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Portland ME Restaurants


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#31 johnnyd

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 05:07 AM

Christian,

I have to admit, I'm a Portland Green Grocer regular in the off-season. The quality and prices are better than PPM in my opinion and there is a faster turn-over of produce, I just can't find parking in summer! It's also the place from which visiting yachtsmen stock their galleys, on a recent (hard-won) visit the pickings were slim.

Sam and Dana are indeed in cahoots at Scales, per the staff. We should meet there for a beer and oysters sometime... :smile:
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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#32 GG Mora

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 05:36 AM

Portland Public Market :wub:

Portland Greengrocer :wub:

My in-laws moved to Yarmouth recently, and we've made a few trips to visit. My husband and I both agree that if we had to trade our rural Vermont life for a New England City, Portland would be it. We haven't gotten a chance to do much dining in town, outside of a lunch with the kids at Mim's, which I thought was quite good.

But we did quite a bit of cooking, and availed ourselves of the Harbor Fish Market, the Green Grocer and the Public Market on several occasions. I'll admit, it's not hard to impress us, since the specialty foods around SoVT are slim pickins, but we were in heaven shopping around Portland. One night we had lobster, another a simple summer grill, and on the last night whooped up a big-ass paella. Most of our provisions came from the aforementioned purveyors (with a little help from Shaw's in Freeport :angry: ).

I thought the produce and cheese at Portland Greengrocer were better than at PPM – better selection, although we didn't really compare prices. We also bought baguettes at the Green Grocer; the bread at PPM seemed a little "crunchy" – more on the healthy/organic axis than in the French delicious tradition. It could have been the time of day, too (late afternoon). I thought the cheese selection at PPM was disjointed, didn't look like it was particularly well cared for, and was short on domestic cheeses. And lacking a good crottin was a major shortcoming, IMO.

But the meats and sausages at PPM? Okay, I'd give my right arm for daily access to goods like that. And I'm dying to try something quick from the Mexican stall.

And a hearty round of applause for Harbor Fish Market. I'd love to know if locals have a better spot.

I suspect we'll be around Portland a lot in the coming months. My father in law has some ugly cancer, so we'll be making frequent trips. It's a lousy reason to have to come to town, but it's a fine town to have to come to. We're really looking forward to trying some of the restaurants. And I'm keeping a sharp eye peeled for a guy in a big fur hat, but no luck yet.
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#33 johnnyd

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 05:53 AM

... you were fooled, no doubt, by my clever camouflage and mistook me for one of many cats that roam the docks and piers of Portland... we are denizens, all... :wink:

A tip of the hat to your father-in-law, a nightmare I have seen as well. PM when in town and we'll try to connect for an oyster or two. :smile:

And a hearty round of applause for Harbor Fish Market. I'd love to know if locals have a better spot.


Ben and his crew are the Gold Standard of Fish Markets. They just do it completely right with a little dose of local flair and seat of the pants resourcefulness. They are friendly, careful, accurate and a blast to visit. I rarely shop elsewhere, if I do it's because they close on Sunday.

Edited by johnnyd, 18 August 2004 - 05:58 AM.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II
Portland Food Map.com

#34 ghostrider

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 10:55 AM

Where is the Portland Greengrocer located? I don't recall passing it in our wanderings.

I enjoy browsing those places even if I'm not in a position to buy much. Though I always like to buy local fruits for traveling whenever I can. Got some decent peaches & cherries from Gillespie's at the PPM, but it's nice to have a choice.
Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#35 CSASphinx

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 11:09 AM

yeah, harbor fish is (to continue a theme) the cat's meow. My wife likes to go to Browne Trading farther down Commercial Street, even though the prices are enough to make many people blanch. I've had no luck trying to persuade her to give Harbor Fish a try, but that's probably because the fish she brings home from Browne is always, always top notch.

Ghost, the Protland Green Grocer is on the LAND side of Commercial St. not to far from the aformentioned Mims.

Good idea to meet johnnyd, perhaps once I get my feet under me a little more and more comfortable with what I'm doing here, we can arrange a Portland eGullet night out...GG and family welcome to join, if in town, of course.

