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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Welcome to Portland, Maine!

So I FINALLY made it out of New York City to another East Coast city.  Super excited.  Also excited, because the city in question was Portland, Maine, the sister city of my hometown of Portland, Oregon.

The comparisons began with the plethora of Red Robbin restaurants on the drive from NYC.  Not sure if I've told you of my OBSESSION for Red Robbin but I more or less threatened all the people in the car to stop or I'd kill them.  That being said I ordered my three go-to dishes - Blue Ribbon Burger, Bottomless Clucks and Fries and a Mile-High Mud Pie - and they were just as good as I remembered.  Although the kids coloring sheet and the kids to-go cups are way less cool than they used to be.

We got in late that Friday night so it wasn't until the next day that we were able to start exploring.  We stayed at a friend's house in Cape Elizabeth and were greeted in the morning with
Scratch bagels - a local delicacy.  I've had bagels the world over and these are hands down the best bagels I have ever had.  Same friend is in Maine this weekend for a wedding and I've already put a to-go order in.  They taste like eating flavorful, crispy clouds.

After eating at least three bagels we walked down the street for an outstanding view of the famous Portland Head Lighthouse.  The pictures definitely don't do it justice.

From there we slowly made our way to Ferry Beach for some much needed tanning time.  The beach was lovely but the current was a little intimidating.  Not a relaxing swim if that's what you are looking for...


After a nap at the beach we wandered up the road to the Black Point Inn for some delicious, yet surprisingly cheap rose on the deck.  The service there was wonderful as they helped locate enough wicker furniture for us to sit and enjoy the sunset.

Seeing as how it was Saturday night and we hadn't really seen any of downtown Portland we decided to head into the city for dinner and drinks.  Our friend suggested Street & Company which is usually very difficult to get into.  We were told it was about an hour wait.  Not sure what happened but 15 minutes later we had barely started our cocktails at the bar when they came over to seat the four of us.  As luck would have it we even got a window table!  The place is adorable and the food was really good.  I had a salad to start which was good, the fish special in a spicy tomato salsa for my entree which was one of the best dishes I have ever had, and an unfortunately terrible blueberry lemon tart for dessert.  Stuffed but satisfied at the end.  They aren't joking about Maine seafood that I can tell you.

After dinner we wandered down the street to Amigos - I am immediately drawn to dive bars what can I say. If you walk through the bar, pass Big Buck Hunter (channeling Village Tavern), and out the back door you end up in an awesome outdoor patio with a corner bar.  There was a live band and a bunch of crazy locals dancing to the music.  So dirty, so amazing.  LOVED.

The next morning we wanted to get in some final warm Maine sunshine so we wandered to Higgin's Beach for a few hours.  It's a really quick beach that seems very family friendly because the water is much more accessible and lazy in comparison with Ferry Beach.

It was our last afternoon in Maine so we wandered back into Portland to do some final sightseeing and grab lunch.  It is a small, adorable town.  If I stay on the East Coast indefinitely this is definitely where I'm getting my second house (cuz I'll be rich obviously).

Lunch was at another Portland favorite, The Porthole, which was lively with a reggae band and a bunch of drunks fresh off a booze cruise - my kind of place.  It was super easy to find a table with seating for four although the tables don't afford for a lot of shade so be prepared for some sun.  My friend ordered the lobster (you kind of have to in Maine) and I, the allergic one, ordered the fish and chips which was still MONEY.  The crust was super flakey and the fish was piping hot and not mushy.  Sooooo good.  A perfect ending to our afternoon.

Overall I am obsessed with this place and hope to return over and over again.

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