Drinking, eating, & merriment – Part 1


When TH and I travel together, we tend to eat well. This is especially true when we visit Portland, Maine. With access to fresh seafood and local meats and produce, it was almost impossible not to indulge a bit.
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After having settled into our accommodation, we headed down Wharf Street for something to drink and snack on. We ended up at The Wine Bar. We were the only ones there, and enjoyed having the place to ourselves as we sat in front of the faux fireplace. I had a glass of warm mulled wine, which I’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying. It was the perfect drink to imbibe on a cold and snowy arrival into Portland. To temper our peckish appetites, we snacked on a seafood pizzette.
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Because we had already planned for a couple of evenings of good eats, we decided to go for pub food at Bull Feeney’s where I had an interesting beer concoction called the black and white. It is described as Guinness over Allagash white, and served with a wedge of lemon. The beer was surprisingly light and lemon made it refreshing and complimented the malty flavors of the Guinness.

black and white

Irish soda bread

fish n' chips

fish chowder

bread pudding

TH enjoyed a generous plate of fish and chips while I was not feeling hungry, I just had a bowl of fish chowder. The chowder wasn’t that good mainly because I could taste the starches that gave the chowder it’s heartiness. We also indulged in a bit of bread pudding for dessert.

Bull Feeney’s is one of several popular Irish pubs in Portland. It is housed in a beautiful building with arched windows on Fore Street. BF’s offers views of the surrounding buildings of Old Port along the front and harbor view towards the back. Like almost any Irish pub, BF’s can become crowded and noisy. Luckily, we were eating before the peak of dinner service. The value and quality of food is very reasonable.

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J's Oyster

The best no frills place that we ate at was J’s Oyster along Commercial Street (it’s really on a pier). It’s a low white building with the name of the restaurant in blue script. You can’t miss it. As soon as we stepped inside we were greeted by other customers waiting to be seated and the bar which serves as the eating counter and where oysters are shucked and cocktails made. There are some tables though it looked more fun to sit at the bar and have the restaurant and waiting customers as our view.

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Shucked oysters

Lobster roll

I was prepared not to have a lobster roll on this trip because the Portland Lobster Company is closed during the winter. In any case, I did order a lobster roll at J’s Oyster. It was good. Simply prepared with chunks of fresh lobster stuffed into a toasted hotdog bun. It was served with crinkle chips, which added nice texture and some savory seasoning to the lobster roll. TH had a bowl of clam chowder. And of course, we also had a plate of half-dozen oysters. You can’t eat at a place called J’s Oyster and not have any oysters! And theoretically oysters were sweet and juicy! Served with cocktail sauce and horseradish. We washed it down with local beers. It was a perfect lunch!

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Local beer

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TH and I are accustomed to not having breakfast in our daily lives but will indulge on the occasional morning meal when traveling. Otherwise, we’re happy with a cup of hot beverage and a pastry. A wonderful cafe that we enjoyed our morning hot beverages is at Mornings in Paris cafe. They open bright and early serving great lattes, pastries and have a limited menu. I can’t speak further to the food as we didn’t have any but the coffee based latte and chai latte were fantastic! MiP is a charming place to sit and enjoy the morning. The walls are exposed brick and appointed with framed images of Paris and baking pans. The barista prepared our delectable latte with an orange plaster finished wall as his backdrop. The tables are dressed with toile patterned tablecloths and paired with wooden cafe chairs.

A cup of chai latte

Cafe latte

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As I drafted this post, I began to realize how long this was going to get so I decided to break them up over 3 posts. Next 2 to come shortly. And thanks for reading.

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