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Almost back from my trip. All I can say is, we were very lucky to have had the weather we did. All the locals essentially said, we witnessed some of the best weather of the year. With nice weath

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So, around 1 am last night, i decided to book a place in Portland Maine.. I then sent the information to the rest of my family... I have free hyatt points so, that is where we are going.. I am looking forward to reading this thread.. Has anyone been there recently. 

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One of my favorite dive bars is Ruski's in the West End. They open at 7 for breakfast.


It's worth having a drink at Top of the East great view over the bay


Both Otto and Slice are worth checking out


In Old Port i really like The Thirsty Pig. Also Liquid Riot. You could spend a week just visiting breweries in the area


You could probably find better fried clams than Two Lights Lobster Shack but when you also throw in the view it can't be beat. Worth a drive



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  • 2 weeks later...

Almost back from my trip. All I can say is, we were very lucky to have had the weather we did. All the locals essentially said, we witnessed some of the best weather of the year. With nice weather, Maine is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The sweeping views of the rocky seas, the nature, the lighthouses, the lakes, parks, islands, the apple trees and huge hydrangeas everywhere. It’s all so lovely.

We ate too much lobsters, drank the perfect amount of beer and got to see and do so much. Highlights for me were visiting the parks which over look the water and simply flying a kite or having a picnic or watching my son play with every kid he ran in to. We also went to an oyster farm to shuck oysters and hear music. A trip to Maine Brewery, a trip to orchard beach and amusement park, candle pin bowling, going to a drive in, renting a golf cart on peaks island and going to an outdoor concert along the water, my kids sharing a bed and all the fun they had together, spontaneous wiffle ball games were all highlights.

I missed my kitchen. It’s really interesting how incestuous the local restaurant scenes are. They all play off each other or copy from each other. Sure, local products are local products but there is no reason for fried cauliflower to be on 4 of the cities most praised restaurants. Or labnah being so prevalent or just seeing reoccurring dishes without any specific reason. It’s interesting.

The food for the most part is good because of the ingredients. As with anything, the less messing with the better. There were a few dishes that were stand out. A shaved celery and carrot salad that literally came straight out of a bon apetite issue. Mussels from bang island are incredibly plump and delicious. While everyone is going nuts over the lobster and oysters and maybe even the steamers, it’s the mussels that seem to be the most exceptional. Sadly, they are rarely found on menus. In fact, you have to go to the high end restaurants to get them. How has Maine not heard of beer and mussels. Or with all the snails covering the beaches, why are there no snails. I would go to a beach and be able to grab two plate worth of snails without walking more than 20 yards. Lots of scallops but only a few places don’t exclusively serve them fried.’didn’t see any being served on the shell or bbq’d.

Do people in Maine know scallops have coral. Didn’t see any Maine sea urchin. Maybe wrong season? I promise there are more fish available than haddock. One place served local mackerel. Also, summer is soft shell lobster season. It’s not the best time to eat them in my opinion. I was served a few slimy mushy ones that I returned. Other food highlights were perfectly fried onion rings, a really good burger, delicious melon and corn at the farmers market, a Bloody Mary with three lobster claws in it, a few other things here and there but really all the raw oysters were better than most of the food we had. Why there aren’t more things to with lobster stock or butter or oil, more with the tamale. I thought it would be fun to do a lobster tomalley, tamale. But yeh. I was not blown away by the inventive use of any of the local products. Why there aren’t more roasted oyster dishes or interesting oyster dishes. Who knows. I’m really so full and was tired of eating in Portland after the week. I’m mean, I’ll happily go back, I just need a break for a bit.

I’m also excited to stop eating restaurant food for a bit.

I miss my kitchen and hate staying in hotels. But also love

Staying with my family in such a confined space where no one can hide and you are up in each other’s faces for a week. Memories we will cherish for ever. What a solid crew and somehow managed to raise some pretty special people. I need a salad


I’ll write up places as I have tons of photos.

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  • 2 years later...

Why is it that after the restaurant meals we’ve had here for the past 3 nights and a lunch or two, I wind up thinking (and sometimes saying aloud) : “I wish there was a place like this in NYC.”

Last night I could barely crack the hard shell of my lobster (apparently the kitchen even helped before sending it out):


That is pushing 2 lbs. and cooked exactly right. 

This was excellent as well:


One of the freshest and mildest bluefish I’ve tasted. There was a smoked mackerel spread that was also great, and some lovely fried squid. Scales.

And every oyster we’ve eaten is pretty much a revelation as to how you want a local oyster to taste. As well as how you want it shucked.

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