Oh and since I like to keep the debate moving, I must admit I've never been a big fan of Street & Co. stemming from an early incident of receiving the briniest liguine w/ white clam sauce I have ever tasted (my measure of a seafood place). But as we all know, you can't please everybody.
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#36 GG Mora

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 11:20 AM

Chris, any chance of renaming this thread? It's growing into an excellent Portland Guidebook; maybe something more generic would keep its legs moving (not that it's lacked for action yet :smile:). Just a thought. If discussion of any one joint takes off, a split-off would be in order. Yes, someday we might even have our own "Portland (ME) Public Market – the Thread". :wub:

Y'all can be sure I'll make contact when I'm in town again.

#37 ghostrider

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 11:21 AM

Ghost, the Protland Green Grocer is on the LAND side of Commercial St. not to far from the aformentioned Mims.

Ah, that explains it, we didn't walk Commercial St end-to-end, so must have missed that particular block.

I'll keep an eye out next time.

Our cab driver (Amtrak sta to jetport - you can take the train but still gotta go to the airport to rent a car) also recommended Mims. I'll be keeping the other eye out for them.

Yes I am eager to go back to Portland!
Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#38 CSASphinx

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 12:20 PM

GG,

Good point about the thread name. I'm in this for all of a week or so now, so I'm still gettign up to speed on how to manage the technical aspects.

Bear with me for a while if you don't mind and I'll look into it.

Chris
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#39 ghostrider

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 04:28 PM

Weird coincidence - I was just running a search on the NY Times website for a local NJ restaurant, & the article linked below from 8/8/04 appeared as one of the search results.

I guess this explains why we couldn't get a table at either Flatbread or Cinque Terre, even tho it was a Wednesday night. Damn New Yorkers. :raz:

What's Doing in Portland according to the NY Times
Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#40 CSASphinx

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 07:24 PM

I simply must give Cinque Terre another try. My wife and I went probably a month after it opened and the service was simply terrible.

I mean this is how bad it was: I ordered a Manhattan straight up for my drink and after 10 minutes of waiting I had to flag down the waiter to ask where it was. Her reply: "We are all out of Martini glasses so we are waiting for someone to finish a drink to get you a glass." Unbelievble. We also witnessed a party of six with a 7:00 reservation wait until almost 8:30 before finally giving up and leaving.

That said, my simply prepared olive oil and rosemary marinated T-bone steak was stellar.

Unless they rolled back prices, I'd say the dinner for two estimate in the Times article was low. It's more than Fore Street, especially if you go the primi, pasta, secondi, dolce route.

So where DID you eat, ghost? Or did I miss that earlier in the thread?
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#41 ghostrider

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 10:05 PM

We wound up eating at Soffrito, right across the street from Cinque Terre. Twice, on Weds & on Sat, because, both times, they could give us an outdoor table immediately when no one else could. There's a reason for that of course.

We had mixed reactions to the food - one spectacularly good dish, one dud, two pretty goods. Great service. In the end I realized I was more eager to dine al fresco on Wharf St. than I was to pursue culinary adventures, so we simply went with the flow on that. I wasn't sorry with that choice, we had two immensely enjoyable evenings.

That's quite a tale from Cinque Terre! On Weds, just before we walked over to Soffrito, they told us they had a 45 minute wait. We noticed two vacant tables for two & inquired about them. They said the 45 minute wait was how far their kitchen was backed up at that point, yes they could seat us but we wouldn't see food for nearly an hour. At least they were honest about that, but I think they're still working out the kinks.

They may have dropped their prices a bit, I was looking at about $28 for primi / pasta / smaller portion of fish. I don't drink so wine doesn't come into the equations.

Also had some great food up in Hallowell, wonderful little town just south of Augusta, on our one free night in between.

I have a detailed writeup in progress in my word processor, will post it when it's complete.

Edited by ghostrider, 18 August 2004 - 10:05 PM.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#42 CSASphinx

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 11:56 AM

Still working out the kinks!?!? at Cinque Terre? They've been open AT LEAST two years.....yikes. Maybe I shouldn't give them another chance. The part I didn't tell you is that my wife wrote them a letter after our first meal there and they promptly sent us a $30 gift certificate. We've NEVER used it. I think it remains, dog-eared, in my wife's wallet.

Soffrito wasn't a bad choice. I think you pretty much get waht you expect there.

When you were in Hallowell, you didn't, by chance, eat at Slates did you?
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#43 ghostrider

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 06:51 PM

Actually Soffrito surprised us, the spectacular dish I'd expected to be a dud, & one I'd expected to be at least OK proved to be the flop. You never know.

