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Portland ME Restaurants


skeeter
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Dirty!!

The "tentacles" had been carefully cleaned :wink:

any discussion on average prices?

No, they hadn't printed any menus yet, but based on One Fifity Ate's pricing, I would guess it would probably be between 5 and 10 dollars for each of the plates.

johnnyd- they are only serving dinner Wednesday through Saturday with the possible addition of Tuesday dinner.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I decided to visit the new Hong Kong Market next to Dogfish Cafe on Congress Street. It is quite a large market. Its kind of striking how "new", clean and organized everything looks. I believe they have chinese herbals (you know, the dried stuff in the large jars) too.

The interesting thing that I wanted to share was that they are bringing roasted duck and pork from Boston on Sundays. You can order a half or whole duck or pork by the pound. They are asking that you order in advance by Friday or Saturday. They do the pick up at Sundays 9:30am in Boston and it arrives here two hours later or so.

I'm really looking forward to having this option. Its one of the things I seek out when visiting Boston or New York.

Now, if I can figure out how to make a respectable bowl of noodles to go with it!

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Looks like there are a couple of new options opening up around town.

Driving down Exchange St. I saw the sign in place for The Greek Corner, next to Tandoor. Anyone have any information on when they will open or who is running it?

Also, The Good Egg Cafe is opening up for breakfast in The Pepperclub. I guess it closed sum 14 years ago (?).

Looking forward to giving these places a try!

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It seems Bar Lola has a learning curve to accomplish before they formally open. Its seems always closed, no information in the window, no menu posted, and no-one answers the phone.

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I went to a Japanese restaurant in Portland a number of times (last time 2 years ago). I can't remember the name of it, but I remember reading about a good one, possibly further back on this thread. I'll be heading over that direction soon, and am presuming that there's just one Japanese restaurant in Portland, and it must be the same one. Is that correct?

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Hi ghostrider. I'm originally from Boothbay, so my first grownup meals were at The Osprey (in the Robinhood Marina) and at 22 Lincoln (Sam Hayward's restaurant in Brunswick).

Yes, The Osprey, I'd blanked out on the name. Thanks. At least I didn't imagine the cooking. I guess the chef will remain another of life's mysteries.

Never got to 22 Lincoln.

Finally found out from a local native a couple of weeks ago that the chef who'd made The Osprey so magical was Michael Gagne, who subsequently opened his own place just down the road at Robinhood Free Meetinghouse.

We've dined there twice and it's always interesting, sometimes wonderful. Yet it doesn't seem to have quite the same magic as The Osprey did during those years (which it's totally lost since, we also learned that Osprey is now owned by the same folks who run JR Maxwells in Bath & has similar food - not bad, just, err, standard).

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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I went to a Japanese restaurant in Portland a number of times (last time 2 years ago).  I can't remember the name of it, but I remember reading about a good one, possibly further back on this thread.  I'll be heading over that direction soon, and am presuming that there's just one Japanese restaurant in Portland, and it must be the same one.  Is that correct?

There are seven (maybe eight) japanese restaurants in metro Portland. A couple are korean owned or co-owned, so say the street. In the old Port there are four options - Fuji, Benkay, Sapporro and Yosaku. Yoshi at Sapporro (Commercial Street) was the first over 20 years ago, long our only option. He's great and the food is up to snuff - sticks more to the basics. Tak at Yosaku is my favorite by a yard - a truly wonderful seafood experience. I had some excellent toro, aji, and kampachi there last friday. Outside dining is available at both of these. Service is excellent but I always recommend arriving early.

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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and adding to the list of asian restaurants in town, there's a new Thai place next to Bibbo's on Forest ave. Have yet to try it, but am always fond of more asian eateries..

Edited by Siren (log)

Deadheads are kinda like people who like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but people who like licorice, *really* like licorice!

-Jerry Garcia

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Tak at Yosaku is my favorite by a yard - a truly wonderful seafood experience. I had some excellent toro, aji, and kampachi there last friday. Outside dining is available at both of these. Service is excellent but I always recommend arriving early.

Thanks so much johnnyd. I just Googled Yosaku for the address and got eG as well as this very interesting site. Is a booking necessary and if not, what is a good time to get there for lunch? We're staying near Damariscotta, so will probably just pop into Portland for one day.

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Yosaku is wonderful and johnnyd is the local knowledge guy, so you can't go wrong ;)

Deadheads are kinda like people who like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but people who like licorice, *really* like licorice!

-Jerry Garcia

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as well as this very interesting site.

Interesting indeed, but a bit dated. Tak put Benkay on the map then made his own mark. All of the japanese restaurants have had to step up as each year brings more demanding clientele - good for us!

