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skeeter

Portland ME Restaurants

519 posts in this topic

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

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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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.


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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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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 (log)

"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

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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

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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!

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I went to Katahdin this fall. The food was terrific and the most expensive entree (delicious scallops) was $22. While some people were dressed nice, we fit in fine in nice jeans.


Tammy Olson aka "TPO"

The Practical Pantry

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Well, we're heading up tomorrow morning. Any last minute tips or advice on new places, or particularly good brunch spots, and is it worth going to the Public Market or not? Thanks to all!

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Hey Boo,

The Portland Public Market is definitely worth a visit. I am actually headed there in about an hour to pick up supplies for our NYEve, and have a capuccino. There is a new oyster bar at the far end which I haven't tried.

Maine Shrimp is in season and very good. Buy a pound (about 60pcs) and drop 'em in boiling water for no more than one minute, dip in melted butter.

There will be some festivities in town that wrap up about 9pm when folks spread out for a meal and meet-ups.

A good place with a view of Portland from the other side of the River is Saltwater Grille whom are famous for brunches. Menu available on website.

Have fun!


"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

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I second the Public Market, a great place to poke around & have lunch.

555 (at 555 Congress St) also comes well recommended, I forget by whom. They have their menu posted in their window, you can take a look & see if it appeals. It's only a couple of blocks up from Katahdin.

We dined at Katahdin last week & enjoyed it thoroughly. Fresh & reasonably inventive food, excellent service. Still working on the details of my writeup.


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

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Here's my report on our weekend of non-stop eating:

Major disappointment at Uffa! We arrived on time for our 7 pm reservations Friday night and were greeted by a clearly upset host who informed us that we would have to leave because one of our party was a child, and Uffa! does not serve children. Now, I have no problem with this policy, but I would have appreciated if this policy was publicly posted on their website, along with the menu, directions on where to park, etc. I never would have made a reservation if I had seen that. Apparantly, this is the policy under the new owner. Last time we were at Uffa! was a few years ago and it was a more casual place than it appears to be now. Anyway, what bothered me more was that the host just stood there, staring at us dumbly, and did not even offer other suggestions on where to go. Just told us we had to leave. (I am thinking of writing a letter to the owner).

So, we walked back to the parking lot and the lot attendant pointed out that Local 188 was nearby, so off we went. I explained our situation to the owner, who greeted us, and he graciously offered us a table even without a reservation. We had a really enjoyable dinner. Garlic shrimp; a lovely, creamy potato leek soup; melt in your mouth beef tenderloin with blue oyster and chanterelles and potatoes au gratin; a Brazilian style mahi mahi with marinated cucumber salad and a very fresh salsa; vanilla cheesecake and flan. Also started the meal with a very acceptable little martini, and wine with dinner (don't remember which, I think one was a Mad Fish from Australia). I'd have to say the standouts were the soup and the tenderloin, but then chanterelles are one of my weak points. Loved the funky atmosphere and will definitely come back. (And there were other children there!)

Brunch the next day at the Friendship Cafe. Big points for the homemade corned beef hash! Also really enjoyed the toast made with hearty, chewy bread. Long wait to be seated (I think it was one of the few breakfast places open on NY), but cozy and a good deal.

Dinner Saturday at Thanh Thanh II. Standout was the caramelized salmon served in a pot, spicy and sweet at the same time, loved the sauce. Also enjoyed the pickled lemonade (sour and sweet) which I had never had before and the red bean shake with tapioca balls.

Lunch on Sunday at Scales. Red wine marinated bluefish with pan seared cabbage

was delicious. I normally dislike cabbage, but searing it brought out a sweetness that I really enjoyed. The oyster stew was reported to be very good, but I didn't taste it. Had a really good time walking around the Public Market and bought several diffferent types of smoked salmon and parmesan cheese. Was disappointed that we missed the sausage man, so we'll have to come back.

All in all, a tasty and enjoyable weekend. Such a great little city, I can't wait to come back to try more restaurants.

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Nice review! Glad you enjoyed yourselves and were able to work around Uffa's sorry-assed policy, sheesh. :angry: I bet Local 188 will be thrilled to bust their balls! :laugh: I've never had a bad meal there. If the garlic shrimp were on the small side, I'd wager they were from local waters. As for Uffa, I had to wait an eternity for a mediocre meal so why bother. Too many other places in this town.

Friendship Cafe is always packed, every day. Last time we went we saw the chief of police sneaking in for a mid-morning breakfast. Superb food.

Never tried Thanh Thanh II, so thanks for the write-up. Word on the street says they have great Pho.

Scales is a project of Sam Hayward (and friends) at Fore Street so it's bound to be good.

Come back soon :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

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Thanks from a Portland aficianado from away for the review. Local 188 looked like an inviting place, glad to hear that they delivered.

