ISO: Fun, casual dining with great beer in Portland, ME
I am traveling for business to Portland and looking for a cool restaurant to eat good food and good beers. My friends and I hope to find a casual restaurant with entrees around $15. It does not matter what type of food but a good beer selection is pretty important. Any suggestions out there?
Its hard to go wrong with the Great Lost Bear. Some people have disparaged the food, but it is standard pub fare, I doubt there is anything over 15 bucks, and I think its just fine. Lots of burger and sandwich selections, good wings, etc. But more importantly, they have about 50 beers on tap, most of them local. They also have tastings many nights with the brewers in-house to pour their creations.
I second the Great Lost Beer. The food is OK. Cheese fries are great, burgers good and they have pretty wide selection of pub fare. But you can't match the beer selection or beer-geek vibe. Usually one or two cask conditioned beers available at all times.
They were recently named one of the 10 best beer bars in America by Forbes Traveler. And if you are a brewer, there is a comprehensive brewer supply shop, next door.
On Thursday nights they showcase a local or regional beer, often with the brewer in attendance. They have also added specials on Wednesdays to showcase their new Belgian taps.
If you are around this week on Thursday night, they are having their annual rite of Spring, Allagash beers, mussles and frites. Keep it under your hat, I want to make sure I get my share!
Enjoy Portland..lots of great food and drink to try!
I instantly thought of GLB too. I go regularly, the food is just ok, nothing special but passable for burgers, wings, a huge salad, etc. There are a few land mines and it is incosistent but sit at the bar if you can so you can see all the drafts (they do have a list as well) and, generally, you'll get better service. Television is way in the back so socializing is more the focus then the boob tube. For some reason the soups are always delicious as are the dessert specials (must be made by the owner or at least consistently the same person).
It's a short taxi ride from downtown (advisable anyway if consuming mass quantity of alco-carbo beverage). If a huge, wide variety of mostly New England beers with a new handful of Belgian beers on tap as well doesn't do it for you, right downtown is Gritty's and Sebago Brewing, all with decent pub fare and a line of their own brews. If that type of food doesn't do it, Vignola's (which I haven't been to in a very long time) has charcuterie, pizza and apps that should fit your budget and they have a long list of bottled beer featuring Belgian ales.