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Jul 22, 2013 11:30 AM

Portland questions -- please help me out

I am going to Maine for a couple of days in early August and I will be spending one day in Portland with my daughter to celebrate her graduation. We are going to wander Portland and do a bit of a self guided foodie tour.

Where should we stop, what should we eat? Two Fat Cats bakery has been suggested. Where else? We like all sorts of food. I am not looking to break the bank.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. What kind of budget and is she graduating H.S. or college? In other words, can beer and/or wine centric places (serving food of course) be recommended or are we strictly food?

    5 Replies
    1. re: bobbert

      She graduated high school. The emphasis is food. The budget is not set -- but I don't want to spend a fortune. I would like to nibble my way through town.

      Thanks for the help!

      1. re: Disneyfreak

        Yes to everything that's been suggested. A cool 1-2-3 is definitely Micucci's for that shared slab. I'd walk across the street to Duckfat to share a small fry, maybe split a pamini,then back across the street for the Two Fat Cats whoopie pie.
        Yes, Standard Bakery for a light breakfast.
        Pai Men Miyake and Boda both offer small plates that are very sharable. They're across the street from each other and you can easily hit both. Both also offer a very cool vibe that a recent H.S. grad will love.
        All of these places are on the lower end price wise but high in quality.
        For the lobster roll, you go to the Bite Into Maine food truck at the Portland Head Lighthouse.

        1. re: bobbert

          Thanks for all the advice everyone! I appreciate the help.

          Got anymore suggestions?

          1. re: Disneyfreak

            If you want to celebrate at one somewhat fancier place, you might check out Bar Lola reviews in here. It's not inexpensive, but it is more of a locals hangout and is a notch or two down in price from some of the big names like Fore Street, Hugos etc.Their tasting menu is rated by many in here as very good value. (I haven't been but based on everything I have seen, am excited to have a ressy there late next month!).

            1. re: Poindexter

              Bar Lola's tasting menu is indeed an excellent value (even more so with the wine pairings) and I'd highly recommend it though the setting might be a bit too subdued for an 18 y.o. IIRC, everyone at the table has to do the tasting menu (not just one person). Also, I'd advise that if you're doing the tasting menu to call them early that day to let them know. The kitchen gets pretty worked up and it gives them much more time to plan your meal. There's also a good chance that individuals at the table will each have a completely different meal. It's fun. Enjoy and report back.

    2. We visited 2Fat Cats for the first time this week, and while what they have is great, the range of products is limited. If you're nibbling, I'd hit Micucci's (half a block from 2 FC's) and share a slab of pizza. That should be a mandatory stop. After that, I'd walk a short distance to Standard Bakery for any of their excellent products. They make a sticky bun out of croissant dough that is terrific (they call it a morning roll).

      After that, you'll have to find a lobster roll, but I'll defer to others for advice there.

      Oh, if you're a real foodie, stop in at LeRoux and sample some of their flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils.

      1. Some of the most interesting places/foods that won't break the bank would include:
        Pai Men Miyake, the spectacular noodles and other things child of our very high end sushi place, Miyake. Pai Men is on Longfellow Square, excellent for either lunch or dinner. In the same neighborhood is Boda, which calls itself a "street food" Thai place: don't believe: the dishes are street food that you've never tasted before, but the presentation is excellent and not expensive: not your familiar Thai restaurant menu for sure.
        And FYI, the terrific sticky bun mentioned below is called a "morning bun" at Standard Bakery, and in both nutty and not versions. Let us know where you end up!

        1. One place we didn't get to on our recent visit, but definitely looks like it would be fun for you and your daughter, is the Blue Rooster on Dana Street.