We've eaten at Slates a couple of times over the years, but this time it was the seafood Alfredo at Hattie's Chowder House that got me. Truly generous amounts of wonderfully fresh scallops, shrimp & crabmeat, flavors blended & balanced nicely with the cheese in the sauce. I was a little afraid of the dish since my system doesn't handle excessive richness well, but this was just right - seemed indulgent without being overly rich. I wound up satiated & quite happy.

Sheila had a bowl of clam chowder that looked & smelled excellent, and a lobster roll that she says was very good. I had such a huge plate of food that I didn't dare sample anything else.
Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#44 johnnyd

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 09:27 AM

Last Summer three of us had dinner at Cinque Terre and even though the place was 35% full, the service was out of sorts. Also a Wednesday. The food was quite good but I wanted a cheese/fruit plate for dessert and all I got was a handful of garnish berries and some cheddar. :huh:

The bill was over $300! Martinis and 2 x bottles of wine included... :angry:
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II
Portland Food Map.com

#45 ghostrider

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 03:41 PM

Finally finished my Portland writeup. Apologies if this is too much travelogue & too non-food-focused for eGullet. It's just the way my stuff comes out. Anyway I hope some of the lodging stuff might prove useful to other folks.

----------------------------------------------------------

We’d reserved our first night in Portland, a Wednesday, at the Eastland Park Hotel. It proved to be a lovely 1927 building on High Street, set back from Congress Street by a corner park where the local skateboard kids were having a blast jumping off of the varying elevations. I liked the hotel immediately, in spite of some initial confusion when we checked in and found that Expedia hadn’t faxed our reservation. The manager quickly put that right and gave us our room, promising to straighten things out with Expedia during our stay.

The Eastland Park was very comfortable, with well appointed rooms, a lovely view of the church directly across High Street, a window that you can open, and pleasant staff. They have a rooftop cocktail lounge that we never got to; I imagine that the view is wonderful. They serve a decent continental breakfast in the lobby outside the hotel restaurant – such comfy chairs! – or you can order a full breakfast in the restaurant. The front desk will stamp your parking ticket from the garage next door, so it’ll cost you $10 flat to park for the night. There’s a connecting covered walkway to the garage from a side door on the north side of the Eastland, and the multi-story garage has an elevator. The only awkward spot for handling luggage can be the two short flights of steps from the hotel entrance up to the front desk, but there’s always a concierge there ready to assist.

We went out immediately to walk around Congress Street in the late afternoon. There’s a funky mix of people on the street – the aforementioned skateboarders, SMU students, elderly folks from a nearby senior housing complex, a few hard luck cases from the localy family court, a couple of homeless people, and lots of business folks. A crew was busy setting up a soundstage in Monument Square for a free concert by Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers the next night.

There’s an interesting variety of shops on Congress – some antique places, three terrific used book stores, an L.L. Bean factory store, a few clothing boutiques and art galleries – and a wide mix of restaurants. Our location on High Street was roughly midway between Uffa, a few blocks to the west, and 555 to the east. We looked at both thanks to the recommendations here, and they seemed enticing. I was particuarly drawn to Uffa, the menu and the look of the place immediately appealed to me.

But this was our first time in Portland, and we were eager to see the Old Port area. I was also dealing with pizza cravings and getting a hankering to try Flatbread Co. (also recommended here), so we set off down the hill with that as our goal. We passed Kathadin on the way, another intriguing restaurant; we were tempted to stop right there, but those cursed pizza cravings were too strong.

We hit Fore Street and the swirl of Portland twilight life; shopfront window lights gradually replaced the dwindling daylight. In the middle of the block we noticed a crumbling alleyway that led down to an inviting cobblestone street and a sign for Cinque Terre restaurant. Their menu looked promising, the look of Wharf street reminded us both of a cobbled street in Zurich that leads up to one of that city’s most innovative restaurants. We agreed that this would be our backup if we couldn’t get in to Flatbread.

We wound our way & down Fore St. & Commercial St. Many storefronts & blocks later, we found Flatbread. It was mobbed, there was a half hour wait. I’d gotten far too hungry from our wanderings to wait, so we took a direct route back to Wharf St., only to find a 45-minute wait at Cinque Terre. Street & Co., across the street, was so crowded it didn’t seem worth the time it would take to inquire. On a Wednesday night, the Old Port was thriving.

A few doors east of Street was Soffritto, which trumpeted its Creative Italian Cuisine in a way that made me wary. It was pretty well filled indoors, but there wasn’t a soul at any of the outdoor tables on the cobblestones; that also seemed a bit suspicious. The evening had gotten a bit cool at that point but it seemed to us an ideal evening for dining al fresco. I was too hungry to go on; we sat.

