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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: July 21, 2015

Bluff Pub in York fumbles a kid-menu request, but they serve a perfect burger

Written by: Bob Keyes
Customers enjoy a busy and beautiful summer afternoon overlooking Short Sands Beach at The Bluff Pub at the Union Bluff Hotel in York, For Eat and Run. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Customers enjoy a busy and beautiful summer afternoon overlooking Short Sands Beach at The Bluff Pub at the Union Bluff Hotel in York, For Eat and Run. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

The idea was simple enough: We’ll head over to York for a quick bite at a beach restaurant, enjoy the remnants of the day and then take the 6-year-old to see Nubble Light.

Of course, it’s never that simple.


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Through a process too complicated to explain here, we ended up at Bluff Pub, one of two dining establishments at the Union Bluff Hotel. The hotel is right on the water, and parking was easy on a midweek evening. We were seated in a crowded dining room that looked out across the sand toward water. Our primary view was of a young extended family sprawled out across beach chairs, with coolers and drinks.

Our server quickly took our drink order and promised to come right back – which she did, with our drinks. And then she disappeared.

She left us alone for a solid 10 minutes. That gave us plenty of time to peruse the menu and enough time for the youngster to debate what he really wanted for dinner. His first choice was mac and cheese, but the only mac and cheese on the menu is the lobster variety, and the price tag on that is north of $20. That’s not happening.

Choice No. 2 is a cheeseburger, but there’s no cheeseburger on the kid’s menu. No worries. His mom will negotiate.

When the waitress returns, we ask if we can get a kid-size order of mac and cheese, without the lobster. We can, but we have to pay full price. How about a kid-size burger, even though there’s not one on the kids menu?

A cheeseburger served with fries and a pickle awaits a hungry customer at The Bluff Pub at the Union Bluff Hotel in York. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

A cheeseburger served with fries and a pickle awaits a hungry customer at The Bluff Pub at the Union Bluff Hotel in York. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

 

Nope, we can’t do that, either. The pub used to have cheeseburgers on the kids menu, the waitress explained, “But I only sold three of them in a year.”

Which I interpreted as, “Can’t you find something on the kids menu? And would you please hurry up? I’ve got all these other tables.”

Luke got his cheeseburger off the adult menu at the adult price of $9.25. He had two bites.

I ordered the Bluff Burger ($11.25), a bacon-and-swiss burger with mushrooms, and it was outstanding. The burger was cooked medium, and still juicy. I counted three strips of bacon, upon which the Swiss cheese was melted. The bun was chewy. It was a perfect burger in every way and exactly what I had hoped for when I ordered it.

For my side, I asked for home-cooked potato chips, which were crisp and salty. Very good.

Vicki’s turkey BLT ($11.95) rated a solid average. She liked the sandwich but described the turkey as processed. It had good taste, and was served on solid bread with a very good side of sweet potato fries, but there was nothing about it that made it stand out in any way.

Our primary disappointment was Luke’s meal. I was surprised the restaurant management does not empower its servers to accommodate requests of diners, especially kids. After spending more money than we intended, we took a stroll on the beach and Luke got to see the lighthouse, which he thought was pretty cool.

And then home to Berwick, where Luke’s leftovers became my lunch the next day.

THE BLUFF PUB

WHERE: Union Bluff Hotel, 8 Beach St., York | 800-833-0721 or unionbluff.com/Pub.cfm
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
WAIT: It took longer than an hour to be seated, place our order and receive our food.
PARKING: The hotel has valet parking, and we were lucky enough to find an open spot on the street.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: Yes

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