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  1. would love to find a stop for good food (and rest) midway between manhattan and maine, say in the sturbridge mass area. the route is merritt to 91 to 84 to 90 to 495 and north to midcoast maine.
  2. Thanks for the news of this. I know this area... but it's been a while... maybe 20 years ago or so. I remember the first common ground fair there. Small and lovely... with lots of stuff like these bakers and breads like this etc. Been looking for a good motorcycle excursion... will bring canvas bags. Thanks!
  3. Breakfast joints... always good to know where to get a great breakfast! In Camden, Boynton-McKay... Good coffee and a fantastic huevos ranchero. The Mariner, across the street has gotten better recently. I can't say anything about the Corner Shop in Rockport because I haven't been there since it was remodeled. It was a beautiful old diner and the owner at the time tore everything old out and replaced with plywood boxes and new stuff. Tore my heart out... I loved that old place. For a local type breakfast experience there is The Rockland Cafe on Main St. Rockland. Best of all is the Thomaston Cafe for home baked breads and interesting specials... good eggs! good sausage! Good coffee! Comfy! Primo is very good. Price and Melissa have added a new space upstairs and have moved the bar there. They have reopened just this week, I believe. Haven't been over there yet. Cafe Miranda is not bad. The menu is bad. Way too many choices. Amalfi. On Main St. Many people like it. Francine in Camden is where we eat when Primo is closed. We share an order because the helpings are huge.
  4. Hey, johnnyd, thanks for this post about Uncle Billy's! I used to go since it's S. Portland days and was so sad when it burned down while it was located on Munjoy hill. Can't wait for the super BBQ and I just loved the beans and cornbread! I never made it to their Yarmouth joint... I tried to find it while just passing through town but I could not find it. Give me a hint as to where on Congress the new place will be... it's been a while since I've lived in Portland. Is it near Maine Medical Center or the other way, nearer munjoy hill or is it right in the middle of town?
  5. Big Wino, reply noted... I hope your next Primo experience is one of your best!
  6. Hmmm. Sorry that the one less than terrific meal at Primo has had you criticize them so. We have been eating there regularly since they opened... regular meaning two or three times a month... and although I can usually tell when Mellissa is out of town and the food is still very good... I find Mellissa still very creative and artful in her work. The menu changes regularly. She uses either her own home grown organic produce or finds it locally and Price can usually find a way to fit us in, either at the bar or at a table upstairs which can at times be noisy... other times not. I miss Tom the bartender, who had been there, for his conversation but Jarrad, Price's brother is coming up to speed and makes a great Martini, Negroni, or what have you. We travel often and find it difficult for most restaurants to come up to Primo's level of service, great food and good cheer.
  7. We recently drove down to Portland and stayed in the Inn on St. John in order to offset our driving time on the way to New York City. We like Portland and I used to live there in the early eighties while I was going to Portland School of Art. We travel to NYC often but we usually try to make it in one day and how that goes is we get to Portland around lunch time and we stop at MIM'S on Commercial St. to eat. We like it because the food is good and you sort of put your meal together from the menu which offers choices as to meat, seafood, and vegetable... nice wine list. But this time we stayed overnight with our dogs which the Inn on St. John allows and they had a reasonable price ($60.00) for us that night... I was surprised... must have been the end of off season... but nice. Their breakfast was not good... the coffee ok... the room was old fashioned which I like, (recently renovated) and perfectly fine. We went to 555 Congress and had a very nice meal. I had the steak, very nice and Nancy had two appetizers. I felt comfortable there and we were taken very good care of. Nancy, on the way down to Portland... we live on Vinalhaven... was hell bent to go to Street + Co., I think it's name is... a seafood place on Wharf St. But the woman answering the phone seemed so quick and snooty that we decided to check out other options. I had wanted to try 555 anyway so it worked out well for me and on driving up through on Congress St. and me pointing the restaurant front out... Nancy saw the space and thought it looked good so we went... I remember this space as being a book store from when I lived in Portland years ago... I don't remember the name of the bookstore. In NYC, we had lunch at Jean George at 1 Trump Tower on Columbus Circle which has recently gotten four stars in a review in the New York Times... I still think that Primo in Rockland is the best restaurant... the standard by which we judge all others. We're not impressed with Hugo's or Fore St. and yes... Bandol, but then again at that time we had just been to The Castine Inn and tiny fussily portioned bits made me sad that we opened Bandol's door because I was hungry. MIM's works for us in Portland... nicely prepared food... comforting portions... good wines... I did learn tho... not to order the gnocchi... hard, grilled, and probably touched too too much.