Makes me glad we missed Uffa over Christmas weekend (writeup hopefully will be up soon). In browsing their menu the day before Christmas Eve, I noticed the biggest damn fly I've ever seen in my life crawling on the inside of the window in front of the menu. Considering the season, that fly was clearly a survivor. And perhaps an omen.

I thought that somewhere, someone had posted that Uffa was vying with Fore Street as best in the city? I'm not sure if I read that on eG or that Portland review site (I don't rember it as a comment from any of the regulars here), and it really doesn't matter now. As johnnyd says, too many other places.


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

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Yup. shrimp were on the small side. Good to know they are local!

Ghostrider - Euuew re: the fly!

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In relating Boo's adventure over New Year's my wife, an attorney, took exception to Uffa's "policy" and thought she might take a casual look at laws governing this sort of thing. Seemed a bit fishy that a restaurant can discriminate among patrons with/without kids. :hmmm:

My guess is that the "Host" was in the weeds and took it upon himself to "manage" the traffic on the floor so the whole place didn't crash down around him, or he was partied-out and just couldn't deal with working that day, or if he was the new owner, he's finally coming around to the fact that running a restaurant is a lot of work. :blink:

Theories anyone?


Edited by johnnyd (log)

"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

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I have been thinking about this. I would first say that I had a really good meal there a couple of months ago. We were really surprised with how good the meal was given the reasonable price and I had intended to return...

As far as this no child policy -- having no children, I've never really thought about it before. I could see if there was an expensive prix fix menu or really high end dining, accomodating a child foodwise could be difficult. (I worked at a Caribbean restaurant once where we commonly made scrambled eggs and bread for kids because that's all we had that they'd eat). Or a special holiday menu, perhaps.

But Uffa!, I thought was a neighborhood, "bistro" type of place (maybe that was the old owner). Perhaps they think of themselves as more fine dining than the customers do :) [Even 555 seats children, and they consider themselves the finest dining in town]

I just don't like this policy, it seems unnecessarily exclusionary for the place that it is.

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Ellie, those are exactly my thoughts. I never would attempt to bring a child to a blatantly upscale restaurant like the White Barn Inn, for example. I considered Uffa! a neighborhood bistro and never thought that there would be an issue with bringing a child. Good to know that 555 seats children, for future meals!

Johnnyd - Coincidentally, I happen to be an attorney too! In MA. I have been wondering for a few days if there is some sort of discrimination issue as well. But, as I think about it, children are not a protected class, like the disabled or the elderly. I'd be interested in your wife's ideas on the subject. And, the host was young and seemed stressed out, although there were only a few tables filled at that time.

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Perhaps my theory that he had been partying too hard last week and didn't want to be there is correct. Only a few tables filled? This guy is perplexing. Flies in January? :angry::angry::angry:

I say write that letter. If the new owners are with it, they will actually read it and maybe some good will come out of it. If they are disorganized or overwhelmed they won't read it, or will and not do anything about it, the place eventually goes down the tubes and hopefully into the hands of better managers.


"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

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Johnnyd - Coincidentally, I happen to be an attorney too!  In MA.  I have been wondering for a few days if there is some sort of discrimination issue as well.  But, as I think about it, children are not a protected class, like the disabled or the elderly. 

So on one hand you don't object to the policy, but on the other hand you were pondering a lawsuit.

The fact that you weren't warned of the policy by the restaurant ahead of time was clearly unfortunate (and wrong), but the rest of the opining suggests a broader complaint about an honest free-market driven policy.

As someone who is child-free, I am just as bothered by those who inflict their offspring on the rest of the world, whenever they see fit. I have no problem with a restaurant's policy, one way or the other - just let me know so I can also plan accordingly, depending of whether I am eating with other guests who are bringing children, or if I don't want want to be subjected to the typical behavior of children in tow at a nice restaurant.

Alas, you'll say the policy is okay if forewarned, but opine about a lawsuit, discouraging the option of child-free (just like smoke free) establishments. Your kids surely are angels, but unfortunately those who are subjected to bad behavior have no recourse. When little Jenny or Johnny screams and cries through our anniversary dinner, will you pick up my tab? Maybe I should sue!

And don't let all of your little ankle-biters pay for their coffee individually, while I am trying to get my day moving - keep things moving and don't slow the line, please!!

(Only half-kidding.)

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No one said anything about a lawsuit. There's nothing wrong with wondering about the legality or ramification of a policy. No one is out to ruin your dinner.

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No one said anything about a lawsuit.  There's nothing wrong with wondering about the legality or ramification of a policy.  No one is out to ruin your dinner.

Wondering about 'discrimination issues' certainly hints to a considerationlegal action.

I'm certainly not a child hater, but child-free folks like myself are constantly asked to accomodate those who have children (trying to ignore the less-ruly ones in nice restaurants is the least of those accomodations). It's the whole Sex and the City Manolo Blahnik episode.

It would be nice if people didn't constantly have to have it both ways, when others are subjected to dealing with the situation.

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