Road Trip: Portland, ME

Sure, Boston dining is amazing, but sometimes you want a bit of an adventure. Pile in the car, kids. It’s time for a road trip. Today we’re heading way north to Portland, Maine.

A few awesome facts about Portland: The city’s motto is Resurgam (Latin for “I will rise again”) because the city rebuilt itself after a devastating fire in 1866. Portland, Oregon is named after Portland, Maine. Portland has a variety of excellent microbreweries and a tremendous food scene. It is, predictably, the last fact that intrigues us the most. Portland is an easy day trip from Boston and offers plenty of opportunities for the traveling foodie. Below, five of the most exciting dining options.

Fore Street boasts a host of accolades from a 2004 James Beard award for Best Chef Northeast for chef Sam Hayward to the sixteenth place in Gourmet Magazine’s 2002 list of the fifty best restaurants in the country. The menu changes daily and is (you guessed it!) seasonal and local. Make sure not to miss one of the few dishes perennially on the menu: wood-oven roasted mussels.
•The beauty of Joe’s Boathouse is its lack of pretension. The menu is filled with simple, yet luxurious dishes like lobster fettucini, but the setting is completely unfussy.
•Fact: we would try any restaurant named Duck Fat once. Fortunately, Portland’s Duck Fat lives up to the high standard set by its name, offering the best poutine south of the border, Belgian frites fried in the titular fat, beignets, and, surprisingly enough, very good salads.
•The website for Flatbread Pizza may read like a hippie restaurant in that other Portland (“Come in and renew your spirit with us”), but the pizza is no joke. The secret? Top notch ingredients. Try the “Punctuated Equilibrium”, loaded with Kalamata olives, rosemary, red onion, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and garlic. Yum.
•Portland certainly doesn’t have a massive reputation for Mexican fare, but residents swear by the overstuffed specimens from Granny’s Burritos. A burrito with the works goes for no more than $6.75 and the restaurant is very vegetarian0 and vegan-friendly.

Fore Street [Official Site]
Joe’s Boathouse [Official Site]
Duck Fat [Official Site]
Flatbread Pizza [Official Site]
Granny’s Burritos [Official Site]

Road Trip: Portland, ME