Eating in Portland

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to visit Portland, Maine for the Hood New England Chef’s Challenge. As a judge, the PR company that represented Hood gave me a complimentary hotel room, and since the competition was only part of the day, my husband, friends, and I spent some time wandering around Portland. Portland is an amazing foodie city, small, easily walk-able, and although cold, was a great place to spend the weekend.

I will recap the Chef’s Challenge tomorrow, but for tonight thought I would share some of our delicious Portland eats. We started at Duck Fat, a place well-known for its fries. And fries we ate. We ordered two cones of fries with every dipping sauce that Duck Fat has to offer, along with a Geary’s Autumn Ale.

Duck Fat Geary's Autumn Ale
Geary's Autumn Ale

The fries were very good but not the best I have ever had. My favorite part was most definitely the truffle ketchup with the fries. All of the dipping sauces, the horseradish aioli, the curry, the mustard, really made the fries, and the Geary’s Autumn Ale was the perfect pairing and a great way to control our hunger as we waited for an 8:15 dinner.

Duck Fat fries Duck Fat fries
Fore Street
Perrier Jouet

My friend Meghan’s birthday dinner was at Fore Street, one of Portland’s best-known restaurants, and a simply amazing choice. Fore Street is incredibly warm and cozy with a central, open kitchen and an emphasis on local ingredients.

We toasted with Perrier-Jouet Brut to ring in the birthday girl’s 30th year and feasted on oysters to start off the meal.

For my entrée, I had the bluefish with a hen’s egg. The egg was delicious, as were the veggies. The bluefish was good but a little too fishy for me.


We also split a bunch of sides: some to die for balsamic glazed beets, turnips, and heavenly mashed potatoes. All of those were perfection, and I could make a dinner out of sides.

On the way out I snagged a photo of the room where Fore Street keeps their vegetables. Isn’t it just beautiful?

Fore Street

We truly ate and drank to the best of our abilities in Portland, and I can not wait to return. It’s only about 2 hours from Boston, and there are SO many places to eat! We have barely scratched the surface.

Have you been to Portland? Any recommendations for our next trip?

Duck Fat on Urbanspoon

Fore Street on Urbanspoon

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Tags: Food, Portland, Travel

  1. Erin’s avatar

    I haven’t been to Portland but the restaurant looks cute — very cozy and earthy, which is always appealing to me. :D


  2. Daisy’s avatar

    I’ve never been so I’d look to you for recommends! These meals look wonderful – I love bluefish and with hen’s egg?! Incredible. I am into the cute little veggie room.


  3. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I love Portland so much! I really want to move there one day. I’ve heard great things about Duck Fat. I need to see for myself if it lives up to the hype. At least I know the ketchup is good :)
    We had a fantastic dinner about a year ago at this place called The Grill Room ( Everything is wood fired and they have a HUGE open kitchen. They have duck fat potatoes!

    I really want to try Five Fifty Five, but can never get a reservation. Have you eaten there?


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      I haven’t, but that was one of the recommendations from people who live in the area. I feel many trips to Portland in my future!


    2. Jess’s avatar

      I’m going to Portland in a couple weeks for the weekend. I cannot wait for all the wonderful food!


    3. Michelle’s avatar

      I have about a week’s worth of blogging material from our weekend in Maine. It was great to see you on Saturday and we can officially add judging to our resume!


    4. Kirsten’s avatar

      I was at DuckFat a few weeks ago — I cannot wait to go back to Portland, such great restaurants :)


    5. Samantha’s avatar

      Looove Portland. Had one of the best meals of my life at Hugo’s ( – it seriously blew me away. I highly recommend, and cannot wait to go back myself! I’ve also heard good things about Evangeline’s.


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        We walked past Hugo’s, and it is definitely on the list for next time!


      2. Megan’s avatar

        I am planning to go to Fore Street in November. It sounds like you liked it, so that’s a good sign!

        (I’ve also heard that Hugo’s is amazing.)


      3. Megan’s avatar

        Oops… I meant December!


      4. Boston Sports Woman’s avatar

        Haven’t been to Portland in years. We took the kids up on the Nor’Easter Train, and that was a blast in of itself! Thanks for all the great suggestions!


      5. Jason Phelps’s avatar

        If you go in the summertime, take the ferry to Peak’s Island. Bike around the island.

        Becky’s Diner right down near the water is a classic diner with no frills. Good breakfast though.



      6. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

        I love Portland too! And I second Megan’s recommendation about Hugo’s. Fore Street is my dream restaurant. I met the chef – Sam Hayward – last year at one of my classes at Harvard (he was guest speaker) and he is so humble and just plain awesome, I became an immediate fan!


      7. Emily’s avatar

        I just commented on Michelle’s Portland recap saying how much I was dying to try Fore Street! My husband raves about it but I haven’t been. Beautiful veggie storage, indeed! Glad you had a nice meal.


      8. Kim’s avatar

        Never been to Portland, Maine. Heck, never been east of the Mississippi. I’m a west coast girl all the way (and a bit sheltered it seems. LOL). Wait, I’ve been to Chicago. That’s east of the Mississippi. Course I went there when I was 15 and still a clueless teenager so it doesn’t count.

        Despite the cold it looks like a wonderful place to be. I’d love to travel to New England one of these days. You guys have such incredible history out there and beautiful architecture from the past. It’d be photography heaven for me and the hubby.


      9. alicia’s avatar

        I’ve only been to Portland once, but between you and Michelle I’m thinking I need to fix that…STAT.

        Duckfat? what a wonderful name for a restaurant. swoon.


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