I always preface a negative review on Tripadvisor with the caveat that I try to be fair and think long and hard before posting a negative review on TripAdvisor due to the implications on a business.
That said, Mabel's gets two thumbs down and they deserve some bad press. We somehow make it to the restaurant every summer because my grandparents like it, but last night will be our last visit.
- It's a landmark restaurant that always seems to be busy and is frequented by the rich and famous. The ambiance is somewhat interesting, its located in town, and outdoor dining available (although its on the street - sort of silly since you go to Maine to enjoy the great outdoors).
- Mabel's is expensive and we're not sure why, because the food isn't spectacular.
- Lobster has never been good - something I just don't understand seeing how shellfish isn't that hard to cook, you're in Maine so it should be fresh, and it's in the restaurant's name.
- This past visit, the clams were overcooked, stuffed shrimp was tough and poorly seasoned. At least the salad came out first.
- We noticed there wasn't much in the way of clams in the "clam chowder". Note: we eat a LOT of clam chowder from HB Provisions, the Landing, and several other locations in Kennebunk - this clam chowder is lousy.
- The waitstaff is terrible. I've worked in the service industry and understand that its after labor day and you're burned out from 3-4 months of demanding tourists. If you don't like waiting on people, bussing tables or being a hostess, then quit and do something else.
- There are alot of elderly folks in Kennebunk (which isn't bad). Newsflash: these great folks generally are spending alot of money and support the town of Kennebunk, but we've observed terrible service and a lack of patience towards my grandparents and several other elderly couples in the restaurant on numerous occasions.
- My grandfather was paying last night and I noticed they padded the bill by $20. We caught the mistake before paying, but this is NOT the first time that this has happened.
We've had enough of Maybel's with the expensive food, bitter waitstaff, crappy service, and mediocre seafood. There are many really friendly, amazing restaurants in Kennebunk that are both more and less expensive than Maybels. Save your bucks and take your friends (especially the elderly) elsewhere.