Asmara Restaurant is located just one block from the Portland Museum of Art and serves the best Eritrean/Ethiopian food I've ever had. It is an unassuming venue, but don't underestimate the flavor. The lamb is legendary, and the vegetarian options are also fantastic.
Portland Museum of Art
7 Congress Sq, Portland, ME 04101
Yes, driving out on outer Forest has many good spots: Vietnamese - Thanh Thanh II or Saigon. I love the grilled pork over rice at Thanh; Thai - just ate at Mekong Thai and they have a great lunch special for under $9; Polish - (if you are hankering for food that lays in your stomach all day) Bogusha's on Stevens across from Aubuchon Hardware; Bayou/Cajun - Po' Boys and Pickles - gets great reviews.
Indian - not cheap and average in Portland. Korean - Happy Teriyaki on Congress downtown - excellent Korean and authentic. Japanese - our favorite, Shima on Fore Street - it impresses with a cheap lunch in serene surroundings. Tex/Mex - We have just discovered El Rayo on York Street. First rate chow for not much money. Hard to spend $10/person unless you drink a lot. If you are familiar with poutine, a French Canadian dish, and you like it - check out Duckfat on Middle Street. Finally, for authentic Italian served up like in Italy, try Paciarino also on Fore
288 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101
630 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
Middle Street Cafe
100 Middle St Ste 101, Portland, ME 04101
Thanh Thanh II
782 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04103
468 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101
Happy Teriyaki will change to an all-Korean menu in a week or so - whenever they get their new sign approved with it's new name. I had samples a couple weeks ago and it was pretty good. There is a beef bone "mother" broth always simmering on the stove. Kum's Mom taught her how to make some killer soups. Don't know what prices will be like.
Pho Hanoi on Ocean Street, next to Uncle Andy's Diner is new - we get two bowls of pho and an app for around $20