My pre-Thanksgiving weekend was a whirlwind of mighty tasty food. Friday me, my brother, and my mother went to the Frontier Cafe for dinner. Saturday my girlfriends and I hit up a Foodie Tour in Portland followed by lunch at Duck Fat restaurant. Then I met up with a friend for dinner at Tao Restaurant in Brunswick. Sunday my brother hosted his first Friendsgiving. Here is a brief recap with links to more thorough retelling of my adventures.
Friday was a standard evening out with my family minus Dad because he was up north hunting with his brother. We branched out of our usual chain restaurant groove and hit up a local gastropub in down town Brunswick called the Frontier Cafe and Cinema. While we didn’t catch a show, we did partake in a a few pub standards that had a Frontier spin. Checkout my full review.
Saturday was a day out with the girls which included a Portland Foodie Tour. We met our tour guide and ten other tour mates at the Old Port Wine shop and geared up for a pretty amazing two and a half hours. From the wine shop we went to:
- Vervacious where we sampled lobster with a spicy mustard, tasted locally made meed, dipped strawberries in two different balsamic sauces (chocolate and espress), and savored fresh pineapple sprinkled with a curry salt.
- Public Market House to learn about how the co-op functions to help local small businesses get on their feet. We also sampled cheese from local artisan cheese makers plus a splash of locally made apple cider.
- Dean’s Sweets where we learned about this history of this business as well as sampled the Needham truffle which is a mixture of Maine Potatos, Maine’s potato vodka distilled by Cold River, and coconut- C’est magnifique!
- Harbor Fish Market is part of Portland’s working waterfront and also where we had a brief lesson on the anatomy of a lobster and sampled Ducktrap River’s smoked lemon pepper trout.
- Captain Sam’s Ice Cream shop which is still open for business even though it is the middle of November! I opted for Etzel’s Pretzels which was carmel ice cream with chucks of pretzels. One of my tour mates opted for the recommendation from the man at the Fish Market to try the Praline ice cream. Another tour mate sampled the Kentucky derby with hints of Kentucky bourbon!
- Two Fat Cats Bakery is where we sampled the BEST whoopie pie I’ve ever had in my life. For those of you who don’t know, the whoopie pie is buttercream frosting sandwiched between two pieces of chocolate cake. Usually the filling can be grainy from the lack of incorporation of granulated sugar, or the cake can be dry and crumbly. TFC took the cake on their version of this treat- the filling was lighter than air, made with their homemade marshmallow, and the cake was moist and flavorful! Scrumptious! Note that TFC has been featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”!
- Shipyard Brewing Company was our last top on the tour. We watched a movie that depicted the history behind the company and how it is unique to the microbrew world of the Northeast. We then went on to sample 6 of their beers including: the seasonal Pumpkin Ale, well known Export Ale, Old Thumper, Monkey Fist, Chamberlain Pale Ale, and the Christmas seasonal- Prelude.
After a morning of walking around downtown Portland on a Foodie Tour, sampling only a fraction of what Portland, Maine has to offer for those of us that live life through our taste buds, we were ready for a real meal. As we sat at Crema Coffee & Bakery warming up with hot beverages and discussed our restaurant options. We were torn between a local Mexican restaurant and Duck Fat. I made my case for Duck Fat in that it was close, I knew it was delicious, and that all four of us would find something tasty to fill us up. (Another full review.)
To top off an already pretty stellar Saturday, my friend Wade was in town for the night to catch an early flight back to Colorado Sunday morning. He is a wicked foodie too, and a blogger! Be sure to check him out at Born Colorado. After helping my mom unload the groceries, bring in a couple bags of pellets, and unwind a bit after along day, I was ready to rock ‘n roll- again. Wade gave me two choices, Henry and Marty’s or Tao Japanese Restaurant, both local restaurants in Brunswick. I opted for Tao because I had been to H&M’s once before. After dinner we brought the evening to a close at The Inn at Brunswick Station, a new hotel for those guests who venture to Brunswick on Amtrak and just happens to have a pretty swanky bar too! After a flavorful glass of Malbec, we headed home to crash for the night, only to get up a few hours later to head back to Portland to the Airport.
To top off the weekend, Sunday, my brother and his girlfriend were hosting a Friendgiving for his friends. I think it was a great success; we had some pretty amazing food. I’m not sure I can list all the food we had but here is a pretty decent list…
- Turkey & Tofurkey with gravy
- Vegetarian corn bread stuffing and a sausage cranberry stuffing
- Mashed white potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and scalloped potatoes
- Salad with local greens grown by our friend on his farm
- Homemade cranberry sauce and canned jelled cranberry sauce
- Two trays of roasted veggies including Brussels sprouts!
- Homemade biscuits
Dessert was not too shabby either! It was a mixture of a locally made berry pie, a beautiful pumpkin streusel pie, apple torte with homemade caramel sauce, peanut butter cookies, and something else but I just can’t remember.
Phew! So much amazing food in one short weekend that it has taken me a full week to write the reviews!
Have you been on any local foodie adventures as of late? If so, where? I’d love restaurant recommendations, reviews of specialty stores, or recipes you’ve experimented with that were well received!