Mid-Coast Maine 2021

Just curious why do you call the birria drunk food. Good birria is a great stew. Was the birria made with goat ?

Aaack, maybe I shouldn’t have said that. It was not meant to be derogatory; it was a delicious taco. Definitely not goat. I would love to try goat birria, whatever my state of consciousness. A Maine interpretation of birria with beef and lots of cheese and broth for dunking. But definitely felt “heavier” than I expect tacos to be and just what I want when I over-imbibe; possibly just my own type of drunk food. Not a criticism, just a free-floating thought.

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Don’t make us go up there…because you know we will!

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Meet you there!!! There’s corn hole for the small human being.

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Had the spectacular Saturday-only pastrami sandwich at Up In Smoke BBQ for lunch today. So very good! First time eating there instead of taking away since Before Times. Lots of seating now but not much shade.

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Lovely-looking pastrami. I want to ask a question that’s been eating me. When you first ate their pastrami in 2019 you’d said

I drove by today and they had the sign out for pastrami. That is my siren song. … It was absolutely incredible pastrami, I’m fairly sure the best I have ever had. And I have eaten a lot of pastrami in my life …

Pastrami is my siren song, too, and it’s time, in my respectful, regular-guy opinion, for you to do that odious thing: compare. What other great pastramis of your life do you think this one is better than? Good pastrami is so friggin’ rich that I can only eat it when I must, on culinary grounds. I’m plotting my return to Maine, and I need to know how this compares to the various hand-cut thick, fatty pastramis of NYC or any other place. (Only “Our Fathers” in Allston has had that kind of pastrami in my experience.)

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I hope you are seated for this @fooddabbler: I have never had NYC pastrami. In fact, my visits to that city number in the single digits.

The Our Fathers pastrami and the pastrami at Moody’s in Waltham were my favorites until I had Up In Smoke’s pastrami. I’ve also had pastrami I loved in San Carlos CA at The Refuge and Langer’s and other good pastramis in LA (one near the Getty whose name I can’t recall). And I’ve had countless pastramis over the years at places I no longer remember. What makes Will’s at Up In Smoke the best for me might not be the same for everyone: he uses no “warm” spices, only coriander and pepper, he seeks fatty but not too fatty meat, I like the thickness of his cut. Both Our Fathers and Moody’s use warm spices and on occasion Moody’s is literally half fat. Which is not to say I have not thoroughly enjoyed their pastrami multiple times. But there is, as you say, a limited amount one can consume and at this stage I am allocating all of it to Will’s. And if it means many pastrami-less months every year that just makes it taste all the better come summer…

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Thank you. And I hope you’re lying flat for this, and listening to relaxing music (and smoking something relaxing), but I’ve never had Langer’s.

I agree with you that there’s a tipping point when the fat becomes too much. I’ve never had Moody’s either (but I feel that that’s a smaller hole in my resume).

(I do think that a masked digga should kidnap you one day (having made good smaller-digga arrangements of course – she may be a gangster but she’s a great mom) and haul you to NYC and feed you stuff.)

Will’s is on my list.

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If you are coming to LA you have to try Langer’s - it’s by far the best pastrami sandwich we had anywhere. Beside the pastrami itself what makes Langer’s to special to us is that they also care about the right high quality bread (which was awful at Katz for example and made for an overall disappointing pastrami sandwich)

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Yes, it’s on my list. And, yes, on the bread at Katz’s. If I take food out from them, or have it delivered when I am in NYC – pastrami travels OK), I always switch breads to a better rye.

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Excellent point. Agree, the bread makes a huge difference! Will sources a very high quality caraway seeded rye locally that holds up to the pastrami very well. Now if only he still made his own half sour pickles, I really miss those…

@fooddabbler, I think I may have had NYC pastrami after all, there is a sandwich place in downtown Boston (only open M-F, can’t remember the name) that I think gets their pastrami from NYC. I’ve been twice over maybe 7 or more years and the pastrami itself was very good but as @honkman says kind of ruined by crappy bread.

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And I hope both of you @GretchenS @fooddabbler won’t pass out at this revelation - pastrami has never crossed my lips and entered my body. This emoji has never been so appropriate: :scream:

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Where are my smelling salts when I need them?

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Yeah, my meat-centric, no-beer, no-shellfish posts can’t be very useful to you @digga! At least between us (and @tomatotomato and @grumpyspatient and others!) we present a pretty full range of what Maine has to offer. Here is hoping some more folks chime in, would love to hear more voices, more opinions, more experiences.

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Ancho Honey, Tenant’s Harbor (St. George)

This place is off the beaten track unless you’re headed to Port Clyde to visit the lighthouse and its small museum or to take a cruise to Monhegan or to see puffins, but it’s worth seeking out. There is a small menu that changes weekly and an assortment of grilled cheese sandwiches that are always available plus Malcolm does specials: Wednesdays it’s fried fish sandwiches, Thursday is burger night, Sunday it’s fried chicken sandwich day. He comes up with some pretty crazy creations but there is always a traditional version available as well. All of them are so popular he urges you to call ahead to reserve yours. So on Friday I called to reserve my chicken sandwich for yesterday lunch. I heard him telling someone that he starts taking calls for them when he opens on Wednesday each week. This version was called The Butter. It had the sauce from Indian butter chicken, pickled red onions, lettuce and garlic achaar mayo and was absolutely delicious. He uses chicken thighs and that is the right call in my opinion. Much better pic on the Ancho Honey IG.

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Not overly saucy – also, the right call in my opinion – or is the sauce served on the side?

Nope, sauce is on there but as you say, in a properly restrained amount.

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We may look at a house in Brunswick. I’m excited at the prospect of checking out Flight Deck. We never check out this part of Maine.

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My image of you @GretchenS is shattered. :grinning:

Oh dear. I’m really just a harmless food nerd. :nerd_face:

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo