Three places to enjoy while you are in Portland:
Street and Company is, yes, on a street. And yes, when it was recommended to me I heard Straight and Company. Dr. Freud. (No, that is not who I dined with. I dined with my id, ego, superego.) The place is along a smallish street in the old downtown area called Wharf Street and serves seafood of various sorts. I sat at the bar, where I had lovely conversations and really enjoyed the bar tender who really knew his stuff. What did I eat? First, a Maine crab salad with fava beans, mint and orange. Do NOT think greens with a tiny bit of crab. Think crab with slivers of fava. Think wonderful mouthfuls. Best favas ever. I followed this with a special: fluke with a pepper salad. It was pan seared and served, also, with aoili. Unctuous is not a word I use often, I am not even sure I spelled it right. But that is exactly what it was. Nice minerally white was recommended by the bar tender. After that, you'd not think I could hold dessert, but by then I had been there some time and, well, there was a lot of talk about New Orleans going on around me so I had bourbon pecan pie. Not the best ever, but pretty darn good and the rest of the meal was spectacular. In fact, when the bill came I actually said (and I truly do quote myself): "Oh my god, that's cheap. Did you make a mistake?" The ambience is also nice: warm feeling. And the bar is beautiful Part of the fun was watching oyster shucking but most of it was a leisurely meal, texting occasionally with Geneva, and relaxing. It's always nice to find a place where it is truly ok to eat alone and I learned the "eat at the bar" thing from a real fan of that in Geneva. If you're in Portland try this place and enjoy.
Here's urbanspoon on Street and Company:
And for breakfast, try a place called The Good Egg Cafe at the Pepper Club. Apparently there was a place called the Good Egg Cafe ages ago in Portland which went the way of some places -- away -- and then the folks at the Pepper Club kind of brought it back? I love the phrase "good egg"; I know several people who use it a lot and . . . well, it says a lot (depending on tone of voice. In fact, I often woner (other than the obvious) where the phrase comes from and for once have failed to learn more by googling! Anyway, I found this little hippie-ish seeming joint while wandering and had a dish called eggs from hell -- which involves chipotle hot sauce, eggs (mine were scrambled), black beans, and salsa. The name seemed apt for Sunday morning. Actually, the bits came as little heaps on top of a reddish looking tortilla. I also had coffee and a small (aka tiny) oj. Not the best version of this sort of thing I have ever had (I still pine for a place whose name escapes me somewhere on the way to the San Juan Islands). But the coffee was dandy and it was a busy Sunday morning there . . . and the service was attentive but not too in your face. Here's urbanspoon on the place:
And that leads me to at least one (maybe even two) additional places, neither of them restaurants but definitely of foodie interest. The first, Portland's best chocolates -- which is right near The Good Egg. It's name? Dean's Sweets. Very very tasty -- in a tiny little place -- with flavors like lemon apricot chevre (I csan recommend that), coffee (also dandy), and ginger (yep, good) -- as well as some I have not had like salt caramel and brandy and. . . They'll pack you a little set of them (or a big one) by hand. Dark chocolate. Very good. Did I say that already?
And, right next door, the place I was aiming at when I found the Good Egg and Dean;s Sweets: Rabelais. A bookstore. A bookstore focused on food. A wonder. Ncie ambience (though when I arrived the person who seemed to be the owner was standing right in the doorway talking to people, and I could not get in. That's why I went to Dean's Sweets and probably why I spent more time there than in the bookstore. (And, by the way, spent money in one and not the other. Not perfect business practice.) Alas, by the time I got there and it was open (which took a bit), I was not really able to focus and so I did not get a treat for moi. But, should I ever be in Portland again, I will indeed go to Rabelais.
All in all, good food for thought and . . . for the belly. Portland. Sunshine. Salt water. And more.