place for you. What you’ll find in this tiny, hole-in-the-wall bakery is outstanding and inexpensive home-style Lebanese fare. Standouts include spinach pie, beef shawarma, and green beans and rice. Before you go, stop in at an ATM: they only accept cash.
34 Temple St. | Waterville | 207.873.7813
7 | Grand Central Cafe
Studies have statistically shown that if you build a large brick oven, crowds of people will instinctively flock to it and begin frantically consuming massive amounts of delicious thin-crust pizza. So it goes, day in and day out, at the Grand Central. Favorites such as the Pepperoni Express, topped with smoked Gouda, keep locals coming back again and again.
10 Railroad Sq. | Waterville | 207.872.9135
8 | Big G’s Deli
With sandwiches bearing the names of everyone from local basketball legend Cindy Blodgett to the man who turned sweating while listening to the oldies into an art form (Richard Simmons), Big G’s has been serving up portions large enough to cash in all of your Deal-a-Meal cards since 1986. The menu is available on their website, and while you’re online you might as well Google “Richard Simmons Deal-a-Meal,” so that you understand my obscure dieting reference.
581 Benton Ave. | Winslow | 207.873.7808
9 | The Last Unicorn
The actual Last Unicorn reportedly makes trips from her enchanted wood on Tuesday evenings to sup at this fine establishment, when it offers an Italian-themed menu featuring several pasta dishes that complement her insatiable lust for Spanish Verdejo. According to many regulars, the Unicorn will wave her hoof around, as if attempting to give an enthusiastic “thumbs-up,” while feasting on one of the many sandwich offerings available at lunch and dinner.
8 Silver St. | Waterville | 207.873.6378