Trip report [Portland and Freeport ME]

Another short road trip to Maine. We went up north to Portland/Freeport this past glorious weekend (which makes me worried about climate change). All breakfasts at our chain hotel in Freeport, which had a pool for spring onion to splash to his heart’s content.

Friday - Lunch (finally) at Slab in Portland. We sat outside on that gorgeous Friday afternoon (around 12:30 pm…no problem getting seated). A lot of “WOWs” from our spot on the picnic tables. Even spring onion devoured the meatballs (his favorite/only food he’ll eat right now). Started with crisps with white bean spread. Mushroom slab for me, a pepperoni slab with bleu cheese dressing for B. I had a lovely, smoky nero d’avola and B initially stuck with beer (Maine Beer Co. Lunch, of course) but when he tasted my wine, he switched to that. Hit up the Children’s Museum after lunch.

Dinner was OK…Buck’s Naked BBQ in Freeport but we had been meaning to check it out for a long time because they have an indoor play space. We were so full from lunch but spring onions get antsy in hotel rooms so we headed out for dinner around 6:30 pm - the place was nutso and really smoky inside (meat smoke, not cigarette smoke). We took pity on the very patient-looking wait staff. I had a steak tip salad (just ok but huge) and B had a pulled pork sandwich which he said was fine. Good fries. Friendly service. Spring onion loved the play area so when he’s happy, we’re happy.

Saturday - Lunch at Pai Men Miyake. I had originally wanted to check out Phở Công Tử Bột (Vietnamese joint) but they only open for dinner. Not our first time at Pai Men. Pleasant meal of shojin (vegetarian) ramen and abura (dry ramen) for B. Rice and noodles for spring onion.

We went to the CRAZY LL Bean Camp Sunshine Jack o’Lantern Festival on Saturday, which was a happy accident that we hadn’t planned for. I set aside my politics (see stories about Linda Bean) to enjoy all the festivities - spring onion was loving it! Problem was, we hadn’t planned on dinner. Tried to go to Tuscan Bistro something or other and there was a 1.5 hour wait. So we went to Gritty’s down the street, which has a great outdoor play area for kids. The wait was long due to the pumpkin thing but B and I were content with our drinks and watching spring onion scampering all over the play structure. As always in Maine, friendly, laid-back service even under duress. My veggie burger and B’s chicken sandwich (I think?) both fed the beast. Again, good fries.

Sunday - Lunch at Bayside Bowl. Kind of a random choice, but we spent a lot of time at the Narrow Gauge train museum (a favorite stop for spring onion) and we were all starving right around prime brunch hours. Not wanting to deal with crowds, I suggested this thinking the boy would like watching the bowling. Fun space. We initially checked out the rooftop but they only serve tacos up there, which spring onion wouldn’t be down with. Our sandwiches took a while to come out but they were both solid… I got the tempeh BLT - a well-constructed sandwich except the tempeh was on the salty side. B swooned over his fried chicken sandwich. First of all, it was quite large. Secondly, he said it was really well-prepared, though by the end, the bun started disintegrating. He said it’s the kind of sandwich that is worth the mess and napkins. Once again, good fries. And Maine Beer Co. on tap. He was really happy with my suggestion of eating at Bayside.

We’re no longer eating the meals I really want (again, had to pass on The Honey Paw), but the 3 of us left Maine happy and a few pounds heavier.


Nice trip report, thank you! This is the sort of intel we can truly use if we get to do another Portland visit with niece(s) and nephew.

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Sounds like a winner for the spring onion and you two didn’t do too badly in the eats department. :slight_smile:


Once again, digga, a really fun and helpful report. Thanks!

Now this is a tip I can use! Thanks.

Great report. Always wanted to explore the train museum, but it doesn’t resonate with my SO or daughter.

@smtucker @MaxEntropy The Museum is relocating/expanding to Gray, ME in the coming years. The Portland is small and charming but could use a sprucing up. The new Museum, as the plans are drawn up, may have wider appeal than to just kids and train buffs (I’ve kinda become one out of necessity!). The Portland location MAY be closing at the end of this year but I would check before going.

It’s a slow and short ride but it’s pleasant riding alongside the coastline.

FWIW, we’ve had success with a side of noodles at The Honey Paw for the spring onions…


It’s the crowded small space that scares us about the Honey Paw, not finding food options for spring onion. We need to time our visit with the ebb-and-flow of the patrons.