Restaurants & Bars

Portland Maine Area Experiences


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Portland Maine Area Experiences

Gioia | Jul 9, 2002 08:41 PM

Our extended weekend began with a wonderful find. Having driven by the Bedrock Lobster Pound on Route 1 between Kittery and York dozens of times over the years, a sign for 6.50 lobster rolls caught my eye and we decided to give it a try. The lobster rolls were terrific. I'm not sure what made them so good, they had mayo (which I generally dispise) and not a whole lot of meat; perhaps it was the freshness that made them so wonderful. Or may be it was the price, two rolls, two bags of humpty dumpty chips (which remind me of Stateline chips, which to my knowldge are no longer available) and soda for less than 15 dollars.

That night we went to Gilbert's Chowder House on Commercial St. in Old Port. The chowder was great, as were the onion rings. The mussels were a little dry. The service was quite pleasant.

The following day we decided to take a ride to Bailey's Island to eat at Cook's. I only remember going there one other time, and the memory is very vague. My father, who I figure has been going there since about the time the place opened, always raved about it. Well, he was WRONG. It was horrible. The service couldn't have been worse. My 1 1/4 lb lobster was no where near that big (I'd say it might not even have been a pound). The prices were ridiculous - over $20 for the "1 1/4 lb" The chowder was barely edible it was so bland. The lobster dip tasted like a grape popsicle had melted in it. I would NEVER go back.

A mid-afternoon snack at the Public Market in Portland was a wonderful peanut butter and chocolate creation from the bakery, with fresh milk in a glass bottle.

Luckily, the night was saved by a light dinner at the Dry Dock on Commercial Street in Old Port. We had nachos and turtle chessecake. Both were delicious. Everything else we saw served also looked very good. The prices and service were both reasonable.

Saturday we drove to Cape Elizabeth and ate at the lobster shack. The lobster roll had lettuce - YUCK, but wasn't too bad. The chowder was okay (certainly better than Cook's). The Onion rings and clam cakes were pretty unmentionable. But the view couldn't have been better.

We then had dinner at Decoupage, in the Eastland Park Hotel. The only reason we opted for Decoupage over some other place (like Street and Co. that had lobster fra diavlo for two on its menu that I still regret not having tried!) was a coupon we had because we stayed at the Eastland (though small signs in Top of the East say that the same coupon can be gotten from servers there). With the coupon any appetizer, entree and dessert were $25/person. (There was one exception that would have bumped the price to $35). We began with crab cakes stuffed with goat cheese with creme fresh and a salad with strawberries, red pears and pistachios. Both were incredible. Scallops and Sole followed. Both were cooked to perfection, though a tad bland. We finished with "award winning" chocolate creme broulee and cheesecake. Both were absolutely wonderful. All of this was served by a perfectly delightful waitress.

Unfortunately, the Top of the East comes no where near Decoupage. The bartender and waitresses were among the most unpleasant people I have ever encountered. So bad that on my second attempt I left without finishing my drink. It's a shame because the room is the perfect place to unwind. Unfortunately, the staff kills the atmosphere, as do the little children running around uncontrolably. And for the price of the drinks there, I would expect slightly better service.

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