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Jul 19, 2007 09:59 AM

Scrumptious cheap eats - Old Port, Portland, Maine

I'm traveling to Portland, ME for work and will have just a little time to venture out in Old Port. What's not-to-be-missed any time of day including snacks? I eat fish and seafood but not beef, pork, or poultry. Thanks!

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  1. There are tons of excellent restaurants in the Old Port, but most of them don't fall in the cheap eats category. Granny's Burritos on Fore Street is a yummy, veg-friendly and inexpensive choice (sit upstairs if you want wine or beer). Other spots to try: Federal Spice (on Federal Street) serves burritos too (be prepared with cash because they don't take credit cards) and Crab Louie (on Commercial Street) serves fish and chips (everything is fried in lard). Over on India Street, baker Stephen Lanzalotta is now serving up simple, rustic Italian take-out at Micucci's. The Maine Squeeze Juice Bar serves up great smoothies (many that can do double duty as a meal) and there is an ice cream shop across the street and another one around the corner on Fore Street.

    1. Try the Old Port Sea Grill on Commercial St. Lots of fish selections and very good.
      Dimilio's across the street is also very good.

      1. what is not to be missed is some LOBSTER!!! go get a lobster roll or find a place in the old port that has fresh little 1 to 1.5 lbs-ers and go eat some lobstah! if you have a car, you can go to Haraseeket and get a great lobster roll. also good and cheap in the old port is Becky's Diner, and Granny's burritos is actually quite good in that hippy dippy kind of way (even the hot sauces on the tables are good, very fresh beans and rice is very clean tasting), but please, get a lobster roll or a lobster or some steamers or a fried haddock with cheese and tartar on a roll or some fried shrimp. lobster, lobster, lobster... when in maine in the summers i try and eat 2 lobster rolls a day- actually quite health for you, it's all the butter that will kill ya, but SO worth it... enjoy fb

        2 Replies
        1. re: frankbooth

          Don't for a clam roll, fried clams and steamers with a cold beer. Yessah!If you can get out Forrest Ave., try Susan's Fish 'n Chips(BYOB).

          1. re: frankbooth

            Sorry Frankbooth but Lobster is not really that good for you.....
            Its loaded with uric acid, which activates Gout & Arthritis so watch out !!!
            I have gout, so I eat Lobster only 2-3 times a year.

          2. Within a short walk of Old Port, on Middle St, is Pepperclub. Menu very eclectic, and changes daily, but lots of very creative, non meat dishes as well as great desserts. Atmosphere is casual/funky and prices are very reasonable.

            4 Replies
            1. re: maina

              And kinda across the street from the Pepperclub is Duckfat, with the most amazing French fries--get them with the truffle ketchup.

              1. re: maina

                Pepperclub's menu does not change daily, same three fish and meat dishes along with tempeh. Sauces change here and there. They've have the same sides there for years. Most of their pies are not made in house either. Prices are resonable for what you get, which is mostly not a la minute dishes. Duckfat would be a much better choice.

                1. re: mjp81

                  Pepperclub always has a number of vegetarian specials, which we have enjoyed. We only go about once every several months, and have always found different items on the menu -- mjp81 may go more frequently. Have no idea what mjp81 meant by saying you get "mostly not a la minute dishes" -- is that a foodie expression that I'm not aware of? As to pies, I was aware that they are not made on the premises, but that doesn't bother us because quality has been excellent (esp their raspberry rhubarb). Not sure why it would matter if desserts are made by local baker as long as they are fresh and delicious.

                  1. re: maina

                    Not to be a party pooper but Duckfat is called that because the fries are made in duck fat. The poutine is terrific but again . . .

              2. For those in the know -- how is "The Great Lost Bear" (near the old port) for a pub?
                I've heard much in the past that it's good, -- good beer selection, good pub food, etc...
                What are the current views on it now?
                Any signature dishes one should get there?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Keithel

                  Beer selection can't be beat. As for the food, well its bad. Even in terms of pub food, I'd rather eat at Sebago in the old port. Not a food destination, just a beer drinkers destination. And its not near the Old Port at all. Its a drive down Forest Ave.

                  1. re: mjp81

                    Have to chime in about GLB. Yes, not in the Old Port so if that is a requirement then it's a no go. It is a great beer destination and if that is your thing, it's the best one Portland has. The food is not bad. It is highly inconsistent however. The burgers and nachos are both adequate pub food and rarely disappointing. Soups and desserts are actually quite good. The chili both vegetarian and meat are delicious although check when the veggie chili was made. When it is fresh it's great, when it isn't it is like lentil paste. If that isn't enough of an endorsement of the food, go to the Bear for a few brews then travel a couple minutes further and either go to Susan's Fish and Chips or Thanh Thanh 2 for Vietnamese with a quick stop for dessert at Maple's Organic Ice Cream (Right across the street)

                    1. re: Noreaster

                      Ok! I learn something today :)
                      * My thought that GLB was in Old Port is unfounded.
                      * The food isn't too great, but adequate.
                      * Offer some of the best beer selection in the city.

                      Ok! Probably means I won't end up going there anytime soon, but if I happen to be in the area, I'll swing by for a drink.

                      Sorry for contaminating this Old Port discussion with something that isn't in the Old Port!