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Breakfast in Portland

aliris Aug 15, 2008 07:27 AM

Please natives, would you steer me to a good breakfast place in Portland with fantastic-tasting food, comfortable sit-down atmosphere and pretty quick service?

I saw some posts about one-handed breakfasts in Portland that sure looked mouth-watering. I'm looking forward to hearing whether two-handed breakfasts are even better!


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  1. r
    ratbuddy RE: aliris Aug 15, 2008 10:01 AM

    What state?

    1. f
      foodquest RE: aliris Aug 15, 2008 06:15 PM

      I really do love The Front Room. Even the "simple" things are wonderful. Really worthwhile, but go early to avoid the crowds. Everyday 8am.

      1. g
        grittys457 RE: aliris Aug 16, 2008 04:54 AM

        I second the Front Room. Big selection, they serve it until 2:30 everyday I think, and it's not expensive at all. The Good Egg on Middle Street isn't that bad either, but I'd go with the Front Room over that. Becky's is the most overhyped place ever, don't go there.

        1. m
          macman56 RE: aliris Aug 16, 2008 03:25 PM

          Front room is good...very noisy , though. Try Bintliff's on Portland Street...great food, sometimes a bit slow. I agree with the comment on Becky's....if y6ou want to go to the harbor, try Big Mama's.

          1. k
            Keefer Lucas RE: aliris Aug 16, 2008 06:16 PM

            I am so upset at this website - I wrote what I considered to be the definitive review of Becky's Diner a couple of years ago, but since they have apparently deleted everything more than a year old its gone. How I long for the OLD CHOWHOUND.

            The Front Room and Bintliffs are both great for breakfast - the only downside is that in each case there isn't much around them if you are visiting Portland. Worth checking out if you want to get out of the Old Port? Definately. But having said that if your goal is a morning in the Old Port, Mims is your best upscale breakfast/brunch choice and the only one with streetside, cafe style service on a nice summer morning...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Keefer Lucas
              Pat Hammond RE: Keefer Lucas Aug 16, 2008 08:43 PM

              Hi Keefer. I think this may be that thread about Becky's Diner: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1640...

              1. re: Pat Hammond
                Keefer Lucas RE: Pat Hammond Aug 16, 2008 09:02 PM

                Thank you Pat - I tried using the Search function to no avail, then found remnants of the article via Google, but it was a struggle to come up with anything...

              2. re: Keefer Lucas
                aliris RE: Keefer Lucas Aug 18, 2008 03:44 AM

                Thank you Keefer, et al. I should have specified that we're going to the Transportation Center (that's what they call it, isn't it?). So neighborhood isn't very important to me. Also, I don't actually have a clue where anything in Portland is, but I'll start mapquesting now....

                Thanks all! I'll also check that old review per Pat...

              3. b
                breakfastserial RE: aliris Aug 18, 2008 06:37 AM

                Lots of good options in Portland.

                IMHO, Front Room is inconsistent and the service is terrible even when it's empty--so that might not clear the "pretty quick service" hurdle. Artemisia Cafe on Pleasant St. is one of my favorites (shameless plug: you can read my review of it in the "food & booze archive" at www.thebollard.com/food.php) if you're going out on the weekend. Chef et. al. on Forest Ave. is another solid weekend brunch option, and for better or for worse it's been empty of late (so the service is almost too prompt).

                If the waterfront is your aim, try the Porthole. Good food, good prices, great service, and you can sit out on the deck right on the water. I wrote that one up last year: http://www.thebollard.com/story_food/...

                For straight-up diner food, I prefer Marcy's over Becky's. Bayou Kitchen in Woodford's Corner is also good, if you are strong of stomach (grease factor is a bit high, but tasty nonetheless).

                4 Replies
                1. re: breakfastserial
                  serendipityeats RE: breakfastserial Aug 19, 2008 05:24 AM

                  Thanks serial..some of us gave up on the front room a while ago. I think, for me, it was getting the gnocchi and having the hollandiase look as thick and chunky as cheez whiz(which would have been fine on nachos at 3 am). Telling the waitress that it wasn't good and basically being shrugged off.

                  Now, I would be hardpressed to stop going to Caiola's for brunch on Sundays. It's what the front room had hoped to do, but done right.

                  1. re: serendipityeats
                    breakfastserial RE: serendipityeats Aug 19, 2008 05:40 AM

                    I haven't been there for brunch yet, but it's definitely on my list. Glad to hear it's worth checking out.

                  2. re: breakfastserial
                    foodquest RE: breakfastserial Aug 19, 2008 05:32 PM

                    Yeah, you are right about the service. It has been so lousy since day one. We stopped going for a long time but recently made a few visits. The food was really good, but still with the service! Maybe its better during the weekdays??

                    I second the rec on Caiola's. Really fantastic!

                    1. re: foodquest
                      Bunnyfood RE: foodquest Aug 22, 2008 12:13 PM

                      Caiola's and Pat's(Steven's Ave) are our regulars, esp since Blue House closed..Based on the recs here, will have to check out Front Room for bfast in the near future...

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