AB Road Eats: Portland, Maine


Bard Coffee: I always have to start my morning with coffee and lately it’s been cortados. Across the street from a big name coffee shop (which I will not name), this was a pleasant shop and the cortado did its job — it warmed me up on a rainy morning.

Coffee By Design: Later in the afternoon I ventured into a different part of town for this roaster. As soon as you enter in, you see the roasters at work — it’s an incredible site.


Becky’s Diner: This diner is right on a pier and when you see its opening hours start at 4 a.m., you know they’re serving hard-working fisherman. I enjoyed sitting at the counter and watching the locals come in and out. Of course I ordered the lobster omelet. What a way to start the day.

The Holy Donut: If you’ve been following any of my social accounts, you know I’ve been traveling the country for my tour, but also eating an extreme amount of doughnuts. Well I finally came across a doughnut a little different than the rest. Why? They use Maine potatoes in every variety (sometimes sweet potatoes). If you’ve never had one before they are slightly different. But they are very good.


J’s Oyster: I like J’s. A lot. It’s a classic oyster bar serving locals. Ask for a good beer, a bucket of steamers and a lobster roll. It was the best classic lobster roll I had all day.

Susan’s Fish-n-Chips: I can admit I stumbled upon Susan’s. But the minute I walked through the door I had a huge smile on my face. That is some funky decor — and I mean that in the best way possible. The fish and chips were good. I would like to see what they’d pump out during the busy season.


Duckfat: Alright. Canada might get mad at me for this, but this restaurant is serving some pretty serious poutine and Belgian fries. That’s right. I ordered two different orders of fries and both were equally addictive. Wow. These are good fries. Nice job guys. I look forward to more in the future.

Eventide: The best bite(s) of the day go to Eventide. And this is the first time where I’ve had multiple items that I just couldn’t choose from. If you twisted my arm, I would probably have to choose the Fried Oyster Bun. Unlike anything I’ve ever tasted and each layer was perfectly seasoned. Then I would have to go with their Brown Butter Lobster Roll. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more: the lobster or the bun. Yeah, their homemade buns are that good. Finally, I have to say I had the best four varieties of oysters I’ve ever had were served here from Maine. And I know they didn’t make them, but they nailed the recommendations and shucked them perfectly.


Vena’s Fizz House: I’ve never seen anything like Vena’s before. When you walk in you’re greeted with countless bitters, some I’ve never heard of. After you’re done browsing the shop, head up the stairs to a bar serving some of the best mocktails around. That’s right. Eventide absolutely took best bite of the day, but Vena’s took best drink (and it didn’t even have alcohol in it). I suggest ordering a Lumberjack Love if you’re in the area.

Maine Craft Distilling: I stumbled on both this and the below AB Road Eats rec after going to Coffee By Design. They’re all next to each other. These guys are doing some pretty cool things. I walked away with two bottles: Blueshine (blueberry Moonshine) and Chesuncook (imagine a carrot gin). Interesting, right?

Rising Tide Brewery: I have a guy on my crew who is a beer aficionado. So whenever I’m out and see something new I like to pick him up a couple bottles. In this case, I chose an American copper ale called Ismael. There were no complaints on the tour bus that night!

Images © Alton Brown, 2014

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  1. 1

    While I agree this accurately depicts the food-scene of Portland, there’s so much more elsewhere in the state that defines its’ food culture in its entirety. For example, blueberries. The whole state is covered with them, 44,000 wild growing acres. Everyone has a family recipe for blueberry pie that crosses generations. To be honest, most people in Maine cannot afford lobster. It’s considered a luxury, or reserved for special occasions. You would find more pot roasts and baked beans simmering in crock-pots in a Maine kitchen before you would a shiny stock pot brimming with lobster and clams. Just some food for thought.

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