Corinna, nice to see you in this part of the world. Enjoy! :smile:

edit to add: I think booking under six is unavailable. call to confirm. I like to go when the lunch rush has subsided, about one pm. #1 Pleasant Street, Portland

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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  • 2 weeks later...

On Sunday, I went to Portland Spice Co. (now on Vannah Street at Woodford's corner, pretty much right next to KFC) and found my new favorite thing, Mole Salami made by Mario Batali's father, Armandino of Salumi. It was unbelievably delicious. The spiciness in the cured meat lead into the chocolate flavors which gave the salami an unusual amount of depth. It's $18/lb, so not really for every day eating, but a great splurgy snack. I'm going to Seattle (where the Salumi is located) for a wedding in October and now I have to take an extra suitcase.

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I was in there last week as well. Had a good look around and happened to be there when the gelati shipment came in. Hooo, boy what tasty stuff! We all had a taste of fig, passionfruit, hazelnut, plum, vanillabean and something else interesting.

Mike and Jess are happy to be out of that mess and on their own with their new bistro. Their sandwiches are reportedly amazing. Mike made a perfect expresso for me.

They also have serrano ham and good quality chorizo among other delicacies. Drop in and spread the word!

"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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Friday Lunch was on the deck at Saltwater Grille which is located across the harbor from the Old Port.

I've had a hit-or-miss relationship with this place since it opened. I've had amazing autumn-produce on pork tenderloin and a halibut special during the first few months, then after a while I went back and was disappointed by a scallop dish that was heinously disrespected by a smothering of cheese of some undeterminable kind. Then I tried a lunch special of a "salmon burger" and wrote it off.

Here I am a year later seeing an old friend in town for a couple hours. We started with a nice fruit soup including raspberry, mango and blueberry then had the Bangs Island mussels in a tomato garlic broth served with excellent bread. THe calamari was coated in something much lighter than the usual batter from downtown, we were thinking lotus or rice flour. It was served on a bed of arugula with red onion and a nice vinagrette.

No ground is being broken here but it has to be the best waterfront dining in (south) Portland.

"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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We're just back from Maine and had a wonderful time. It was my 6th time there and I fall more deeply in love with it each time.

Thanks so much for the recommendation on Yosaku johnnyd, it delivered a much needed sushi hit... toro, uni, ikura... and our youngest who doesn't eat sushi had a really good tempura with udon (it makes such a difference when the oil is pristine, a big failing over here I'm afraid). The staff were so nice, and unbelievably accommodating with our children who first wanted to sit at the sushi bar and then on the tatami mats. And no... people without kids, don't be scared off... this is not a child goes wild sort of place, the impact of our two sprogs was kept to a minimum!

I just had one day in Portland (mostly children's museum), and really hope to get there a bit more next time. It is such a cool city.

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My pleasure CD!

Tak knows what he's doing - Yosaku is a great restaurant. I see his young daughter scurrying around with armfuls of menus sometimes.

I've discovered Portland Spice & Trading's website which includes some respectable recipes for those who remember them from the Portland Public Market.

Speaking of the PPM, I've heard that there remains the coffee place, the cheese lady, a bakery and sandwich place have merged and there is a convenience store offering basics for the home. Big Sky pulled out last weekend.

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've discovered Portland Spice & Trading's website which includes some respectable recipes for those who remember them from the Portland Public Market.

I still have a few bottles of their herbs in my cupboard. It was a nice thing to be able to grab some stuff there, sprinkle it on some fish while we were up the coast, & then have the herbs around to remind me of Maine the rest of the year. I hope they thrive; I'll have to check their shop next time we're in town.

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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Recent review of Portland Spice & Trading in MaineToday.com.

Stopped by for morning coffee the other day. The occaisional klatch is quite friendly and neighbourly!

"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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The Greek Corner at 90 Exchange Street opened last week. The website has a PDF of their menu, which looks worth checking out.

Interestingly enough, the owners are Nepalese. They had a Greek place on Cape Cod and then one in Boston. Here's a review on MaineToday.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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Speaking of the PPM, I've heard that there remains the coffee place, the cheese lady, a bakery and sandwich place have merged and there is a convenience store offering basics for the home.  Big Sky pulled out last weekend.

The PPM website seems to have been abandoned, they still list Portland Spice & others as being there. The new Portland Splce sounds a good bet for lunch.

The Greek Corner at 90 Exchange Street opened last week.  The website has a PDF of their menu, which looks worth checking out. 

Interestingly enough, the owners are Nepalese.  They had a Greek place on Cape Cod and then one in Boston.  Here's a review on MaineToday.com.

Oddly, one of the best Greek places in my part of Jersey is owned by South Americans.

