Coincidentally, this trip was also the debut of my husband’s hand-modeling career!
We were in the Portland area this past week to join family members on a “camping trip” (everyone else was in cabins at a resort while we stayed at a Marriott hotel in downtown Portland, ME). Here is an account of our very-unbalanced diet (a few more breweries are missing from the record, however), in no particular order:
Bard Coffee: Nitro Cold-brew Coffee
Rich and smooth, topped with a lovely cream layer produced by the Guinness tap from which it’s served.
The Holy Donut: Dark Chocolate & Sea-salt Donut
If you can’t read the sign: “YES! We use REAL MAINE mashed Potato in our donuts (NOT potato flour!) Each donut is handmade from scratch with TOP QUALITY ingredients”
The texture on this donut was wonderful and cake-y. I was originally opposed to getting a chocolate-flavored donut (I was in the mood for one of their pommegranate donuts!), but this one really threw me for a loop (in a good way, and pun intended!). Sea-salt can really make any dessert pop.
Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company: Flight of house-made beers
I can’t remember any specifics… it was just a blur of good beer! I particularly enjoyed the atmosphere here, as it was lively with regulars on a Thursday night.
Gilbert’s Chowder House: Clam Chowder, of course
I had a wicked bad craving for some clam chowder. I am extremely picky when it comes to my chowders (oftentimes they are too heavy on the celery, lacking in clam flavor, or over-thickened with random starches) so it is no surprise that I was not pleased with the offerings here. We felt that the bacon component was too strong, and the chowder was overly-starchy. It functioned just fine as a bacon chowder, but did not satiate my insatiable desire for the perfect clam chowder… I guess I’ll just have to try making my own!
Liquid Riot: House-made beers & spirits
We enjoyed the service, libations, and atmosphere here so much that we had to go back for a second round!
We tried 5 of their house-made brews and fell in love with the Ichigo Cream beer, which I believe was a seasonal/experimental flavor. Neither sour, nor overly sweet, I would describe it as a berries ‘n cream Guinness. We begged them to let us take a growler home and find a way to put it on nitro ourselves, but to no avail… so we simply downed another pint!
Duckfat: Belgian Fries & Poutine
As you might guess from the name, the hallmark of this establishment is that they cook with duck-fat. We stopped in one day for the poutine (which was great, although I wish that they went heavier on the gravy) and then we stopped in again to try their fries straight-up.
My experience with duck-fat is limited to memories of one of my college suite-mates rendering duck fat in our dorm and talking about it for days afterwards. I’ve never cooked with it before, so the closest analogy I can make is to my experience with lard. I did not find the fries to be particularly “ducky”, but they were excellent as french fries, nonetheless!
And of course… Pokémon GO
Throughout our wanderings in the city we had a blast playing Pokémon GO! In the picture above you can see my husband doing some important Pokémon GO-related research before leaving the hotel. I would venture to say that our wanderings were sufficient to burn off our excess food and beer-intake!
We’ll be back soon enough, Portland!