I love an excuse to eat fried seafood. Well, let’s be honest, anything fried is good. But, fried seafood takes the cake. This week, SKC visits a local favorite, The Weathervane Restaurant to road-test it on some finicky diners…my family.
The Kittery, Maine location is smack in the middle of Outlet Heaven. Getting here is usually a traffic nightmare during summer or pre-holiday weekends, but we manage to coast right in due to our well planned mid-week visit. We are immediately welcomed by a friendly hostess and a 6-foot giant lobster holding balloons. My kids are already liking this place. We are directed to a sunny table in the dining room and are provided with coloring activity placemats and a package of crayons with a lobster on the box, cute.
On The Menu
Our waitress gets right down to business rattling off a bunch of yummy sounding specials (the Pesto Salmon Wrap and the lobster salad club known as the “Knuckle Sandwich” sound pretty great) and takes our drink orders. For $5.29, the kids’ menu offers up chicken fingers and pasta for the landlubber, but mostly consists of fried seafood (haddock nuggets, baby shrimp, clam strips). Each meal comes with a drink that’s served in a plastic cup with a dome covered top and straw. We decide on two kids’ baskets of shrimp and haddock and the adults order the Salmon Wrap and a broiled haddock sandwich (yep, trying to be good again, but I figure I’ll sneak some of my kids fried food to take the edge off).
While waiting for our lunch to arrive, we are given a basket of rolls and butter. My children have an unnatural addiction to rolls and butter, and the 4-pack we started with is quickly consumed. Unhappy with the timing delay in receiving an additional basket of bread, my son initiates a hearty tantrum during our lunch. I carry him out to the waiting area for “cool down” and no one blinks an eye—no dirty looks from other patrons, no sneers from the other waitstaff. Phew.
After we’ve calmed down, we head back in and see that our lunch has arrived. By then, the other diners in our party have commenced eating (hence the lack of food photos below, sorry). The kids’ meals, which come in an adorable lobster basket, are chock full of fried seafood and look plentiful enough to satisfy most adults’ hunger. The salmon wrap and my broiled haddock sandwich are fresh and delicious. But it’s the fried seafood that hits a homerun with me. The “breading” is super light and crispy—not like that awful beer-batter type doughy stuff that some restaurants use. I sneak a few bites of fried fish and shrimp off my kids’ plates when they aren’t looking, yum. Feels like summer already.
What’s The Damage
We had a 50% coupon for one lunch entrée which saved us a few bucks so the total bill was around $28, which I thought was pretty good for four people. The coupons are available in the weekend newspapers so I start thinking…had we come on a Wednesday (where kids’ meals are $1.99), we probably could have gotten away with a tab around $15! Now that’s really a bargain!
The Bottom Line (based on a five-star rating):
Distraction Offering: ???½ (crayons/activity mat/giant lobster with balloons, all a big hit with the kiddos)
Atmosphere: ???½ (day or night, always a family-friendly environment)
Food: ???? (good portion sizes and tasty, fresh seafood)
Affordability: ???½ (for fresh seafood, the prices are better than average—and it’s a steal if you go on Wednesdays and/or use a coupon)
Service: ????½ (awesome service, fast and super accommodating)
The Weathervane Restaurant
(these are the two local restaurants, but they are all over Maine and New Hampshire)
306 US Route 1, Kittery, ME (207) 439-0330
2 Dover Point Rd, Dover, NH (603) 749-2341
(this basket was half eaten by the time of this pic!)