Best $12 Dinner I've Had In Years -- in Portland
The "Fish of the Day" last night was pollock in a red curry sauce over brown rice topped with roasted vegetables. Probably the best $12 dinner plate I've had (in the US) in the past couple of years. Large, succulent pieces of (lightly pan fried?) crumb-topped fish. And there was enough leftover for today's lunch (albeit a rather small lunch because I couldn't stop eating it last night).
Atlantic pollock is one of those fish that can stand up to a fragrant, somewhat zingy sauce, and the red curry with a touch of coconut milk was delightful. The brown rice underlying the dish sauced up nicely, and the medley of veggies was perfectly al denté. Accompanied by a lovely (if nameless) and generously poured white wine, my bill was under $20 -- that's remarkable, hence the 5-star rating. (The last time you could have a fine meal with a drink for that price was in the 80s, but the food wasn't nearly as good.)
This place is a real find for the foodie on a budget. Seems to be frequented by a mostly under-30 crowd of art student types drinking chai and looking beautiful. Ambiance is a bit rough, but at these prices I didn't expect Locke Ober.
So to whoever's cooking back there, kudos, and thanks, and namaste.
Local Sprouts Cafe & Bomb Diggity Bakery
649 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101