Maxwell’s is on an alley off High Street, the main street downtown. Most locals can point to Wall Street or, more likely, "the alley for Maxwell’s." Several lightposts in the middle preclude vehicle traffic, so it’s strictly a well-lighted pedestrian walk. Down the stairs, the open kitchen in the large room is busy making everything from omelettes to almond-crusted seafood dinners all day long. The menu emphasizes healthy choices, but deviates from those to tantalize. The room was filled with aromas as we were lead to our copper-topped table on the would-be stage.
Our waiter was friendly and checked the price of whole New York cheesecakes. Starting at $26 for a plain one, anyone can take home several varieties. My partner walked to the blackboard to check the flavors for this night while the waiter got our drinks, and then she ordered "lemon-drop" cheesecake at the same time as her sandwich. (Other flavors included coconut creme and traditional with strawberries or cherries.) I considered dessert when I heard about the bread pudding with whiskey sauce, but I frequently have that at home.
Thursday is "pasta night," and Friday is seafood night, so Karen admired the variety of
salmon and other seafood dinners (7 choices on special for $13), but settled on a pocket
sandwich--to save room for cheesecake, of course! She liked her fish sandwich with homemade dressing. My steak sandwich was good as it gets, and homefries had
skins and great seasoning. The waiter brought two spoons with the huge chunk of
dessert, so I had my taste and had to admit it was the best I had ever tasted--and the
largest serving I have ever seen in public! I noticed many dishes with tofu, sprouts, and
avocado, and I’ll bet even those were followed by dessert. This puts to rest misconceptions that Maxwell’s is a health-food restaurant, although they do have a vegetarian menu. It’s more like an "anything you want" establishment with an astounding assortment of burgers. They do everything well and everything to please, and I’m wondering why I stayed away so long! They also have a good beer list, wines and mixed drinks. Fans have learned to disbelieve that old saying: "You can’t please all the people . . . ."
, West Virginia
November 24, 2003
From journal Morgantown for Dinner and a Play