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Trip Report: Central Provisions disappointingly pretentious

Me too, three times with only the first a success. The second time, I ordered a dish that I LOVED the first time, the toast and eggs (?). This time the sabayon was really sweet and clashed with the other flavors, both the butter and salt. It wasn't good and I didn't eat it. Thing is, I asked the chef (I was sitting at the kitchen bar at the pass) about whether it was suppose to be sweet, blah blah. He just said it depends on who makes it, but didn't ask if I liked it, nothing. Server didn't ask when she cleared the almost full plate. It was a bummer that the chef/owner was so disinterested but I certainly should have spoken up.

Third time I sat at the bar downstairs. Good lord, it took an amazingly long time (crazy long time) to order a drink or get a menu. I was sitting directly in front of the bartender. The drinks are quite involved but its ridiculous how long it was taking her to make them. The window bar wasn't cleared and people walked out for lack of seating (not that they would have gotten any service anytime soon). There was a bar back and a service bartender but the bar itself needed more help.

I was so in love with the place the first time I went but I won't be back.

Portland NYE dining?

Hello Kat! For what its worth, the place that I am most looking forward to trying (two small kids, SO hard to get out) is Piccolo. It would be the place I would feel most confident would not only not disappoint but impress me greatly.

That said any of the suggestions Anestes listed would be great!

Portland- Special dinner with kids

I say without regard for special meal accommodations:

For what its worth, 555 graciously accommodates children. In my opinion Fore Street is also fine as it tends to be loud and boisterous so kids blend in fine. Petit Jacqueline would also be a good choice. Street and Co. is fine and while Local 188 should be fine, I have found the service to be uneven enough to be risky (long waits suck enough without hungry kiddos in tow!) Caiola's would also be good as there is a solid clientele who would appreciate your young diners and would love to see them enjoy such well-prepared food.

Maine Trip Report

Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for the report.

You have reminded me how much I used to enjoy the "tastes" at Street and Co. I'll have to get back there soon.

One Week in Portland

Speaking to the food at Novare Res, there are definitely kid friendly options. In the past, we have had a pita and hummus kind of plate and the kids split a pasta, which was from Paciarino's. The menu is small but the food is good! When you are done, you can head for ice cream or gelato. Its a great place to taste beer with the kiddos along and is known as such.

Smoking Good BBQ in Bethel, ME

Thanks for the post! Hope they are year-round, we'd love to check them out in the fall.

Best Portland restaurant for large group

I'm going to suggest David's Restaurant as a possibility based on your criteria. Most restaurants in town have smaller menus and will have one or two veg entrees. David's has a larger menu that does include plenty of vegetarian options. They also have the space to comfortably accomodate a larger group and serve cocktails. For ease and something for everyone, this may be a good choice. While its been awhile since I've been there, I found the food to be, you know, pretty good. It is a place where you can eat well and have a good time. And right now, this owner/chef is on fire with his new restaurants which might mean good things for his original place.

Good luck!

Corned beef source

What area are you in?

Lunch in Portland 11.23

For a nice lunch on Friday, I would recommend Pai Men Miyake or Petit Jacqueline next door (parking is on street and can be tricky, but totally worth it).

Indian or Thai near Portland ME?

Boda is really delicious. As Lawshark said, it is not a traditional American-Thai restaurant but more an upscale interpretation of Thai homestyle and street food. As for the more standard Thai fare, I have no suggestions.

For Indian, I absolutely recommend Taj - http://tajofmaine.com . The menu is online and they have a very good buffet. It is in the spot previously occupied by Aroma, which was also good although I think Taj is better.

Lobster in Portland, Maine?

Many such places? That doesn't sound right. Can you name a few?

