Even though I grew up in Massachusetts and moved back to Boston over two years ago, last weekend was my first ever trip to Portland, Maine. It was long overdue. We had an amazing time and tried to cram as much food into our short trip as possible.

Do you ever watch that Food Network show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate?” I felt like I was on that show at every restaurant we tried. I kept turning to Matt and saying “this is one of the best things I have ever eaten!” (And I was hardly even exaggerating.)

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home. Go figure. I still snapped some iPhone pictures, though I’m not sure they do the food justice.

Here were the highlights…

Potato Chips @ Eventide

Thick cut, but still light and crisp tasting, the homemade Potato Chips at Eventide Oyster Company were something special.

Lobster Roll @ Eventide

When it comes to lobster rolls, I usually think that traditional is best: tender lobster lightly dressed with mayo in a buttered, toasted, top-split hot dog bun. I was proven wrong with Eventide’s Lobster Roll. The sweet lobster was tossed in homemade mayo and fresh dill and tucked in a fluffy bun that tasted like a cross between a baguette and a bao. Flaky salt sprinkled on top added a little texture and the right amount of seasoning to each bite. I have been dreaming about this lobster roll since.

Eventide Oyster Co.
86 Middle Street
Portland, ME 04101
Eventide Oyster Co.  on Urbanspoon

Tasting @ Maine Mead Works

Thanks to Sues’ twitter recommendation, we went to the tasting room at Maine Mead Works. I had never tried mead before, so it was fun to learn more about it and try a bunch of varieties. We tasted seven kinds, starting with the drier end of the spectrum. I was surprised how prominent the honey flavor was in all of them without making them cloyingly sweet. We ended up buying a bottle of the hopped, our favorite of the seven, to bring home.

Maine Mead Works
51 Washington Avenue
Portland, ME 04101

Finnan Haddie @ Fore Street

We took our chances and showed up at the well-known Fore Street for dinner without a reservation. The Wood Oven Roasted Finnan Haddie made the hour long wait worth it. Finnan Haddie, something I first fell in love with in London, is cold smoked haddock that is often soaked in milk or cream before cooking. Fore Street’s version was simply prepared and served with lightly wilted arugula and crispy toast, showcasing the excellent fish and the flavors of their famous wood oven. The fish just melted in my mouth.

Fore Street
288 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101
Fore Street on Urbanspoon

Donuts @ The Holy Donut

I had read wonderful things about The Holy Donut, so we decided to make the trek out of the downtown area to try some of their unusual but delicious sounding potato donuts. We shared a Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and a Sweet Potato Ginger. They were both moist and fluffy, but the chocolate was the real standout for me. The chocolate flavor was intense, and large flakes of sea salt on top intensified the flavor even more. Holy Donut is definitely worth the trip.

The Holy Donut
194 Park Ave
Portland, ME 04101
The Holy Donut on Urbanspoon

Fries @ Duckfat

How I got a vegetarian to go to restaurant called Duckfat, I do not know. But I’m glad I did. Their Duckfat Fries were, not surprisingly, incredible. I ordered the Thai Chili Mayo and Sweet & Spicy Mustard Mayo for dipping (I can never choose just one dipping sauce).

Duck Confit Panini @ Duckfat

I also had the Duck Confit Panini with caramelized miso mayo, bok choy, and sweet onion. It was kind of like a pressed banh mi.

(Sidenote: Matt actually had a very good ratatouille panini here, so it was a good meal for both of us.)

43 Middle St
Portland, ME 04101
Duck Fat on Urbanspoon

Maine Beer Company Lunch @ Novare Res

And now we get to the best beer I have ever tasted: Maine Beer Company’s Lunch IPA. I asked our very knowledgeable bartender at Novare Res if she could recommend an interesting, very hoppy IPA and she immediately put this bottle in front of us. I’m not good at describing beer, so I’ll leave that to the experts. I just really hope I can find this in the Boston area.

Novare Res
4 Canal plaza
Portland, ME 04101
Novare Res Bier Cafe on Urbanspoon

Have you ever been to Portland, ME? And does anyone know where I can score some Lunch IPA in the Boston area??

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