Edited by ghostrider (log)

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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I was in there last week as well.  Had a good look around and happened to be there when the gelati shipment came in.  Hooo, boy what tasty stuff!  We all had a taste of fig, passionfruit, hazelnut, plum, vanillabean and something else interesting. 

Mike and Jess are happy to be out of that mess and on their own with their new bistro.  Their sandwiches are reportedly amazing.  Mike made a perfect expresso for me.

They also have serrano ham and good quality chorizo among other delicacies.  Drop in and spread the word!

I will be in Portland for a couple hours in a few weeks and would like to check this place out. Those gelati sound great. One question: What is the name of it? And where is it? This post doesn't say and I couldn't figure it out from the thread.

Also, I want to grab some Italians. A query on Chowhound turned up Amato's and Anania's. Any other suggestions?

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We were in the Portland area for a mini-getaway from Philly. We stopped by the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth and had the Lobster Roll Basket. We were surprisingly disappointed. The fries were soggy, the coleslaw a tad watery, and fountain refills cost 25cents for a small cup. The lobster roll itself was quite tasty. The roll nicely buttered and toasty, and the lobster simply prepared with a dollop of mayo. We were surprised at how small they were, though. Perhaps we're spoiled by the size of the cheesesteaks at home...

For dinner, we stopped by 555, based on some comments we read on this thread, and had a fabulous meal. The ambience and service were warm and inviting. We didn't have a reservation, but were fortunate to be seated almost immediately due to a last minute cancellation (we witnessed a mini-fight b/t a couple prior to their sudden cancellation. bad luck for them, good luck for us :laugh: ).

He had a local amber ale to go with dinner, and I had the Unibroue Ephemere--an apple ale. I would highly recommend it as a nice summer beer--light, refreshing, and not at all cloyingly sweet. I started with the Maine blueberry salad which was a wonderful mix of textures and flavors--the creaminess of the blue cheese, the crunch of the walnuts, and the addition of large and small blueberries. Not overly dressed, and again, not overly sweet as a number of fruit-accented salads I've had have been. He had the maine market salad which had goat cheese and balsamic marinated squash. It was also garnished with cripsy shreds of red onion which added an interesting texture and flavor, and was likewise pleased.

For the entrees, I had the crab risotto, which was cooked to a perfect consistency. It was flavored with marscapone cheese, and had mushrooms and a surprise addition of fresh cut corn--a nice burst of sweetness in each bite. He had the chipotle marinated hangar steak--again prepared a perfect, tender medium rare as requested. Yummy!

For dessert, we split the cake and ice cream--green tea ice cream with an asian style sponge cake, sesame tuile, and candied ginger. A nice light dessert with an interesting play of flavors. All in all, a great experience and a place we would highly recommend.

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We stopped by the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth and had the Lobster Roll Basket.

Is this place way out by the lighthouse or the newer, converted gas station closer to town?

555 sounds really, really good. I suppose I'll have to break down and visit someday soon!

"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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Just back from a weeks stay in Maine, starting in Portland and working are way up to Bar Harbor/Acadia.

First, thanks to this forum for many great suggestions -- most of the places we ate along the way were recommendations found here. I'll post about other places in other threads (best lobster rolls, best fried clams, Bar Harbor, Primo, ...), but below is my Portland experiences.

My grand plan for our first night (we were scheduled to arrive in Portland around 5:30 PM) was to get our stuff, get settled, and head out to Two Lights for Lobsters to start our trip off right. Unfortunately, those plans were quashed when our flight from Newark was delayed four hours due to crappy weather all over the east coast. We landed around 9 PM, and just wanted something casual and quick (but yummy) at that point. After reviewing what was open, we decided to do a quick jaunt to Gilberts Chowder House. We each had chowders (me - clam, she - seafood) which were both good, not extraordinary. Both very thick (possibly too thick) and could have used a little more clams/seafood. Good hint of smokey flavor, which made the soup. Fried clams were good (and hit the spot), but were surpassed later in the trip. Clams were whole belly and crunchy -- but on the whole were a little on the scrawny side and slightly tough. But all in all, after our travels a good start to our trip.

The next morning we went to Cape Elizabeth, hiked around two lights park and had brunch at The Good Table in Cape Elizabeth. Excellent homemade corned beef hash for me, and my wife really enjoyed her blueberry crepes. All the food looked good there -- definitely a "recommend" for brunch if your in the area, although not a desitination.

On the way out of town, stopped at Duckfat for Fries. These are not to be missed, and have not been oversold. Outstanding, addictive and dangerous. The sauces were very good as well. We would have had more there (all the food looked/sounded delicious), but were heading out to Wicasset to Red's for the lobster roll!

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