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Mar 10, 2007 06:01 AM

Good restaurants in Portland

What about Portland, Maine? Any secret treasures? Long-standing landmarks? Pho?

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  1. There are lots of threads on this board. Do a cursory search. But I'll reiterate a few of my personal picks:

    Pho: Thanh Thanh 2, Forest Ave
    Salvadoran: Mi Casa (somebody fill in the correct name, I forget) on Washington Ave, Munjoy Hill
    Thai: Sengchai Thai, Forest Ave
    Ice Cream: Maples, that same intersection on Forest Ave!
    Sushi: King of the Roll, Congress at State (other people will have other opinions, natch)
    Pizza: Jim Leff apparently really liked Bill's on Commercial St. An institution but not terribly hallowed. I prefer Flatbread.
    Any beer from Alan Pugsley, the local (and international) beer auteur, including Gritty's, Geary's, Shipyard, Long Trail, various others. Great Lost Bear or $3 Dewey's are decent places to try the beer, but don't expect much from the food.
    Theme lunch: Duckfat, Middle St.
    Baked goods (see earlier thread): Standard/Two Fat Cats, Rosemont, One Fifty Ate
    I'll add Mexican, since nobody's responded to my previous post: Mexico Lindo, Rte 1 in South Portland.
    Breakfast: Hot Suppa, Congress St. Ignore the name -- they don't actually do supper.
    Take the family for lobster, etc: Newick's, S. Portland, or (slightly fancier) DeMillo's, Commercial St.
    Fried food: Susan's Fish & Chips, Forest Ave.
    Chinese: don't bother -- go to Boston. Best Chinese I've had here has been, shockingly, at the Great Wall Buffet in S. Portland. Nuff said.

    Laid back Spanish: Local 188
    Brunch: ye olde Bintliff's, Park at Forest
    Italian: Ribollita, Middle St.

    We generally stick to the cheap categories, so any expensive recs from me would be warhorses like Cinque Terra, Hugo's, 555, Street & Co, Fore St.

    Caiola's & Front Room get lots of raves.

    Feel free to ask any questions. Others besides me can probably answer them better.

    1. I have to agree with most everything above. Tu Casa is the name of the Saldavoran place. I would add Fuller's Ice Cream on Wharf Street, Any beer made by Rob Todd of Allagash brewing as he is brewing some of the best Belgian style ale in America, Lotus in Falmouth for Chinese is hands down the best in Maine and outside of East Coast Chinatowns the most authentic, and I would scratch Front Room for dinner but go for breakfast/lunch instead. As for top end, I would throw the bone to 555, undoubtedly the best food in the city right now

      1 Reply
      1. re: Noreaster

        I agree that Lotus sucks the least, but that's not saying much. We're often fond of their eggplant in garlic sauce, but it's always a spin of the wheel whether it's prepared well or not, and their sauteed string beans are the only ones in town that actually contain pickle (though in strips that I consider way too big -- it should be minced, if you ask me).

        I handed it to Great Wall simply because they have sticky sesame rice balls with sweet red bean paste on their "appetizer/dim sum" table -- I love those -- plus, along with the gloppy jello salad, crab legs, and maki with microscopic fish slices, you can count on there being salt & pepper shrimp and/or squid, sauteed baby bok choi, egg tarts, steamed fish, and some kind of nice clam or mussel dish with black beans. But I'm a seafood fan. Maybe Lotus has some of that stuff, too -- they do have a nice seafood soup with egg foam on top, but I don't recall any dim sum type things, and all their fish (besides the sushi) is fried.

        And I love Allagash White. Love it.

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        1. Well, well, well, I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but to say that Lotus is the best in Maine !!! Wow-- I totally disagree! Its ok and one of the best in Portland but not the best in Maine. Sorry. Fuller's is good ice cream, but you can't park. I heard Hot Suppa is closed. For breakfast and fried food BECKY's cannot be beat. 555 is extremely expensive for Portland Maine. I never see David's mentioned, which in my book is one of the best deals in Portland. Uffa is not my type of atmosphere or food!!!

          1. I hope I didnt imply that Lotus was the best restaurant but simply the best Chinese restaurant. China Rose is good too but Lotus is hands down better. Where do you go for Chinese in Maine?