We started with salads of very good field greens, perfectly dressed in a creamy house vinaigrette. Some good chewy Italian bread was accompanied by a small ramekin of oil, herbs, grated cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar that was all curiously flavorless. I thought they’d have done better with a simple dish of good oil.

Still wanting something heavily tomatoed to satisfy those pizza cravings, I went with the lobster fra diavolo, which was huge. The briny juices turned the fettucine underneath squishier than I’d have liked, but the sauce was robust, with large chunks of tomato and onion and a healthy dose of herbs and hot peppers.

Sheila had the Tuscan seafood stew in a saffron tomato sauce. (The seafood was tuna, swordfish and salmon, the mixture changes daily.) She thought it was dull, though the fish was fresh and nicely cooked. I made the mistake of not sampling it until my palate had been thoroughly peppered; the sauce seemed well made, but I can’t tell you whether it had any subtle qualities.

Halfway through our meal, three ladies of a certain age also asked to be seated outdoors. Sometimes it’s good to find fellow eccentrics.

We skipped dessert, hoping to grab some strolling ice cream from Fuller’s, just back up the alley and around the corner on Fore St., but we arrived there a couple of minutes too late.

The next morning we scoured Congress St., took our used book finds back to the hotel room, then walked down to the Old Port again. The shops were open, tourists and locals were swarming, it was a brilliant sunny day – this is just a great city to walk in. We discovered that the trick to avoiding steepness on the way back up to Congress St. is to head up Exchange St to Federal, or turn left a block sooner on Middle, then right on Temple and slant along the plaza that leads up to Monument Square. Not the shortest route on the map but certainly the easiest.

We crossed Congress St. at Preble and went a block down the other side of the hill to reach the Portland Public Market. This is my idea of a great lunch. From Stone Soup, I got a delicious cup of tomato-leek soup, with more big tomato chunks, and a most refereshing curried chicken salad, with a slice of excellent multi-grain bread. Sheila had a shrimp salad sandwich that she said was first-rate. You can buy your lunch from one of the many vendors there and eat either in one of the small ground floor areas with tables, or up a flight of stairs on the mezzanine (I think there’s an elevator too) overlooking the market below. It’s sunny and airy up there, and there’s a giant lobster for your amusement.

We then got some delicious raspberry squares from one of the bakers and a cup of tea from Breaking New Grounds – they measure your choice of loose tea into a muslin teabag on the spot, a nice touch.

While sipping my tea, I called Holiday Inn on the cell phone, found I could cancel our Saturday reservation without a penalty, did so and booked us back in to the Eastland Park. We’d decided that the Eastland had much more character, and for a rate identical to the Holiday Inn’s lowest. The HI probably does have great views from its bayside rooms if your lodging budget can double, but that wasn’t in the cards for us.

After two days of family events, we returned to Portland late Saturday afternoon. I figured that we should probably make dinner reservations somewhere after our Wednesday experiences. However, I wanted to look at several B&Bs that I’d spotted on our map in the interim – as fond as I am of the Eastland Park, it’s always nice to know your options – so I was planning a winding route down to the Old Port. I didn’t know how long this would take and didn’t want to be tied to a reservation time, so we decided to wing it once again.

First stop was The Percy Inn, on Pine St. just around the corner from Uffa. It looked lovely. We stuck our heads in the front door and peeked in, mindful of the “don’t let out the cat!” sign – didn’t see the beast. I’d stay here without hesitation if I can get a competitive rate.

Our next goal was West End Inn, a couple of blocks west on Pine. The blocks started looking pretty long, and the sun was sinking, so we abandoned that quest and headed down to The Inn at Park Spring. It also looked like a fine place to stay, in a location very convenient to the Old Port.

It was a warm evening, and we again wanted to dine outdoors. We passed an interesting looking Japanese place on our way down the hill, but the vibe on Wharf St. was calling to me, that little block must have some strong feng shui going. As I expected, every place was jammed; but lo, there was a lone table for two outdoors at Soffritto. It was fate; as much as I wanted to try someplace different, we just grabbed it.