What @bobbert said is good info, though I would add Two Lights for an amazing setting for a lobster dinner.

pink slime free in northernn new england

Actually did that very thing! Figured also could for ground lamb, pork, turkey, etc. Any burger recipes you'd like to recommend? Anything from a more 'budget' mix to a 'fancier' mix appreciated.

pink slime free in northernn new england

I used to purchase Hannaford's "Nature's Place" ground beef because it is (as I understand it) still Wolfe's Neck Farm beef. However, the last several times I was in the grocery the meat was in a pre-packaged block that was dense and unappetizing looking. I'm all done with that.

Portland eats - how do these places sound?

Quick note - Portland Lobster Co. is a seasonal, outdoor restaurant so it may not be an option.

Micucci's Pizza

But what a way to go!

Best Cheeseburger in Portland, Maine

With all the recent activity on this thread, I'm surprised no one has given Elevation Burger a try! I will admit to have been passing by, getting curious and giving it a try. It was really, really tasty! Same style as 5 Guys, for those who may not know, but 100% Organic, grass fed beef and all ground on site. Can't say which I prefer yet, although I like the quality/handling of beef aspect. I also like the potato buns they used, maybe made it sit less heavy in my belly? I don't know, but I look forward to hearing what others think.

Also, someone recently mentioned liking the lunch burger at David's. I haven't had that, but the burger at David's 388 in SoPo can be quite awesome and very satisfying.

J's in Portland

I think J's is a love it or hate it kind of place. One person's gritty, divey bar is another's charming, insiders hangout. To me, what can be "great" about it would be experienced drinking and sitting at the bar and interacting with the interesting, eclectic clientele. Absent nostalgia, sitting at the tables to eat might not be as satisfying as other options.

Portland NYE?

If I'm reading you right, you are looking for a place to eat on New Years Eve a later hour where you can make a reservation so you're not locked out of a decent meal and where your child will blend in and not be totally out of place in the "glamour" of the evening. Does that sound right?

If so, looking at the list on portlandfoodmap.com December 19, 2011) I would think David's and Old Port Sea Grill might work. Bigger spaces, boisterous and full menus.

Might want to check if Yosaku takes reservations for that night, also family friendly. I think Pai Men will be insane that night and rather adult. Just my opinion.

Flatbread Company is tasty, family-friendly and would be quite celebratory that evening I would imagine. They have a "call-ahead" system, so you could call and get your name on the list as you near Portland.

The Grill House Local Tavern - South Portland, ME

New place has opened in the old Beale St BBQ/The SoPo space at 725 Broadway. Troy Mains is chef/owner along with Chris Johnston.

I stopped in for a brief visit last night and had the mussels in a house-made green coconut curry. They were outstanding, the mussels perfectly cooked and a totally delicious and addictive broth. Beer selection was so-so, but they did have Baxter IPA on tap which was tasty.

Really, really hoping this place finds success and the rest of the menu is as successful as that mussel dish.

Open lunch and dinner.

Great new Somali / Middle Eastern restaurant in Portland, Maine

Where is Al Huda located?

Ground Hatch Chile?

Good for you! I love the green chile powder because I find you don't need to cook out the rawness like you do with the red chile. One of my favorite things is to take leftover mashed potatoes, mix them with some chopped canned green chiles and spread in a small baking dish. Sprinkle green chile powder and cheese (I used parm cause that's what I had) over the top and bake in the toaster oven. The green chile flavor really shines with the powder adding a brightness.

Nov 10, 2011
foodquest in Home Cooking

Meals around Storyland/North Conway with Kids

Do you think it is practical to leave Storyland for lunch someplace nearby?

NM Green Chiles?

For what its worth, frozen chiles can be ordered online. We order green chile powder that way with great success from Hatch. Otherwise, I've only seen fresh when in season at Whole Foods. We use a lot of canned.

@LStaff - I sure like the sound of that!

September in Portland, ME

"... but I have the eating range of a four year old."

Hehehe.

September in Portland, ME

Absolutely second the Bar Lola suggestion for the reasons cited by mainemal. The food is really, really lovely.

Another thought might be The Well {at Jordan's Farm} for something different. The food is simple - great local ingredients, beautifully prepared and enjoyed on picnic tables at the farm. Its BYO. Definitely some sophistication with no pretense and abundance of charm. Something fun and different!

