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Restaurant Review: Giacomos: Bangor’s Best-Kept Secret

Rating: A+

Seriously, why did no one tell me about this place until now?

Giacomo’s is downright incredible.

If you have never been to this place, I highly suggest going immediately. I’m not kidding. Drop everything you’re doing and head to 1 Central Street in Bangor right now. Don’t even read this review. Just go.

I was impressed right away, before I even entered Giacomo’s. The restaurant is located right in the heart of downtown and the foot traffic going in and out of this place told me that I was in for a treat. Giacomo’s has an outdoor seating area as well where patrons were munching away.

The sarcastic paintings on the windows of the restaurant alerted me to the slow-speed WiFi, encouraged me to talk with my companion (instead of being on my cell phone) and made me giggle. Also, someone in the restaurant had painted a guide to parallel parking on the window for those attempting to park up close. I chortled at that one.

Inside the restaurant, the décor was trendy. The menu was plastered in chalkboard form on the far wall (a nice touch) and a large mural of the 1937 killing of Al Brady, Public Enemy No. 1, reminded me that I was not, in fact, in a big city, like the restaurant made me feel. I was definitely in Bangor, Maine.

Giacomo’s, which accompanies its title with “fancy coffee & things on bread” smelled like a bakery. Hungry people munched and chatted with their neighbors. The food selection included pizzas, salads, sandwiches and much, much more. According to the menu, Giacomo’s is good for breakfast, lunch, coffee and drinks.

I ordered a caprese salad, which was described on the chalk wall as “medallions of fresh mozzarella, roma tomato and basil leaves served with grilled focaccia.” Meal selections on another sign were accompanied with the phrase “from the dirty, dirty ground, as local as we can, as often as we can,” to draw customers’ attention to the freshness of the food they were ordering.

The roma tomatoes were so crisp, I had to use a knife to cut through them. I could tell that they were as fresh as could be. The sign wasn’t lying. With the creamy mozzarella, crisp basil, arugula, focaccia and just a hint of olive oil, this salad boasted flavor like a confetti popper in my mouth.

I’m telling you, this salad was so incredibly tasty.

I spent so long savoring each morsel (something I rarely ever do), that I became full from eating half of this delicious masterpiece, so lucky me got to take some home to enjoy later.

I paired my salad with a Maine Root Maple Lemonade, which was basically just lemonade sweetened with Maine-harvested maple syrup, which was tangy and delicious. This was a hard choice. The maple lemonade narrowly beat out a cup of Coffee By Design (CBD) coffee, which is my absolute favorite Portland coffee roaster. CBD is harder to find the farther north you go, so finding it tucked in this little restaurant gives Giacomo’s bonus points in my book.

I would absolutely go back. I plan to go back. In fact, my mouth is watering (again) at the thought of my salad. Giacomo’s would be an ideal “first date” place, breakfast joint, or just a nice place to “treat yo’ self” without breaking the bank. It has quickly climbed my list of favorite places in Bangor and I’m sure it will climb yours, too.

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