A hit and a miss at Mims, Portland, Me
- Pat Hammond Sep 12, 2006 02:30 PM
We drove directly to Mims from the airport, arriving just about noon. Sunday was one of those Maine crystalline days and they do have outside dining, but that was full. It's nice inside too, though. After waiting a little while for the "host", we were seated. My sister ordered one of the egg Benedict selections, served over a potato/spinach pancake, instead of an English muffin. It arrived good and hot, and she enjoyed it very much. That dish was the "hit".
I was in the mood for lunch and ordered the "pulled beef" with horseradish and onion on a hard roll. I asked our server about it, and he described the beef as having been braised and then pulled into shreds. Sounded good to me. I also ordered a cup of haddock chowder. The chowder was a nice creamy consistency, good seafoody flavor, but very little haddock. It could have been much hotter, as well. Then came my sandwich and it looked just fine, lots of shredded beef over some lettuce, in a very good crusty roll. The problem was it was cold, which resulted in lots of congealed fat throughout. I sent it back to be heated, after confirming that it was, indeed, supposed to be a hot sandwich. Our server was very nice and obliging. The second time around it wasn't much warmer. To be fair, I said it was ok, and managed to eat about half.
I can only guess that the kitchen was just too busy. I would try Mims again, but my first visit was disappointing.
Mim's has had a life-long struggle with getting food from the kitchen to the table hot. I eat there often enough (one of Portland's very few outdoor dining options)- the food is generally well prepared and presented but consistency is lacking. I have also - on more than one occasion - witnessed open hostility between the waitstaff and the kitchen. I chalk some of it up to character - Mim's is still the Old Port's best choice for an upscale brunch.
Hey Pat Hammond. If you're in the Portland area for some more time, and you haven't yet, try the Standard Baking Co., downstairs from the Fore St. restaurant, and Two Fat Cats on India St., bakeries (a couple of blocks apart). They are really, really great.
If you haven't tried them, let this be my pay back to you for recommending the great Westchester bakery awhile back.
The financiers at Standard are a must try!
re: sophie fox
The number of great meals I have had at Mim's far outweighs the bad, but I eat there so often it gives me a different perspective than most. I wouldn't compare Mim's to Duckfat - they are two very different style restaurants. And - this is kind of funny - Duckfat is the kind of restaurant that I would like-to-like, that I am SUPPOSED to like, but I just don't. The taste combination of their sandwiches just don't work for me personally.