Memorable | One of the Best
Review by: Michael Stern
*** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED ***
Small-town cafes don’t get more Roadfoodly than Doris’s. When Linda Daigle, the late Doris’s sister, turns on the lights and unlocks the door at 5am, the group of guys who have been waiting on the porch (which the cafe shares with the Fort Kent Mills Post Office), walk in, grab mugs from the pegboard on the wall, pour their own coffee and chat amongst themselves. “On Parle Francais Ici” says a sign on the door, and sure enough, most of the morning conversations are in French or in English with such a dense Acadian accent that it sounds just as foreign. While the regulars socialize, Linda gets the home fries cooking, stirs up some ploye batter, and starts toasting thick slices of the bread made right here.
Good as the toast is, Doris’s ployes demand attention, too. The crepe-like buckwheat pancakes, a specialty unique to the Acadian northeast, are great for mopping egg yolks in the morning or gravy from the excellent hot turkey lunch or ham-centered boiled dinner. As we spread butter on our hot ployes, a discussion broke out among customers about what, exactly, defines a proper one. “You want that butter to spread, not get sucked up,” said one counter denizen, maintaining that ployes must be cooked long enough for the top to get a bit firm. An eavesdropper at a distant table held a point-of-order fork in the air, warning that overcooking is the worst thing you can do to a ploye because if it’s too firm it will not absorb enough butter or gravy. Our waitress could not help but chime in and voice her opinion that it is so wrong for the old timers to spread ployes with molasses when butter and brown sugar make such a better choice.
Now, about potatoes. This is potato-growing country and folks around here take them seriously. Breakfast home fries are beautifully crisp with a tender, full-flavored center in every hunk. The French fries served at lunch, hand-cut of course, are superb. We like them just plain salted, but the culinary explorer needs also to get them as the foundation for poutine: topped with dark gravy and shredded cheese that melts from the heat of the spuds. We prefer more traditional poutine, made using cheese curds, but these potatoes are so good that nothing can eclipse them.
Pies and cakes are homemade, the standout among them known as “JJ apple pie.” No one could explain the meaning of the name, but that’s OK. This pie is memorable, made from big hunks of spiced apple with a crumbly, buttery crust that is laced with a ribbon of caramel.
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|Credit Cards Accepted||No|