  8. I had asked about restaurants in Portland a while back and got some nice responses... Check out the topic "Portland Restaurants" farther on down the list. From those replies I have tried Mim's Brasserie on Commercial St. and enjoyed it. Actually, in the Old Port area you will find many places to eat. I have heard Cinque Terra can be good. Fore St. is one everybody raves about. I live up near Rockland, Maine so I am a fan of Primo's... probably the best restaurant in Maine in my view.
  9. No broadband on Vinalhaven yet. Still the slow as molasses phone line. Well, that sounds like a good time. I have yet to get a non rubbery hanger steak anywhere so I don't order that any more. The same bartender is there! That's him. Oh well, I just haven't experienced the Fore Street when it's really on I guess. I may try it again some time but with all these great recommendations here I may not need to. Thanks everybody.
  10. While driving up from NYC once, we stopped at New Haven wondering if we could find an interesting restaurant for lunch and happily we found and tried Ybiza. Ybiza is a beautiful modern interior... a really pretty place with the service being very good. I can't remember exactly what I had but I do know I felt very good after and I loved the dessert of some fizzy bubbly foam of some sort. Rated by Wine Spectator as the best Spanish restaurant in North America... which could be true.
  11. johnnyd: please feel free... I like this. I look forward to reading your critique. Thanks all for clues to more good eating in Portland.
  12. Thanks for all the great ideas!
  13. Hugo's looks like a possibility. Thanks for the recommendation. Arrows I've read about and the same with the White Barn Inn... What was disappointing about Fore St.? After 3 attempts... the bar tender first off leaves a bad taste and a difficult entry into the place. Once after I'd announced to Nancy that I'd never go back... I did because I was stuck in Portland and nothing else looked very good, (around the exchange st. area)... I went to art school there in the early eighties... pretty much everything is different. So I went to the Fore St. and was rushed through my cocktail into my dinner of wood roasted mussels which for the last time I will eat there, I think, was very good...but the bar tender there is too much. Another time when I came for a dinner in the big room I felt the service was off and the cooking was left to kids and the actual chef was not present. Simply put, I have not yet had a good experience at Fore St. I may yet try it again because I like to check things like that out. Has anyone tried Bandol on Exchange St.?
  14. I live on Vinalhaven Island and on occasion visit Portland. Perhaps I've spoiled myself with Primo but I found Fore St. Grill disappointing. Are there any promising new restaurants in the area?
  15. I live near Rockland, Maine and during February, the two dogs and I drove to Orlando, Fla. to find some warm weather... (I never really did find it)... and visit Primo in Orlando. Primo is an excellent restaurant here that recently opened another place in Orlando... It was closed because some corporation had rented the space for the evening...The whole trip felt like a bust so I turned the truck around and headed back north making a bee-line for Charleston because I'd heard it is a beautiful city. It truly is and it's really the closest thing to an Italian city that I've come to yet... Partly because of the architecture and gardens and also for the many restaurants there. As I parked the truck and got the dogs out for a walk I ran into a gallery owner closing up for the day who enjoyed seeing the two dogs and I asked if there were any good restaurants in town... I didn't know... never been there before... He said there were too many and I asked "But which of them is the best?" He told me Charleston Grill and gave me directions. I was very pleased with the Charleston Grill. The food was beautiful and cooked very carefully and presented well. The service was excellent. I plan on returning to Charleston as soon as I can. I love that place! I look forward to all these other, I'm sure, great restaurants you have there.
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