Where To Eat in Portland, Maine
My hometown. I didn’t realize how good I had it growing up in Maine. The Portland area has really come a long way since the 80s. Its downtown area “The Old Port” is an uber tourist mecca now. Lots of little shops with beatnik items and lobster-shaped souvenirs.
My Q105 friend Nikki Cruz just accepted at job up in Portland, so I wanted to give her a list. But many of you have hit me up when you booked your trip up, so if you’re heading to the land where the letter “R” is completely ignored, here’s your checklist.
When I go home, here are the 5 spots I have to hit up.
Slab of Pizza at Micucci’s
I’m probably a little biased. This is the retail part of my family’s Italian foods business. As a kid, I’d work all day for a whopping $5. Apparently child labor laws were non-existent in the 80s. The store has been around for decades, but about 10 years ago, they started to make pizza. It was so hyped up that I didn’t really give it much chance. And then came that first taste. Thick puffy crust, sweet sauce and fresh cheese – it’s not a normal slice. This is a Sicilian slab. And it’s a meal for about $5. Micucci’s is on India Street, not far from the Old Port.
French Fries in Old Orchard Beach
This is a must if you do a summer visit. The Pier fries in Old Orchard (about 20 mins south of Portland) are legendary. Put the ketchup down. You’re in Maine. The way you do it is dump a ton of vinegar on ’em.
Fried Shrimp at Two Lights
This is another one that’s seasonal. 2 Lights State Park is about 10 minutes from Portland. There’s no better view at any restaurant in Maine than this one. The food’s great. Portions are huge. But do prepare to wait in line if you go during peak dinner hours. And watch your food so the seagulls don’t hover in and steal it. They have good taste. Put “The Lobster Shack” in Cape Elizabeth in your GPS.
Lobster Roll on the Portland Waterfront
If your Portland visit is a short one and you don’t have a vehicle, you’re going to have to dine with the tourists. DiMillo’s is the famous spot. It’s a floating restaurant. To me, it’s overpriced and bland. Grab a stool and sit on the pier at The Portland Lobster Company. Get the lobster roll with a Blueberry soda. Doesn’t get any more Maine than that. (By the way, they sell the blueberry soda at Mazzaro’s in St. Pete.)
Any place that has “Italians”
No, not the ethnic group. If you say an “Italian” in Maine, it means a sandwich. Kind of like Tampa has the Cuban. Italian sandwiches really aren’t that Italian actually. They’re just ham and cheese sandwiches, but there’s something about them that make them special. They’re on a long soft roll. I get mine with ham, cheese, pickle and tomato… little bit of oil with salt and pepper. Most spots that sell them will also have Whoopie Pies. Get one for dessert.