Some great eating in Portland, ME (trip report)

Ha, ha! Take that, tags.
Anyways, just checking in and drumming up traffic and having a look around.
Last weekend, we had a bunch of excellent food up in Portland. Some dumplings at Bao Bao- particularly liked the smoked hake. A great dinner at East Ender- the duck with squash and a whole grain entree and the hake cakes were standouts. Suffering from a cold, I limited myself to mocktails and was impressed with the preggertini menu.

Excellent coffee at both Bard (although we were disappointed that hand pies from Little Bigs are only available Fri/Sat, having been led to believe they’d be there from a CH thread which I was unable to fact-check because I was unable to find- no, I’m not bitter) and Speckled Axe.

Great sandwiches from Blue Rooster, as always, and indulgent tater tots. Great gelato from Gorgeous Gelato- if you need a break from gelato or need something that travels, try the Renata cake.

Went back to East Ender for lunch on the way out of town and this was our only mild disappointment- I felt their burgers were only so-so, and the grilled cheese we ordered for our little ones was not even melted and at $9 a bit of a miss. Onion rings, which had looked fabulous traveling to other tables at night, were quite greasy.

Overall, as a Camberville resident, I continue to be amazed by the amount of good eating in Portland.


It’s been a couple of years since DH and I were last in Portland, so your recommendations are very timely for me. Thanks very much.

And I completely forgot: our favorite dinner was at Empire Chinese. I just love that place. The crispy flounder bowl is amazing. Memories of my chowpups devouring fried fish fins are priceless. I actually begged the owner to open a Boston location. She claims to be too tired…

Off-topic, but I grew up in household where tiny fried anchovies were a snack that I loved…until I learned what they were and then promptly stopped eating meat (as a 8 y.o. or so). I love that your pups are not as picky as I became.

Portland is great. Thanks for the report.

I go to Portland pretty regularly, but it wasn’t until this past weekend that I got a tip to check out Tandem Bakery & Coffee.

Now, I eat a lot of baked goods, and there are a lot of really great baked goods in Portland. But Tandem Bakery & Coffee is the best I’ve had, including in the Boston/Cambridge area.

On my one visit there, I had a plum (and…almond?) scone, a biscuit with butter and jam, a piece of blueberry pie with cornmeal crust, and a piece of plum pie with a black pepper crust. (I had another person with me. We still ate too much.) Everything was delicious but the blueberry pie and the scone were the standouts. This is the best blueberry pie I’ve ever had - not too sweet, not too watery. Just the perfect blueberry filling.

The scone was also sweetened just right for me. I’m salivating right now thinking about it. There is another location of Tandem Coffee that just does coffee, I think (I don’t drink coffee so can’t comment on that) so be sure to go to the one with the Bakery in the name, next to a gas station. It’s a small location, not really suited for doing work but well-worth checking out. Yum.

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We get to Portland about once a month to visit my mother in law, and we love the dining scene there. We recently had a great dinner at The East Ender (sorry to hear lunch was a disappointment), and are looking forward to checking out Little Bigs pies in South Portland when next in town. We tried to go at about 1pm on Sunday, but they were already sold out and closed.

Some additions from a recent trip to the area - maybe the same weekend as you

Highlights were

  • Lunch at Duck Fat, which gets all the love it deserves
  • Dinner at Miyake. Swordfish toro is like fish foie gras, and I’m still thinking about it
  • Brunch at East Ender for some takes on Eggs Benedict (with pork belly), followed by coffee at my favorite Coffee By Design, then went to City Bakery to pick up treats for home.

Glad we have a son in the area so we have an excuse to take him out there…