PORTLAND, MAINE
RESTAURANT REVIEWS

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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09
May

The (In) Glorious, Wondrous, Magnificent Sandwich of Page One Friday Potluck

sand-wich: two pieces of bread with something (such as meat, peanut butter, etc.) between them.

The humble sandwich has found its way into the hearts and minds of foodies from all walks of life. The word sandwich derives its name and takes homage from the dignified, yet not so regal British statesman, the Earl of Sandwich. The Earl you see, was a practical, just man; immune to the temptations of gluttony and sin, though his Achilles heel could be found at the card table. As a hardened gambler, the Earl would spend hours placing bets and laying odds, often forgoing meals. During one particularly arduous round of play, in the year of 1725, the Earl requested some meat between two pieces of bread. His opponents at the table took note and preceded to order “the same as Sandwich”. And there the glorious yet often under-appreciated sandwich found its name and made its mark as the true meal of convenience and ease.

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02
May

Central Provisions

What can possibly be said about Portland’s hottest new dining destination that hasn’t already been said in the likes of the Press Herald and Eater Maine? That’s the challenge I find myself dealing with since being tasked with this week’s review of Central Provisions, the latest and greatest addition to the vibrant Portland dining scene. Lucky for me, I’ve got a fantastic batch of input from our P1WS crew to help me try to articulate exactly what it’s like having a Central Provisions experience – and I stress the term experience -as it’s a pretty mind-blowing one to say the least.

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I suppose my resume qualified me as the obvious choice to review this new hot-spot, being that I have made this place like my second home in town; normally stopping in at least once (usually twice) per week to enjoy one of the restaurants constantly changing tapas-style small plates paired with a cold draft of the area’s most critically acclaimed new microbrew: Bissell Brothers Substance Ale.  More about the drinks later, but first let’s discuss the hands-down MVP of the Central Provisions team – THE FOOD.
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25
Apr

The Blue Rooster

There are so many fabulous restaurants to dine in throughout the Greater Portland Region, but every once in a while you just want the easy route – take out! Not only did we find delicious food, we found more than just an average takeout lunch spot. Their menu combines specialty beef and pork hot dogs, various delectable sandwiches, and interestingly enough, tater tots and fried brussels sprouts. Yes, folks we’re talking about Dana Street’s very own, Blue Rooster Food Co.

Oh so messy... oh so good!

Oh so messy… oh so good!

It’s got to be a bit daunting when you’re taking an order for 15 people but we found that the Blue Rooster staff was very friendly and diligent about ensuring the order we called in was the order we walked out with. According to Elise, “They were awesome. Very polite, patient and super friendly.”

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18
Apr

Friday “Picnic” Potluck

Although dining out for Friday lunch is a time-honored and highly anticipated tradition here at Page One, the more recent tradition of the occasional potluck is no less satisfying. In fact, these in-office events have become a kind of competition where each team seeks to one-up the group before in terms of their food theme and overall deliciousness. This Friday was not a disappointment.

Outside-in... a Picnic themed potluck at Page One Web Solutions.

Outside-in… a Picnic themed potluck at Page One Web Solutions.

To celebrate the arrival of warmer weather, we decided on a “picnic” theme for lunch. The menu:
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11
Apr

Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room

Finally, spring has arrived.  After one of the most mentally arduous winters in recent memory, embracing every opportunity for sunshine and warmth as soon as possible is critical.  What restaurant with outdoor seating for 15 is available before May 1 in Maine? Boone’s!  Ok fantastic let’s go to Boone’s.

Post-meal group photo (of those who hadn't already wandered off)

Post-meal group photo (of those who hadn’t already wandered off)

The jaunt down Commercial Street toward Custom House Wharf was sunny and pleasant. I thought back on my last visit to Boone’s –  when it was still simply Boone’s with gingham table cloths –  my grandfather was with me reminiscing how it was the first restaurant he had been to in Portland back in 1968.  Now it is Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room, the newest in Harding Lee Smith’s string of “Rooms”.  Some of us came into the experience knowing of the owner and having personal opinions about how he operates, and others did not.  Generally it was not discussed, however, and I think minds were fairly open regarding our impending dining experience.
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