The strains of Saturday night showed in the salads; this time the field greens were heavily diluted with romaine, and were more drowning than dressed. I ordered seared scallops with fettucine, asparagus and tomato in a balsamic honey butter sauce. Pretty much a waste of some really fine scallops, overwhelmed by way too much sauce that was both too balsamic and too sweet to begin with. The dish seemed overbalanced, with not enough asparagus or tomato; pump up the veggies, use only a dollop of the sauce, and it could have been pretty good.

Sheila ordered grilled scallops with risotto and cabernet syrup. It was a small masterpiece, simply drizzled with the syrup, the kind of dish where you savor each bite because you don’t want it to end. The scallops were perfectly cooked, still swewet, with just enough grilled flavor; the risotto was deliciously cheesy and laced with the right amount of green onion. I was totally jealous.

Service at Soffritto was friendly, gracious & prompt on both nights, and I think their outdoor dining area is a wonderful place to while away an evening (though if the air conditioner is running, watch out for the one table that’s right in its exhaust path). It may not be Portland’s best food, apart from those grilled scallops (and that diavolo sauce showed promise), but it provides a very pleasant experience if you’re as fond of al fresco dining as we are.

Oh yes, that night we did make it up to Fuller’s before closing. Strolling around the Old Port one more time with two scoops of chocolate and one of butter pecan was the perfect way to end our stay in Portland.
Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#46 johnnyd

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 04:52 AM

What a great report, GRider! You nailed the town nicely, and showed the strain of tourism in summer on the fine restaurants in the old port. The japanese place was either FUJI on exchange st, which is really an amalgam of korean, thai and japanese food, or YOSAKU on pleasant street, run by a former tuna buyer and chef at BENKAY sushi on India St. They are both very good sushi places as the fish is incredibly fresh, but I'd put the edge to Yosaku.

Thanks for the review for Soffrito, I'll have to give it a whirl. Wharf street is a frequent backdrop for old-timey shoots of various caliber, commercial stills to movie sets, a very quaint stretch. The other side of the block features Portland Green Grocer, fresh produce galore and a fave of local eGulleteers. :smile:
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II
Portland Food Map.com

#47 ghostrider

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 10:47 AM

Thanks Johnny. Portland got under my skin right quick.

Yosaku was the place I think - big patio seating area. Looked like a lovely spot, also mobbed, there'd have been a substantial wait.

So that's where the Greengrocer is! We must have been there too late in the evening both nights for me to notice it.

Concidentally we'll be zipping through Portland this weekend - won't be hitting the city this time, heading straight up the coast for some serious peace & quiet.

Toying with the idea of a couple more days in Portland centered around 10/16 to take in Gov't Mule at the State Theater. Several things need to fall into place for that to happen, though, far from certain right now.
Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#48 CSASphinx

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 11:30 AM

If you go to the State for a show, go to the Vietnamese place across the street.

Good soup over there. Saigon Thinh Thanh.
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#49 ghostrider

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 10:24 PM

Spent last week in Maine again, Georgetown/Five Islands. First, tho, after picking up the rental car, couldn't resist a whirl into Portland for another lunch at Stone Soup in the Public Market - that great curried chicken again, this time with lentil soup laced with superbly smoky ham - & a stroll down to the Old Port & back.

Located the Greengrocer. Looked nice, but no corn to be had. Back up the hill to Gillespie's in the Public Market to stock a few fruits & vegs for the week, including what was left of their corn. The neon haired girl at the counter seemed annoyed that we were buying 5 times as much produce as anyone else, apparently because bagging & ringing up our stuff was more work. Peculiar sense of customer relations there.

The real point here though is Gillespie's green beans. Best of the year from anywhere, no contest, absolutely superb. I bought somewhere between 2 & 3 lbs, carted the slowly dwindling bag up the coast, back down, then back to Jersey. Had the second-to-last meal with them tonight, flavor a bit faded but still very good. Most impressive beans those, one of summer's essences.

No dining out excursions to speak of other than Moody's, discussed in the Maine diner thread, & those superb lobster rolls at Five Islands Wharf (weekends only this month, then closed for the season). Had a great time cooking haddock on several nights, a fish that's not easy to find in Jersey.

Want to note that Shaw's store brand of EVOO has been consistently excellent, to my taste, over the past couple of years. A greener, sweeter, less peppery oil than some, but when I'm in the mood for that particular flavor, it blows me away every time. (May be due to the fact that it reminds me of Spoleto.) Brought the bottle back with me, just too good to leave behind, thankfully it made the trip intact.

Dang it all, I do love Maine.

