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Good Dinner Spot Near USM Continuing Ed

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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[http://www.thedogfishcafe.com/ ]. 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 [ www.rachelswoodgrill.com ], 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.