Review: Timber Kitchen and Bar

29 April 2016

After last night’s amazing tasting menu at Stages at One Washington, I headed back up to Maine full of energy. I had a very, very long day trekking through Maine, including quite a bit of hiking in Augusta. I was tired but happy when I drifted into Bangor, and having skipped lunch I was hoping for a nice dinner.

I couldn’t find much online to be honest, and the only place that looked interesting that was not connected to a casino was a place called Timber Kitchen and Bar. They have a no reservation policy which I didn’t quite care for, but let’s see what happens this Friday early evening.

Apparently there was a circus across the street so parking was a mess, as was traffic. Throw in some protestors and you got a bit of unnecessary chaos. I got there and it seemed more like a bar, and it was already busy with people glammed up. Geez, am I in the right place? They seated me at the sort-of chef’s counter and I tried to chill out with a cocktail.

I ordered my dinner and hoped for a good meal. Cocktail wasn’t bad, but then my lobster bisque arrived — with no utensils.


Then the runner actually THREW the spoon onto the wooden plank. Huh? Goodness, I know you’re in a rush but that is a total NO-NO! And as you can see, it’s already grown a pretty thick skin on top. It was nothing special beneath the skin either, but it did its job. I could not say how fresh this is, but it’ll do.

Maybe the next starter will be better; however, when it arrived my heart sank a little…


Baked oysters. It seems way overbaked, as most of the lips have melted into the shell as you can see — as well as a good part of the meat. Not sure why there was a mutilated citrus on the plate either… And of course, the oysters were not shucked right; in fact, 1 of them was just not shucked at all. I had to shuck it there basically… stupid price for 4 bad oysters…

I was losing any hope of this being a good dinner. They really oversold the beef two ways for the main, which I went with, and that was a mistake…you make mistakes when you’re tired and hungry…


This looked okay at first, but then I noticed why was the tenderloin partly mutilated? As if the kitchen had cut deep into it to see the temperature. Well, I had ordered medium rare, but this was borderline blue in the middle. I was too tired and impatient to say something at this stage, so I just ate it; seems whoever decided to cook this has it at a completely wrong temperature setting. Imagine a low-temperature, quick cook of beef. Ugh… Plus it was bland and boring, as was the shortrib — which, of course, was overcooked and sawdust-y… Sigh…

I actually ended up abandoning this dinner and asked for the bill. I pointed out a few things to my server, about the poorly-cooked meats and the runner tossing utensils, and he was unhappy and wanted to comp me something, but I was one foot out the door already. I just don’t want to see this place again.

This for me is exactly what not to do to be a serious restaurant. You spend so much money glamming the place up, fancy website, extensive cocktail menu. If you want to be a bar, be a bar. If you want to be a lounge, be a lounge. When you try to do all that in one space and not have a super strong kitchen to defend that decision, it does not work! At least this place has the huge space for this failed experiment, unlike the utterly disastrous Orsay in Jacksonville

This place came so very close to be the worst meal of 2016 so far. Not quite, after the disasters in Buffalo last week, but it’s close. It was so bad I ended up getting half a Subway sandwich at a gas station later in the evening…that bad…

Avoid. Just avoid.

Timber Kitchen and Bar
22 Bass Park Boulevard
Bangor, Maine


2 thoughts on “Review: Timber Kitchen and Bar

  1. Pingback: Surf & Turf Maine Style… | melhuang1972

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