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Portland Groceries


Mulcahy
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As is described in this post, I just found out I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner at my brother's house in Portland (actually Scarborough), Maine.

I need to know where to find a) a reliable grocery store (does not need to be organic) b) a good butcher/meat market c) good cheese d) good wine e) good pies.

Need the information, obviously, ASAP, as my shopping starts Wednesday morning. Although I will be calling in some orders and making mhy brother pick them up tomorrow.

Thanks!

Edited by Mulcahy (log)
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For convenience, I'd recommend a stop into the Portland Public Market. There is a good greengrocer, butcher and cheese shop all under one roof. You might find better prices elsewhere (well, you almost definitely will), but you'll spend less time driving and looking for parking, etc.

If you in the Old Port, the Portland Greengrocer on Commerical is very good for produce, wines and cheeses. Browne Trading, also on Commerical is great for wine, cheese and seafood, but is fairly pricey.

There's a good supermarket in Scarborough right near the Walmart. It's either a Hannaford or a Shaw's. I don't really have experience with either, but how different could they be?

I'm stumped on good pies... Sorry!

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Ok,

I think the Public Market is a good idea (only don't buy the wine there, go to the place across the Preble Street for that). The other suggestion for the Greengrocer is good, Browne does have some cheese and a pretty good wine selection but they are the most expensive whine shop in town in my opinion. Finally I wouldn't recommend the supermarket in Scarborough mentioned. If you are going big supermarket do the Hannaford off Forest Ave in Portland or the nearby Wild Oats on Marginal Way.

Barring the Public Market one-stop approach that may have you compromising in some areas and singing in others here's a few ideas of mine. Mind you, they are NOT necessarily conveniently located near each other.

First, I think you should give a call to Pat's Meat Market 484 Stevens Ave. Portland, 772-3961. You'll get a good pork loin, bacon, turkey breast (probably local farm-raised) as well as a lot of the produce and groceries you need.

Cheese? If only the choices were better, but I'd go with the Portland Public Market.

Wine? The Clown 121 Middle St. Portland, 756-7399. Don't be fooled by the exterior, upstairs is antiques and home furnishings, downstairs in the basement is a great little wine shop. This would be a place I'd go to in person as they are wonderfully service-oriented.

Pies? Oh it's hard to point out one in particular But a couple you may want to condsider are Foley's 431 Congress St. Portland, 772-5837 or the European Bakery 395 Route One, Falmouth (north of the main shopping area on the way to Yarmouth) 781-3541. Call early.

Hope this helps.

Perhaps johnnyd has uncovered some good places for cheese? johnny?

"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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You r-r-rang?!

Nothing new to report on the cheese front besides what's mentioned, but I'm not looking very hard these days.

The cheese variety at the Public Market is hard to top. Love the place, but Christian is right about the wine dept.

Portland Green Grocer does heavy cheese volume and variety/price makes it my favourite. They have excellent produce and reasonable wine too.

Wild Oats is a reasonably good cheese spot too which would make it my choice for the one-stop plan - it has great pies. Be advised that since it's come to town, the place gets jammed on holidays and in spite of their best efforts, the place falls apart. Expect long lines, stock shortages and general confusion. Solution? Phone in special requests then get in and out early

... or go to the (very large) Forest Avenue Hannaford, the most dependable but not very imaginative source for your sure-to-be-fabulous menu.

edit to add: Don't forget a seafood item, oysters perhaps? Scallops are now in season as of the 15th. The quality is so good up here it is scary. DO NOT BUY IT anywhere else but HARBOR FISH MARKET or the renowned BROWNE TRADING.

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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After much consideration, I think I am going to do a stop at the Public Market and then a big shopping at the Forest Avenue Hannaford. I would like to do the Pat's Meat Market route, but I just don't have the energy to navigate more than one or two stops, max. The menu is going to be very simple (picky eaters) roast pork loin, turkey breast, green beans, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms. I think Hannaford should do me well (I hope!).

Thanks for the advice.

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Parking is free at PPM if you get your ticket from the garage across the street stamped by a vendor.

It'll be a piece of cake. Have fun, just don't forget to breathe!

"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 figure the crowds can't possibly be worse than New York the day before Thanksgiving. And I will have my bro's girlfriend with me to help.

And I love exploring new stores. Thanks for the help. Next time, I'm hitting you all up for restaurant recs.

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I forgot to mention.. I live in Scarborough too, Mulcahy.

Whereabouts does your brother live?

"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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I forgot to mention.. I live in Scarborough too, Mulcahy.

Whereabouts does your brother live?

He lives on Riverwoods Drive, which I believe is in the little bubble of Scarborough right next to Gorham. (It is right off of Route 22). It really is a beautiful part of the world.

Thanks everyone for your advice. Did a giant shopping at the Hannaford on Forest Avenue (OMG, that place is huge -- especially compared to New York stores). Then went to Wild Oats for the pork, cheese, and a few other missing items (pastries). I was really impressed with service at both places.

And we ate at Fore Street on Wednesday night. Lovely little restaurant. Had probably over-hyped it in my head, but it was a very nice evening. (Am scurrying off to find the thread on Fore Street).

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I find Fore Street is over-hyped in general. That's not to say it isn't a pleasant place to spend an evening or that they don't exeucte their concept well. The intent is for the food to be "rustic" in the preparation and that limits the upside, I think.

I can see people often leaving saying "Damn that was good!" But never "That place blew me away, I've never had anything like it."

"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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