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Looking for Great Lunch in Portland (or on way to Waterville)

Hi Everyone,

I'll be flying in to the Portland Airport around lunch time on Friday. I thought it would be a nice idea to grab a great lunch (maybe a lobster roll or something lobster related) before heading up to the Waterville area for the weekend.

A friend recommended Mim's. He said it's right on the water and has an excellent lobster roll. Is this a good choice? I don't want anyplace to expensive or fancy since I'll likely be dressed in shorts. Also the wait shouldn't be forever since I do kind of have to hit the road after an hour or so. If there is outdoor seating (in case the weather is nice)...that's a bonus.

I'm not 100% married to the idea of dining in Portland (although I do know it's consider the best small foodie city in the country). If there is some wonderful spot on the drive up to Waterville, I would be willing to stop as well.

Thanks!

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  1. Mim's is long gone. If you're set on lobster/seafood, easiest and most casual is looping off I-295 northbound at the second Yarmouth exit (17, I think), heading north on Route 1. Go maybe a half mile or so to Day's. Grab a lobster or crab roll or whatever at the window, walk out back to the picnic tables on the tidal estuary.

    In Portland: Head to Commercial Street and Portland Lobster Co. for lunch on the deck overlooking the harbor. Lobster and plenty more.

    Or, of course, Duckfat. James Beard award-winning chef Rob Evans' casual Belgian fries/paninis/salads/soup joint on Middle St. (east side of Franklin). Everything is superb. Just a couple of outdoor tables, but you can always walk the two blocks to the waterfront.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mainegal

      Oh so sad to hear the Mims is gone. I heard wonderful things about their lobster roll from a friend.

      I've read a lot about Duckfat though, so maybe I'll check that out. Do you think I would need a reservation for a Friday lunch for just 1 person?

      1. re: Elyssa

        No reservations at Duckfat. If you go you'll see why, it's tiny, but the paninis and frites are great, as well as their housemade soda. If there are no tables/counter space to eat, get it to go as suggested and eat by the water.

    2. I would definitely second Duckfat recommendation. If you are looking for more creative cuisine, check out Miyake (129 Spring St.) for Japanese. They have a $15 or $25 lunch, both of which are great deals. For the $15 you'd spend on a lobster roll, you can have a three-course meal at Miyake.

      On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bahn Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) at Kim's (261 St. John) are under $3 and one of my favorite cheap lunches around.

      http://portlandeats.net/2010/03/18/lu...

      1. What are people's thoughts on the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth?

        Also Yarmouth is on the way so if there are better options for me there, I would love to hear about great places to find a lobster roll or New England-style lunch. Thanks!

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        Lobster Shack
        225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

        8 Replies
        1. re: Elyssa

          I'm very fond of the Lobster Shack, which is what it is: classic NE seafood, in a spectacular setting. But it's the wrong direction. If you're willing to get off the road just a little going north (you mention Yarmouth area), then you can hardly go wrong with Haraseeket Lunch and Lobster in S. Freeport: same fare, same quality, as Lobster Shack. Haven't had their lobster roll, but imagine it's right up there.

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          Lobster Shack
          225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

          1. re: mainemal

            Ya I just google mapped my trip and realized that the Lobster Shack takes me too far out of the way...which is really a shame because it's exactly what I'm looking for.

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            Lobster Shack
            225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

          2. re: Elyssa

            You really can't go wrong with either the Lobster Shack or Harraseeket Lobster. Both settings are quite nice, but different. In Cape you get the crashing-waves-on-cliffs and in So. Freeport you get the lobster boats and sailboats.

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            Lobster Shack
            225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

            1. re: portlandeats

              I would recommend Harraseeket Lunch over Day's if for no other reason than the setting.but the food is good too. Day's is right on Rt. 1 and about 50 yards from I295 so you have lots of road noise. The view out back where the tables sit is nice but the dumpsters are next to the tables. They did a lot of remodeling this year so it looks a lot better. Harraseeket is next to a very scenic marina.

