Good Eats in Town ~ 12th Issue
This summer we made our annual trek from Keene, NH to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine for a week’s vacation. We’ve been coming to Mount Desert Island regularly for about five years. We camp at the National Park camp ground at Sewall, and each day we try to visit some of the islands many attractions.
Last year, we happened upon some brochures for what sounded like a cool BBQ place at a brewery with daily tours, and although we didn’t have time to visit, we vowed to make it a stop on this year’s adventure. In retrospect, we waited about five years too long to come here. What a fantastic find!
First off, this is a very casual place, and is nestled within the small hamlet of Town Hill on the island. You don’t necessarily drive by the gate, it’s not on the main route; and if you do, you need to know what to look for. There is a sign indicating you are at the Atlantic Brewing Company and the home of the Knox Road Grille, but there’s no neon or flashing lights.
We found the place with the help of my GPS and pulled into the gravel driveway beside an old New England Style house. The small driveway goes past the house, beer garden and grille building and opens to a huge parking lot hidden in the woods in the back. The beer garden and the parking lot were packed, so there was some indication that we had stumbled onto something great.
All manner of folks were there…dressed up urban socialites, family vacationers, bikers, hippy kids and local kids we had seen working in town. They were all sitting together, wherever there was a spot, eating, drinking, chatting and smiling. I knew this was my kind of place.
You just walk in and find a spot, any vacant spot, inside or out. We sat inside, the first night, at a big bar-like table with another couple, and we were soon joined another group. The waitress took our food and drink orders right off, and even though the place was packed, we didn’t have to wait long for beer or BBQ. We chatted with our table neighbors between ordering and receiving our food.
I ordered the combo plate, which consists of Pulled Pork, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Ribs, Hot Italian sausage, potato salad, Boston baked beans and coleslaw. I also ordered a delicious Bar Harbor Real Ale from the brewery menu. I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious everything was. The ribs were meaty and juicy on the inside and crispy and BBQ-y on the outside. They don’t smother the meat in BBQ sauce, the way some places do. Instead, there are bottles of BBQ and hot sauce on the table for you to add to your own taste. I ate the ribs plain, the sausage with hot sauce, and the chicken and pulled pork with BBQ sauce. It was A LOT of food!
None of us could stop smiling through the whole meal. Each bite was a delicious thrill all over again. At this point, we knew we had found our new favorite place to eat. Even my son, Jeremiah, who leans more toward vegetarianism, and normally finds pork distasteful, devoured his meal, humming and smiling the whole time. I think the root beer float kind of helped lubricate the situation.
The second to last night of our vacation, we came back for another round of gustatory happiness. The brewery was open and giving tours, so that was our first stop. We tried a bounty of different beers, ales, barley wines, root beer and blueberry soda. Then we found a nice table outside and sat down to enjoy the evening air, beer, BBQ and a great live blues band playing at the high end of the beer garden. It was probably the highlight of my vacation.
I am certain that I will be back, and I recommend this place to everyone who enjoys good food, good beer and a good time!
The Knox Road Grille
Home of Mainely Meat Barbeque
Open 7 Days a Week
From Memorial Day to Columbus Day
All-You-Can-Eat BBQ Saturdays
15 Knox Road
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609