PORTLAND, MAINE
RESTAURANT REVIEWS

27
Jun

Potluck-Potluck and Page One Zombies

Another Friday, another lunch. This week it was potluck. Not just any old themed potluck. A true family style potluck. Remember when you were at family gatherings as a kid, there would be a crockpot of sweet and sour meatballs at one side of the table, a potato salad on the other, and perhaps a mysterious noodle casserole of some sort; a perfectly balanced smattering of store-bought and homemade. With a plethora of food in front of you, you couldn’t help but to indulge in way too much of everything. Our Page One cooks did not fail to disappoint our potluck-potluck expectations of filling our bellies and our hearts.

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An hour before we ate, I entered the hallway greeted by a haze of delicious smells: garlic, curry, and melting cheese (yes, interesting combo, but stick with me here!). I didn’t even know I was hungry until that moment. I bet the customers at the spa downstairs were ready to abandon their serenity for the greasiest, cheesiest pizza they could find on Commercial Street. Read More »

13
Jun

The Salt Exchange

Located behind a simple storefront directly across Commercial Street from the Page One office, the Salt Exchange offers one of Portland’s classiest lunches.  It was kind of rainy the day we went, and everyone found the decadent food and elegant cocktail selection, which centers around the establishment’s curated array of bourbons, to be just the thing for wiling away a couple hours out of the office.

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We began our meal with several shared orders of the restaurant’s homemade black pepper and truffle potato chips (or “chups” as the Page One marketing department likes to refer to them as), which came served with a rich and creamy bourbon-onion dip.  “Salt Exchange has the best homemade chips in town, hands down,” raves Robinson, and Noella agrees, reminiscing fondly about how they were “crispy but somehow chewy, flavor packed, salty, truffly.  Mmmmmm.”Read More »

06
Jun

Market Street Eats

In The Right Setting, Nothing Beats Market Street Eats

Market Street Eats has been an Old Port staple for at least the past 10 years. I remember first discovering it after having moved here way back in 2004. Back then, I liked it because the price was right, and the food wasn’t half bad.  So when I heard we were ordering from MSE at Page One, I was happy.  Although I hadn’t been there in years, they say you never forget a good sandwich, or in this case, wrap.

Digging in.

Digging in.

Because this was a take out order, none of us had the luxury of being to consult with the friendly staff about our choices. Personally, I had forgotten what I liked about MSE, because when it came time to order our food I was like a deer in headlights. I opted for the Topanga, mostly for nostalgias sake. Read More »

30
May

Buck’s Naked BBQ

Working in the Old Port there almost seems to no end to potential lunch destinations. Despite this, there are some favorites that are repeatedly suggested when the “Where do you want to go for lunch?” question is asked. Buck’s Naked BBQ on Wharf Street is one of the most common suggestions at Page One and for good reason. First, despite a couple defectors to the vegetarian way of life, the carnivorous leanings of Page One are the stuff of legends. Tales are still told of a pig roast and the copious amounts of meat consumed. Also, more importantly, Buck’s has always seemed to satisfy the minions of Page One – even those who are not meat-eaters.

Scott = happy Emmie = scared Noella = hungry

Scott = happy
Emmie = scared
Noella = hungry

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23
May

Elevation Burger

I was saddened when I heard of the closing of The Farmer’s Table, as their special BBQ pulled pork sandwich with bacon and pork belly topped with garlic jack cheese was truly something special, and their French onion soup was one of the best in town. I was equally skeptical of the announcement that another Elevation Burger location would be taking its place. The Old Port had already suffered the encroachment of other chain establishments in recent times such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts– did we really need another franchise?

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However, my doubt was tempered by the fact that among some of my friends, Elevation Burger is their favorite source for local hot, beefy goodness. And by that, I mean burgers. Based on their recommendations, and in the spirit of always being open to new things, I decided to give EB the benefit of the doubt.
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16
May

Duckfat

I’m a little shocked they are letting me write this, as I’ve gained a reputation around Page One as the resident garbage disposal. Yea, I like food. A lot of it. All of it. But though I pride myself as a connoisseur of cheeseburgers and don’t hide my disdain for the culinary snobbery of Portland, I know good food when I taste it. Even I can appreciate a pretentious menu if it showcases quality, creativity, flavor and value over the trendy gimmicks rife in this town.  I was psyched when we decided on Duckfat for our dine-in lunch this week–one look at the menu and I started drooling. But even with their legendary fries taken into consideration, the meal lacked many of the key criteria of an exemplary lunch.

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Let’s get one thing straight: the fries are famous in this town for a reason. Anyone who denies that they are the best fries they’ve ever tasted is lying. I mean they are cooked in duck fat. Absolutely superlative. The generous portion comes in a cute paper cone that keeps them hot and crisp, and as they are cooked in duck fat, they have a decadent flavor that sets them apart.

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