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              Harraseeket Lunch
              PO Box 218, Freeport, ME 04032

              1. re: hicow

                A couple of weeks ago, the Boston Globe listed their picks for 31 of the best lobster and clam shacks in New England. There's been a few arguments in past years on this board about some of these.

                Harraseeket Lunch, Freeport
                Lobster Shack, Cape Elizabeth
                Five Islands Lobster, Georgetown
                Chauncey Creek, Kittery Point
                Portland Lobster, Portland
                Red's Eats, Wiscasset
                Cook's Lobster, Bailey Island
                Bob's Clam Hut, Kittery

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                Red's Eats
                Main, Wiscasset, ME 04578

                Bob's Clam Hut
                RR 1, Kittery, ME 03904

                Harraseeket Lunch
                PO Box 218, Freeport, ME 04032

                Lobster Shack
                225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

                1. re: hicow

                  Excellent! Thank you so much.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    Sorry but Harraseeket,is not at the top of my list. My favorites in no particular order. Chauncy Creek, Muscongus Bay, Round Pond Lobster, Shaws Wharf in New HarborThe view in all these places is great but you can't eat the view!

              2. re: portlandeats

                I strongly agree with Harraseeket Lunch; however, I think the Lobster Shack is a dump....very dirty!

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                Harraseeket Lunch
                PO Box 218, Freeport, ME 04032

                Lobster Shack
                225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

            2. We ate at Shima (Japanese) for lunch and I thought it was the best lunch value in Portland. Gorgeous small place. For lobster, my favorite for lunch is J's Oyster, which to be fair, is, on this board, either the worst lunch place in the world, or one of the most authentic Maine seafood experiences available at a very reasonable price. I fall into the latter category and love eating outside in a table on the wharf.

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              J's Oyster
              5 Portland Pier, Portland, ME 04101

              1. Just did this last Friday and Day's in Yarmouth was a nice quick stop. They also had some cold lobsters on ice ready to fly (8 bucks a pop) if you want to take some cooked/ready lobsters with you up to Waterville. The fried Maine shrimp were also very good as were the fresh-cut fries and the coleslaw. Picnic tables out back made for a perfect lunching spot, my only complaint would be that parking is a little tight when it's really busy there.

                Also it's one of the few places suggested that is actually ON THE WAY to Waterville.

                In Waterville, don't miss the Cookie Dough Ice Cream at North Street Dairy.

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                North Street Cafe
                109 North St, Cherryfield, ME 04622

                3 Replies
                1. re: jackattack

                  Never been to North Street Dairy. But I had ice cream from Giffords (I use to know it as Rummels) because it is an old time favorite from my old overnight camp days. :)

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                  North Street Cafe
                  109 North St, Cherryfield, ME 04622

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    One of my old camp friends from back in the Rummels days who is lucky enough to still be able to go up to camp every summer is a HUGE fan of North Street Dairy. The W brothers are making a trip to Waterville this summer to deliver my nephew to camp (second-generation!) and we will definitely be getting some North Street Dairy ice cream.

                    1. re: Bob W

                      The cookie dough ice cream made with homemade cookie dough is a favorite at North Street. The traditional Maine GRAPENUT flavor is a real winner, too.

                      Best lobster roll in the general vicinity is at TUBBY'S ICE CREAM in Wayne, (now with a new location in Winthrop). Try the TREE HUGGER ice cream there, too

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                      North Street Cafe
                      109 North St, Cherryfield, ME 04622

                2. So I ended up at Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster and it was perfect!! I was able to grab an outdoor picnic table overlooking the harbor. A number of lobstermen were out working on the boats and I felt right at home.

                  The lobster roll was tasty...lots of meat and little mayo (just enough). Good french fries and lemonade rounded out a perfect Maine meal. It's a wonderful hidden location. I ended up driving by Day's and I agree, Harraseeket has a more charming setting and is much more set away from a busy highway. I recommended it to all my friends when I saw them in Waterville.

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                  Harraseeket Lunch
                  36 Main St South, Freeport, ME