Carved wooden sculptures of Captain Mike, with his grizzled beard, sun-yellow raincoat and glossy black boots, guard every corner of Captain Mike's Family Restaurant on Bath Road in Brunswick. These totems add a little color to an otherwise drab block of red brick, fake wood, and gravel-colored wall-to-wall carpeting, which might have been a Wendy's in a former life. The Foodie didn't go to Captain Mike's, however, for the atmosphere.
She went there to see the iconic fisherman himself. His legend, written on the back of every menu, did say that if the Fates were on her side, she just might satisfy her collegiate dream of meeting a real Maine fisherman. "If you're lucky," it mocks, "you must might get a glimpse of good 'ol Captain Mike! Har, har, har."
"Mike! Captain Mike! Where are ye?" the Foodie said under her breath as she received another refill of her water glass.
"Not this time," the Foodie Friend consoled her, "Not this time."
"Just wait. He'll come," she persisted. "I know he will."
Captain Mike didn't bound through the kitchen doors to serve the Foodie and Foodie Friend the cup of chowder, er, "chowdah," they ordered, and he didn't sidle over to inquire as to the quality of their baked fish, either. Where was he?
Perhaps he was waiting for the Foodie to audibly praise her meal to ensure he'd be welcome. Well, friends, to ensure that you, yourself, have a visit from Captain Mike, don't order the fish chowdah unless you like it as viscous as yogurt. That way you won't mistakenly make a disgusted face after having to scrape the cream from the top, scaring him away.
Moreover, be sure to sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over your baked fish before you dig in so that it has some sort of flavor; the paprika on top needs a little coaxing to be detectable. Otherwise, you'll think the fish bland, and further push Captain Mike into the kitchen, whose sixth sense, the Foodie's heard, alerts him to unhappy diners.
Finally, don't get the mixed vegetables in an effort to be healthful. They're fresh all right?from the freezer, and they squish like a sponge between your teeth. Just get the mashed potatoes, which scored points with both Foodie and Friend, and a biscuit.
Captain Mike also serves lobster, lobster and crab rolls, scallops and shrimp. Most items, all reasonably priced, come fried. There's also a couple of different pies to choose from for dessert, as well as Indian Pudding.
Perhaps if the Foodie had chosen one of these items, Captain Mike would have paid her and Foodie Friend a visit. She may not have actually met the man, but perhaps his spirit was shining down on her nevertheless, for as she was exiting his restaurant, she looked back on his sculpture behind the plexiglass door, and maybe, just maybe, it winked.