Southern Hound with a Question about Portland
Hi there. I'm down in North Carolina and have some neighbors who are getting ready to move to the Portland area. I'd like to give them a gift card to a restaurant there so that they can go out and have a decent meal when they're tired from unpacking. Since I don't know where exactly they're going to be living, can someone recommend a chain that maybe has several locations in the area? I'm thinking something along the lines of an Outback.
Thanks in advance
Portland isn't big enough to support many location of chain restaurants, unless your talking about the burger joints. If you want chains, yes they're here, and they're pretty much concentrated at the Maine Mall, in South Portland. If you prefer to give them something with a local flavor, consider 555 if you want to splurge; Walter's for a reliable middle of the road--but with excellent and creative fare; Street & Co. for seafood (prices above moderate); or Duckfat for just a cool, local spot with great paninis and fries (operated by an award-winning chef who's other restaurant, Hugo's, is VERY expernsive. You might also search the boards for Portland for other choices--the city has gazillions of restaurants, and many are quite good.
Here's another idea: a Whole Foods gift certificate. Whole Foods is located in Portland right off of the Interstate so it should be easy for your friends to find. I suggest this because I commute from Delaware to Maine about six times a year, always arriving back in Maine around dinner time. I don't feel like cooking or going out after driving 10 hours, so I usually pick up a pre-made dinner (or dinners) at Whole Foods en route. They are tasty, fresh and healthy and there is always a good selection of main courses and side dishes to choose from. All you have to do is re-heat the food in the stove or microwave.