maine: five islands lobster and a few portland questions.

i may be making another august trip to portland and area for a few days. working in my hotel room by day, going out in the evening. i’ve been up a few times so am familiar with the area, but have questions on places i haven’t been:

five islands: is it worth the trip to georgetown? as in, are the lobsters up there going to be noticably better than ones i can get at portland lobster co? i’m sure the environment up there is great, and i’d enjoy driving the route off of route 1. also, how soon do they run out of food?

fishermen’s shack: i’ve never been and have read they changed owners 2 years ago? are the scallops and lobster roll excellent, and again, what time should i go?

honey paw, isa - recommended dishes?
outliers, liquid riot - are the lobster gnocchi and chicken skin slider dishes worth it?
dutch’s - how does their breakfast chicken biscuit compare to figgy’s in terms of taste? i’m sure it’s much smaller, of course, since one is breakfast and the other (figgy’s) could be two meals.

and other than duckfat, are there any real good sandwich places near the ferries? i may take a sandwich out to one of the islands and don’t know how well a lobster roll would travel out.

as a point of reference, i’ve loved hugo’s, eventide, vinland, but also really liked fore st and five fifty five as well as figgy’s and (long gone) bresca. and know that portland lobster has lots o’ tourists, but it’s nice to eat out on the dock.

thanks for any advice.

I would check out Scales Restaurant off Commercial in Portland. It is the latest venture from the team that operates Fore Street, and it is a winner. Had a wonderful meal there on my last visit, and it is housed in a dramatic picture window setting right on the piers…

central provisions. right downtown, and the owners both worked for ken oringer at clio. food is GREAT.

thanks - if i go to central provisions, i’d likely go at lunch because i don’t want the crazy waits during the evening. plus, i’ve been to momofuku ssam in nyc (a bunch of times) and there are other places which make similar things near my area. so though i love that kind of plates, i have those options in my radius.

other places i’m likely to go: miyake (dinner), vera’s fizz (love their drinks), gorgeous gelato, two fat cats and probably novare res for drinks. not going to street & co, not sure if i’d check out scales because of all the other options available. if it was portland before all these other places popped up, i’d definitely hit up scales but i’m not sure if i’ll be going there.

i may stop in slab if i get the desire for something a little different or blue rooster if it’s late at night, but that’s low on my list…or micucci, possibly. not going to boda or bao bao, among others that sound really awesome, because the dishes are more similar to what i can get in my area…

Maybe you have the time to hook up with the Allegash Brewery Tour in the industrial section of Portland. It is fun and tasty…it is on-line and you should make a reservation. And watch out for Central Provisions. While some of the small plates can be quite good, you may leave there hungry. Interesting bustling space, though…

Five Islands is totally awesome. You literally see the boats pull up and the lobsters unloaded at your feet. That would likely be on a lunch rather than dinner trip.

Lobsters, steamers, fried stuff all outstanding.

I haven’t been when they’ve run out of lobsters but they have run out of other stuff (steamers, sides) by 7 on a sat night. Not always though.

Not sure the lobster is that much better but it’s an outstanding lobster shack experience.

For lobster that IS (IMO) better and worth the drive – and wait-- check out the lobster roll at Red’s Eats.

Blue Rooster Food Co has the sandwiches you’re looking for. Also, Empire Chinese is one of my favorites in Portland. I know; Chinese. But take one bite of their fried flounder bowl and I dare you to wish you were anywhere else.

i’m hoping to get around to a couple of the local breweries (not shipyard) if the weather and humidity work in my favor. last year was crazy hot and humid and i don’t like drainking much in that situation.

parsnipity - will blue rooster’s sandwiches still be good after a ferry ride out to one of the islands? didn’t know if it would hold up well that way either. i’ve put empire chinese in my list of “in case” - i’m sure the seafood would make some of the dishes great, but i’m learning more towards things i can’t get locally.

i’ve been by red’s when i was going up to camden/rockport a few years ago, crazy long lines even when it’s open. i know the river is nice, but the main draw of georgetown would be the lobster like you described + the view.

one of the appeals of fishermen’s grill in portland, besides that i’m in portland, is the seared scallops that seem to get rave reviews…and i love well-cooked scallops.

nice part is that i can get to scales (if need be) as a 1 person for the bar before it gets crazy busy. i’ve got a week and only 4 places i’m definitely going to for dinner (and 4 for lunch) so i’ve got options to fill in the gaps.

Yes- sandwiches will survive fine. The tater tots you might want to eat while standing there.

Relax, bob…Red’s can get busy but they are very efficient. I have never had to wait too long. Hope you can get to Scales. And Allegash Brewery does a good tour…

i’ve come back and will post a summary of my trip later, but quickly…

i didn’t go to five islands but instead went to erica’s lobster in harpswell. pure shack, got a soft shell lobster that was so delicious i didn’t use butter for the first half of it.

i’ll post more a bit later, but it blew away any lobster i’ve ever had before.
(and not that i was going up there, but waterman’s in thomaston - which i went to a few years ago - is closing its doors for good in a couple weeks).

Good to know. I’ve been to the dolphin before but never Erica’s. My parents live on the next spit over so we don’t go out for lobster all that often but we boat over there now and again. Will have to check it out.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold