Restaurants & Bars

Portland and in between

Joanie | Mar 25, 200812:37 PM

Last minute overnight to Portland from Boston on Fri. and had a good time as usual. On the way up, we tried to go to Pat's Diner in Salisbury, arriving just before 1:30. It's that dilemma of the sign saying they close at 1:30 but they weren't gonna cook for us at 1:27. All right Pat, we'll go across the street to Haley's Diner which is more of a quaint coffee shop. Very nice people and pretty good food. We just split a tuna melt with wonderful grilling and big frozen onion rings which aren't my thing, but they were fine. Sweet people working there. I then stopped in quickly for cookies at Cafe Fresca on Rt. 1 in Hampton and those were good.

After walking around Portland a bit that afternoon, we went to Shay's in Monument Sq. for a drink where all the martinis are $5. I'm not a real cocktail connoiesseur but they seemed pretty good and people were friendly. A couple beers on tap on special too. The Shay's owner recommended Vignola to us which was on my list so we got a table there (bad luck with bar seats that nite). We had remembered it was Good Friday so stuck with fish, but with the wonderful fried baby Maine shrimp we got, that was easy. I could have eaten 3 more plates of those, wonderfully fried sweet shrimp with a great dipping sauce and nice bit of salad. Bread and olive oil were good, our young waiter knew his stuff about wines and the very long beer list. I tried one wine which was a little acidic so stuck w/ my usual Grüner, but not into their unstemmed wine glasses. Snack and drinks came to about $26 before tax & tip. Then over to Street & Co. where we sat in the front section of the lounge and had another waiter who was super personable and really knew his stuff. He let me try one wine then the 2nd which I really liked (some Italian 2 worded white that begins w/ C). My beer drinking friend really liked it too. Mussels were very garlicky and plentiful but somehow I didn't like them as much as Fore St. Perfectly fine tho, good crusty bread. We got there at 9:45 on a Fri. and we were pushing it which seemed odd, esp. in the Wharf District.

Sat. was relaxing w/ a good scone, donut, regular and iced coffee at Java Net, then after hitting the record stores we made our way to Kennebunkport and Alison's. That was good. Had fried baby shrimp on the brain so we ordered that dinner w/ fries and cole slaw for $10.95. Fine but not as good as Vignola. We also split a lobster roll w/ a good grilled bun and fries. I know this is blasphemy but it maybe could have used a tiny bit more mayo. Or maybe some salt. It was a little flavorless, but huge, on a larger than usual bun for $16.95. A local and family oriented place, at this time of year at least. Really wanted to try a hot dog place in Kittery and Henry the VIII roast beef in Portland but just not enough time.

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