In the shifting economic and cultural environments of America, certain mutated organisms found a niche and flourished. Just as the butterflies we see today are ornate and beautiful for a reason, Moody’s Diner out in the boonies of Maine is beautiful too.
In 1927, a pioneering family in Waldeboro heard that US Route 1 was going to bring sleepy human beings and their wallet-resources to the area. They adapted by building cabins. In a symbiotic relationship with these American consumer-organisms, the Moody family gathered resources for their own food and shelter.
It turned out that human beings on their way to the coast got hungry, too. Moody’s survived and became fit. Like an extra leg or opposable thumb, a diner sprouted forth alongside the cabins. The Moody-clan thrives today based on these Whoopie Pies and greasy-spoon adaptations, 90 years later.
Today they have evolved into a charming diner serving food that meets the high-end of your expectations after reading their sign: “When I get hungry I get Moody!”
Bizarrely, I had the best fried scallops I’ve ever eaten here. That’s strange for two reasons:
1) scallops aren’t local
2) you shouldn’t fry scallops. I wouldn’t even have thought it was possible to fry scallops without ruining them. Somehow, these were flawlessly – absolutely perfectly tender, yet had a crisp breading.
Maine clams are “sweet,” and lacking the mineral depth of other clams. Lots of them fit in your tummy. You will find many of them piled on your plate.
The haddock is meaty as opposed to being flaky, and complemented a diner-y seafood trifecta by adding this variety in texture. This is, of course, the kind of seafood that pairs not with white wine but instead tartar sauce.
Congruence adds a lot to an eating experience. Moody’s neon sign, friendly booths, homey yet brisk service, and abundant well-prepared food made with zero pretense all sing together in harmony. It’s the song you want to hear when you’re on a road-trip to the Maine coast.
1885 Atlantic Hwy
“What America Tastes Like” is an exploration of sub-cultures in the US by way of food. Eating is something all people do, and it also happens to be one of the few expressions of “difference and diversity” in culture that just about all people are ready to celebrate. Regardless of our politics and religion and ontologies, we all like to eat food with our mouths.
Food makes family happen.