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Bar Lola
100 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04000

The Well {at Jordan's Farm}
Cape Elizabeth, Cape Elizabeth, ME

One lunch in Portland, ME - We will be passing through and looking for a nice spot for lunch.

Don't know whether this is a weekend or weekday trip, some suggestions that meet your criteria are Miyake, Duckfat, Paciarino, {Corner, Grille, Front}Room or Green Elephant.

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Paciarino
468 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101

Fore Street: Toddler Friendly?

If your 18 month old generally does well in restaurants, then I think Fore Street early in the evening would be fine. Its not a quiet restaurant and the food is not particularly slow in arriving. Of course, you know your kiddo best, but kids have done fine there among the hustle and bustle. I'd give them a call.

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Fore Street
288 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101

Loco Coco's Tacos Delicious - Kittery Maine

I know this place has been around for awhile but we were able to stop in for the first time this week. It was SO good and definitely surpassed expectations. I thought it deserved a post with its name in the title :)

We ordered quite a bit of food. The tacos were a surprise in that each was dressed with a bit of rice and beans. I would not have thought I would enjoy that (and probably would have tried to change it had I noticed it on the menu) but it worked well, complementing rather than overwhelming the star ingredients. We tried the lengua (very tender), barbacoa, carne asada and another I can't recall. All were really flavorful although I did want a bit of salt for each (I'm a salter!).

The chicken tortilla soup was lovely with a delicious broth, kernels of corn (not too much though, thank you) and big chunks of chicken. The raw onion really made it and I could eat that every week. The shrimp ceviche was a generous sized portion, the shrimp tender with lots of crunch from the onions and whatnot. Really nice, really addictive. Sunshine, ceviche, beer - yeah, sounds great!

We don't get down that way too often, but will more often knowing there is such good food in a restaurant that the toddler also enjoys. I sure wish we had this place in Portland!

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Loco Coco's Tacos
36 Walker St, Kittery, ME 03904

Salt Exchange in Portland ME needs work

You had excellent service at the bar? Lucky You!

We were there during Restaurant Week, our first dinner out together since our daughter was born. We ended up choosing a 3-course off the RW menu. Service was slow at first, the bar was busy but the restaurant wasn't (it was early). After we finally ordered, the first two courses came along in a timely fashion. The dishes really were so small but generally tasty. But then the wait for the entree course. We were so happy to be out so we were patient and upbeat. But still, no food. I look at the clock. Eventually, the bartender notices us again and tells us its coming up soon. We wait and wait. Then he says it will be right up, "they are plating it as we speak." We continue to wait. and wait. The food never came.

At this point I tell my husband its been a half hour since I last checked the time, which I had checked because we had already been waiting so long. Making it easily over 45 minutes. We were SO hungry at this point.

Finally we get the bartender over, and tell him "We'll take the check." To which he replies, "Ok." Didn't ask, is there a problem, nothing. My husband goes to the bathroom, sees the manager and says why have we been waiting over a half hour for our entree. (My husband misspoke, it was at least 45 minutes.) He says something about everything coming out and once and THEN says the bartender said you were waiting for 15 minutes. What? I'm thinking, "he told you your customers are leaving without their entrees after waiting only 15 minutes and you believe that? You don't want to ask them if there was a problem, anything?" I've just never had such a ridiculous, unprofessional experience at such an upscale restaurant. I still can't believe it. I'm normally not one to get "mad" about a restaurant experience, I just don't go back. But this, this experience made me angry.

The babysitter was kind enough to stick around long enough for us to pop over to Nosh for a quick bite because we were starving. What an incredibly expensive and disappointing evening. My husband keeps teasing me for tipping the bartender after all that, but Karma is a bitch so why take the chance. Needless to say, I will not ever go back.

Aroma Indian Restaurant, South Portland, ME

I absolutely second the "keep them in business" sentiment! I'm not a dessert person, but the carrot halwa is like crack!