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Jul 26, 2013 11:53 AM

Outside downtown Portland

We moved to Portland at the beginning of July and have been busy exploring the local food options. I posted a few weeks ago about good restaurants for kids in Portland (a three year old and a one year old) and we have already tried a number of those options. Pretty much everything seems to be in downtown Portland though and I am wondering if there are any good places to eat in more residential areas of Portland. We live in the Rosemont area and the kids are in daycare near the airport. In our area we have tried Siano's and Espo's Trattoria. What else might be worth trying in the area? Is there anything in South Portland we should try? The area around the mall seems to be a chain heaven which I know would be fine for kids but would like to avoid on a regular basis.

Any type of food is good (would love to find good Indian and Chinese) but vegetarian friendly would be great! Thanks!

ETA: We have also tried the Great Lost Bear - beer list was great, food was only soso but that could be what we ordered.

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  1. Great Lost Bear, it probably wasn't what you ordered. Food soso but great beer. I go for the beer - the food is the accompaniment.
    For lunch Rosemont Market has some good takeout sandwiches and Miyake's sushi rolls. Pat's café (next to Siano's) has great lunch downstairs and the restaurant upstairs is very good though I haven't been for a while and yes, even though Pat's is a meat market, the café options include lots of vegetarian.
    Good spots on Forest Ave include Fisherman's Grill (my kids used to love going through the "forest" that is Baxter Woods between Stevens Ave and Forest then Fishermans is across the street. Next door there's tandoor bakery which I've found to be hit or miss. Hit when the owner is in, miss when he's not. Great falafel and middle eastern breads (place is a bit of a trip). Bayou Kitchen great for breakfast and lunch as is Big Sky Bakery across the street.
    Also JP's right near Rosemont. I don't find the food especially mind blowing but I do find it very solid - great neighborhood spot.
    These should keep you busy for a bit.

    7 Replies
    1. re: bobbert

      Not sure Fisherman's Grill is still open. Drove by a few times this week and it was closed. Its been sold, as the previous owner has opened a restaurant in Freeport.

      1. re: irwin

        irwin, we ate at FG last Wednesday. Place was packed. We got the jumbo lobster roll and the lobster cocktail. Simply outstanding.

        They are closed Monday and Tuesday and open at noon on the other days. Closing hour depends on when the seafood runs out.

        1. re: Bob W

          I think this was Irwin's attempt to shorten the wait times a bit for himself. We're on to you Irwin! :)
          Actually stopped by tonight. Half hour wait. They put down new flooring - dare I say the place is starting to look... gulp... nice. Still great.

          1. re: Bob W

            We stopped @ FG after reading your post on our way to Bar Harbor. Had a great lunch! The owner was really kind and food was amazing!

              1. re: Bob W

                Is this the Fisherman's Grill on Forest Ave? I was up this past weekend and we passed it a few times, and it was packed. I'm going to write up our recent trips soon. My wife has family in the Portland area (we live in Boston), and we used to visit about 3-5 times a year. Now that my mother-in-law has moved back to Portland from Florida, we're going once a month, allowing us to try a bunch of new places for us.

                1. re: kimfair1

                  yes, Forest Ave. I always try to go early in the day!

      2. JP's Bistro is great. PhoEver Maine just over the border in Westbrook has some great yet inexpensive Vietnamese food

        1 Reply
        1. re: eric10dk

          And talking about Vietnamese food in the OP's neighborhood, there's Thahn Thahn and Saigon across the street from each other (why two vietnamese places open right across from each other is beyond me - although an Iraqi family bought Hagerty's Brit-Indi place which has become an Iraqi Brit Indi place next door to our other Iraqi place, Tandoor Bakery). I've been to both Vietnamese places with friends but haven't ordered enough to make an informed opinion. Both have their fans.
          It's an interesting little stretch there on Forest Ave.

        2. I live in Rosemont, too, and wish we had more dining options nearby. If only a few of the hopeful restauranteurs not interested in downtown Portland would consider Rosemont! Siano's is reliable for what it is and I'm not a fan of Espo's or the Bear. Both Vietnamese places are good and worth checking out! I prefer the pho at Saigon and my husband likes Tanh Tanh better--so we mix it up--

          It looks like Black Cat Coffee will be opening soon--their FB page says they just passed their health inspection, and the kids art contest they're running makes it sound like the place will be kid friendly.

          The other recommendations pretty much cover the options nearby that are worth checking out--
          Also, have you ventured up to munjoy hill? Silly's is pretty kid friendly, as is Otto Pizza.

          Or, in kind of an interstitial space with a parking lot, El Rayo is kid friendly.

          1. Surprised The Local Press hasn't been mentioned yet considering it's near you.


            You also have a second location of the Crooked Mile near you


            1. A bit farther up Forest Avenue is Po' Boys and Pickles, which will make a nice grilled cheese for the kids and has fine fried oyster po' boys for you. Also Saigon and Thanh Thanh 2, and I've been wanting to go to Al Huda (Somali) for a while but I have not been able to induce my kids yet.

              In SoPo, we just went to Taco Trio and liked it a lot. There's also an Indian place that everyone loves but I haven't been there--is it Raj? Taj? It used to be Aroma? Sorry, not helpful, I know.

              Sorry, you won't find good Chinese. Very unfortunate.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sciencediet

                Yes on Po Boys and Pickles. Personally I'm a huge fan of their Cajun sausage sandwich. Great but messy to eat.
                Agree that really good Chinese alludes us. If I had to name one it would be Fortune Garden, a tiny take-out place on outer Forest, near Riverton.
                Indian is also lacking. I've tried most places except that newer one by the mall which is on my list. Close to the OP's neighborhood is Hagerty's which is OK. It's been purchased by a nice Iraqi family who, in addition to serving middle eastern fare, kept the Hagerty's guy on as an employee and still have the Brit-Indi take-out menu. Go figure.