Whenever our schedule affords us a trip up to Maine, we try to make it to Lewiston to visit my great aunt. Aunt Alberta is ninety-one and sharp as a tack with a wicked sense of humor. She knows all the great haunts in Lewiston and Auburn for good traditional New England (and French Canadian) food. One of her favorite places to grab a bite is Rolly's Diner. It's just the sort of locals only joints that you dream of stumbling on when you're on the road...
Rolly's (pronounced r-AHL-ies) is just over the river in Auburn, Maine. The outside of the building isn't flashy. It's the sort of place where you walk in and sit where you want. Nothing on the menu is over ten bucks with most dishes ringing it under $6.95 (the $9.50 price point is saved for a lobster sub).
Crepes are made to order from scratch and are a popular option (my aunt seems to always order them). They are good, but as someone who learned crepe making from my mom who in turn learned from Aunt Alberta (who learned from her French Canadian mother!), I know I can make a mean crepe myself if the mood strikes.
What I can't make or find pretty much anywhere is creton (crey-toh-n) a French Canadian spiced ground pork/pork fat spread somewhat akin to pâté. You eat it spread on toast and while it's not a featured dish on the menu you can get a "side" of it for a dollar (it's in the little plastic cup above).
This past weekend, I went with the Memorial Day Pancake Special, three buttery, super fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream. It came with my choice of bacon, ham or sausage (pork sausage patties, all the way!) for only $5.95. In New York the same breakfast would have been easily twice that. Great breakfast, good down to earth folks, totally worth the trip.
Rolly's Diner 87 Mill Street Auburn, ME 04210 (207) 753-0171 Monday-Saturday:5:00AM-2:00PM Sunday: 7:00AM-12:00PM