For those of you who visit Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, and Acadia National Park in Maine as much as I do and get off at the city of Augusta to head over to coastal Route 1, you may feel that it is sometimes difficult to find a good restaurant between, say, August and Ellsworth. However, some of us who frequent Acadia National park and the general area around it have discovered a great little dining spot called Darby's, a restaurant and bar in the funky seaside town of Belfast, about midway between Augusta and Mount Desert Island.
Darby's Restaurant and Pub is housed in a nearly 150-year-old building, complete with a tin ceiling, a hardwood floor, and an antique bar. Indeed, Darby's has the classic feel of such great Boston haunts as Doyle's, JJ Foley's, and Jacob Wirth with its colorful atmosphere. Being that Darby's resides in an artsy town, though, it is a bit more quirky and offbeat than Doyle's and the like. In fact, Darby's is so unusual that it is difficult to even categorize the cuisine here; ironically, we have listed Darby's as an American restaurant simply because it has nearly every type of ethnic food imaginable. From the potato latkes to the pad thai to the enchiladas to the Moroccan lamb to the lobster ravioli, Darby's covers the globe.
You would think that a restaurant with so many types of cuisine cannot excel in any, but this is not true at Darby's. The macaroni and cheese is exquisite, and both the enchiladas and the burgers are outstanding. Other good dishes include the chicken quesadillas (though they do not always serve this) and the pecan haddock. And the excellent beer list at Darby's includes great beers you won't find at many places.
Belfast is a fun place to visit, with its art galleries, stunning views of the ocean, and charming old houses. And Darby's makes a visit to Belfast that much more memorable. Whether you are staying in the Belfast area or are heading to Bar Harbor, Acadia, or another destination, head over to Darby's. My guess is, it will be the first of many visits to this offbeat dining spot.
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