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May 13, 2008 11:53 AM

Good Dinner Spot Near USM Continuing Ed

We are hoping to go to the Augusten Burrows book signing this month at the University of Southern Maine Center for Continuing Education building on Bedford Street. I am not familiar with this part of Portland and was wondering if anyone could suggest a good dinner spot nearby? We're looking for something casual. Any type of food is fine with us.

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  1. Depends a little on what "nearby" means. Closest eatery of note (casual, lots of beer, pub food) is Great Lost Bear on Forest Ave, about 4 blocks from Aronson Center. If you go back in toward town, to the lower west end where St. John meets Congress, you'll have good luck at Dogfish Cafe[ ]. If you go out Brighton Ave about 1.5 miles, and turn right on Woodfords, you'll be at my vote for "best kept Portland secret," Rachel's L'Osteria [ ], superb Italian, limited menu, intimate atmosphere.

    1. Chef et al is a new place (408 Forest Ave) not too far from USM. My wife and I had lunch a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it a lot. Nice atmosphere and good-quality food.

      Chef et al
      408 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101

      1. I second Rachel's. It's a secret because it's off the Peninsula. The portions are large and very tasty. Make a reservation. Another off the Peninsula place worth considering s Pat's Cafe on Stevens. With a car both places are 5-10 minutes from your location.

        1. The Great Lost Bear is the worst restaurant in Portland.

          Rachel's: yes

          Chef Et Al: I'd disagree a bit with cfrolio and would certainly recommend Rachel's over it, but it's making an effort. -No- atmosphere to speak of, very loud bassy music, service still disorganized (50 minutes for a single-course lunch today), earnest food effort but nothing special on the menu: it could almost be an Applebee's but everyhing is from scratch and real. Great fries.

          Rachel's. Reservation.