Where Are We Now: Portland, ME
Escaped from: Chicago
Voyaged to: Portland, ME
Winter, Summer, Spring, or Fall: Spring – April 2016
Climate: Chilly, overcast and rainy. April is “Mud Season” in the northeast due to all the runoff from the snow melting and the rainy season.
Plane, Train, or Automobile: Plane & Automobile
Transfer Time: Plane to Boston Logan International Airport, then a two hour drive north to Portland
Evening Headquarters: The Inn at St. John (A Bed & Breakfast)
Favorite Local Flavor(s):
Duck Fat Portland, ME
This was by far my favorite meal of the entire trip, I can’t sing enough praises about their food. There will always be a long line, so plan accordingly, we waited an hour and a half for a table. The seating is community-style so you won’t necessarily have a table to your group alone, we sat with three others and enjoyed getting to know them over our meal. We ordered the Belgian fries with poutine, B.G.T. panini, sea salted duck fat caramel milkshake, and duck fat fried donut holes. This is a must if visiting Portland.
Eventide Oyster Co. Portland, ME
Eventide is a higher-end restaurant that has an extensive raw oyster bar. As a huge seafood fan, I was in heaven with their clam chowder, raw oysters and lobster roll. The wait tends to be longer than average at this restaurant as well, but we decided to go around 9 pm and were seated right away.
East Ender Portland, ME
East Ender is located next door to Duck Fat and is a great option for drinks and/or food while waiting for a table at Duck Fat. It’s a great atmosphere with very friendly staff, the perfect place to pass the time before Duck Fat.
Mabel’s Lobster Claw Kennebunkport, ME
We stopped at Mabel’s in the town of Kennebunkport while making our way down the coast to Boston. Mabel’s was suggested to us by a number of locals and I can see why – this is a small, local hotspot that’s been in business since Mabel opened the joint in the 50s. The pricing was very reasonable, the staff was very friendly and eager to share the history of the restaurant and there was so much lobster meat in their lobster roll that I actually had to take some to go (because no one in their right mind leaves lobster on their plate).
Worth Mentioning: In Portland, you can pay to board the mail boat (yes, the boat that delivers mail & packages) to the islands. This was such a unique way to see the islands/coast as we were mixed in with the local residents taking the boat to their homes on the islands. We were able to stop at all the islands and get off at a few for a quick walk. If you decide to jump on the mail boat, I highly suggest packing some snacks (and some wine) as you’ll be onboard for roughly three hours and there are no concessions or restaurants available onboard or on the islands you stop.
I’d also suggest driving along the coast and visiting Cape Elizabeth. The towns are all very quaint and picturesque, and I’m a sucker for lighthouses. The lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth also has a lovely walking trail for the warmer months.