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Portland, Maine: Gastronomic Weekend

January 4, 2011

I grew up going to Maine every summer, from when I was to 7 to when I was 17. Maine is a common summertime destination for people from Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.  I really loved Maine for the serene crisp lakes that are all swimmable.  You can stop at any you pass along your drive and always jump in for a refreshing swim.   From age 8 to 15 I went to camp in Maine for 8 weeks of the summer.  It was heavenly.  We swam, sailed, waterskied, danced, played tennis, soccer, and basketball, and did arts & crafts and theater everyday.  It was always a big deal to go on a field trip to a city or even a country store and eat as much as our young stomachs would allow, since we weren’t allowed to eat candy in camp (only fruit for dessert, with cakes on birthdays and banana splits on the Fourth of July and special events).

One of my favorite excursions was to Portland, Maine for the Seadogs game. The Portland Seadogs are a minor league baseball team and seeing one of their games is a must for anyone in Portland during baseball season.   You should also visit Old Port, the historic waterfront district.  There are many other cultural and artsy activities around Portland.  To satisfy your stomachs, here are my recommendations for the best eats in Portland, Maine:

1. Fore Street.  Come here for oysters at the bar, paired with beer or iced Maine vodka. Photo by Ball & Abanese.

2. J’s Oyster Bar.  Enjoy the harbor views, Guinness pints, and half-dozen oysters for $7.

3. Flatbread Company – Relax and enjoy delicious flatbread pizza, made from all homemade ingredients in a waterfront restaurant with beautiful water views. 

4. Bresca.  Have peekytoe crab in a cucumber bisque, paired with a suggested wines, followed by an inventive cheese plate, and enjoy the Mediterranean experience with a Maynard twist.

5. Diamond Cove General Store.  Head out to Diamond Cove Island to try this unforgettable lobster roll.  My favorite Maine Lobster Rolls have always been at General Stores, a very all-American institution.  Diamond Cove’s roll must be something amazing because in general anytime you’re eating in Maine and not eating a lobster roll is an opportunity missed. 

Source:  GQ article “The Coolest Small Cities in America.”

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