The Boston board had the long lobster roll discussion and Red's got such good reviews (plus I'd seen it on the Food Network), we gave it a try on a trip to Portland this weekend. It was very good but I don't think it was worth going the opposite direction, can't imagine there aren't pretty great ones all along Rt. 1 back to Boston if I had time to taste test. It was a good price at $12 and *was* jammed with lobster meat on a grilled bun. Comes with mayo and/or butter, I mostly used butter. Tasty sweet lobster but I actually prefer a little bit of the salad aspect with some bits of celery and a little mayo mixed in. Shared an order of onion rings in very weird thick batter which I wasn't into but glad I checked it out. If anyone has good lobster roll places between Boston and Portland, let me know.
In Portland, I can't recommend Norm's Bar & Grill strongly enough. Norm used to cook in Boston and has two great places inc. Norm's BBQ restaurant (on Middle St) where we split a great bbq pork quesadilla. They cross menus a little and both are good, but I think the bar & grill is a better deal overall. Really interesting food in a funky 50's looking place on Congress St. Crabcakes, bbq chicken tacos and grilled lamb salad w/ feta all were delicious and looked great on the plate. Nothing's more than $18 or so, fun bar. Have also had a great steak & cheese w/ fries there and a warm duck salad which sadly is no longer on the menu.
We also hit Flo's steamed dogs on Rt. 1. A tiny diner type building where you stand in line for a while as one woman takes orders and steams your dogs. It's an experience. Maine Diner was disappointing, leaden crabcakes with pimiento overpowering any possible crab flavor. The crab roll was all right and I have to say the onion rings were great. Fore St. was the fancy dinner and good altho not sure if that would be my last meal which one recent review in the Phoenix said it should be. We split the awesome garlicky mussels, my friend had a very meaty rabbit and I had a duck dish with not much duck but the sides were good. And the cherry walnut crisp for dessert was wonderful. Portland's worth another trip just to eat, both there and on the way up and back.
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