Edited by ghostrider, 15 September 2004 - 10:31 PM.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#50 CSASphinx

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 07:07 AM

Yeah Ghost,

Corn is done for the year and it wasn't a very good year at that. Must have beent he rather funky weather we had all summer.

As for the beans. They've been consistently great for a few weeks now. We cooked a huge pot the other night with dinner and had to cook some more when my five-year-old son couldn't get enough.

Not that the rest of us were complaining. Can't even remember what else we had, just lots of beans.
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#51 johnnyd

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 07:30 AM

Jordan Farms
21 Wells Rd
Cape Elizabeth

...seems to have a few sweet corn left. (and some other wonderful produce) Made a fabulous corn, fennel, onion sauce/chowder for lobster meat the other day. Try also:

Maxwells Farm
112 Spurwink Av
Cape Elizabeth

These might be old news to you Christian; they are more in my neighborhood so I thought I'd mention it. The beans are insanely great I have to agree.
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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#52 ghostrider

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 09:58 AM

Yep, the lady who runs the farm stand at Five Islands said the fruit growers were hit hard by the weather this year, first time she hasn't been able to get any local peaches or plums since she opened the place.

Also read in a local paper that this year's blueberry crop is only 50-60% of the normal yield. That's a tough one.

Nice thing about being back in Jersey is that the corn is still great. Though I'm wondering increasingly if such amenities make up for all the aggro of living in this region.

Not to mention that I've yet to find a NJ/NY farmer this year with beans as good as those Maine beans.
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#53 CSASphinx

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 01:29 PM

johhny,

Yeah, there is still some corn left. I guess I consider it "done" because it's not getting any better. My wife still finds some to bring home, since she is a corn hound of the first order, but I've been very disappointed the whole year. Either it is tender, but not sweet or vice versa.

Maybe I should have said I'm done with corn.

And I've been known to visit Maxwell's and Jordan's they're not so far away from my house over here near in Scarborough.

Finally, you can call me Chris.
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#54 Boo

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 07:01 AM

Please help with suggestions for a relaxed NYE dinner, early (around 7pm) in Portland. Ethnic is fine, but one of us doesn't eat pasta, so no Italian. Would like to keep it around $20 pp (not incl. wine), and somewhere not too formal/uptight. Thank you!

#55 johnnyd

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 11:27 AM

Boo, your price ceiling is a stretch. There is a new burrito place called Herbs near the Free Street Taverna, which itself could be a candidate since it won't get busy until later.

An out-dated but still useful website you could check out is www.foodinportland.com
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II
Portland Food Map.com

#56 CSASphinx

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 02:06 PM

Boo,

I agree with johnny. But I'm wondering: $20 total pp or entrees that are $20 and under (which would greatly widen the playing field)?
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#57 Boo

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 02:39 PM

Should have clarified, sorry! I'm looking for places with entrees that are around $20 pp, I expect that appetizers, dessert, drinks, etc, to be over and above that. And while I'm here, if anyone could suggest a brunch place that accepts reservations (if such a place exists), I'd really appreciate it!

#58 johnnyd

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 10:59 AM

Katahdin could fit both bills. Exciting food, great service, colorful atmosphere.

This Review appeared some time ago but not a lot has changed. Maybe better food. I take the in-laws there once or twice a year. :unsure:

Edited by johnnyd, 09 December 2004 - 11:10 AM.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II
Portland Food Map.com

#59 CSASphinx

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 12:48 PM

Well now, Boo, that's more like it and at entrees around $20 Protland dining could be your veritable oyster.

So now, tell us what you like. Katahdin is a good choice, thought it has been a while since I've been there. Do they still serve those fried oyster apps, johnny?

An out of the way place that makes wonderful, wonderful rustic Italian is Rachel's. It's beer and wine only, but, oh! what a wine list.

Restaurant neighbors Uffa! and Local 188 would also be good choices.

There are plenty of others....so let us know what you're looking for.
"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

#60 Boo

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 06:48 PM

We're looking for someplace comfortable, where we can wear dress down (nice jeans), enjoy good wine and comfort food. Somewhere with a bit of a boisterous atmosphere, not too snooty. We went to Uffa a couple years ago and really liked it, but thought of trying somewhere different. We like Indian, Thai, Korean, fusion, you name it, except no pasta or shellfish. I was thinking of Uffa for brunch, if not dinner. I'm going to check out the suggestions for Local 188 and Katahdin, but if there any others, please do tell!