{portland, maine}

After our last trip to Austin, I was craving more US adventures. We were deciding between Maine and Cape Cod, and ultimately, Portland won us over. We prepared for a nice, long weekend of eating and taking in the sights of the quaint city. Thankfully, I had some friends direct me to some of the best eats (and some we weren't too fond of). I stand by the fact that everyone's tastebuds are different, and a restaurant that someone loves immensely may not be the same for another (I hate Yelp, but I'll save that for another day). Instead of boring you guys with paragraphs and paragraphs of details, here are some condensed bullets with some of the highlights.

  • Woke up at 4AM to start the drive. I managed to drive three hours to Massachusetts, where Kevin and I immediately switched seats. This marks the longest distance and time I've ever driven (#milestone?)
  • Arrived at our Homeaway and were greeted by the sweetest hosts who gave us a thorough mini-tour of their property as well as any kind of information we would need regarding food, activities, and more. Highly recommend this place to stay if you're looking to visit Portland!
  • Started off the eating portion of the trip with a delicious bang at Eventide Oyster Co. I've already posted about it, so I'll spare all the delicious details.
  {Yas.}

{Yas.}

  {Scallops.}

{Scallops.}

  • To feed my growing love of beer, we took a tour of the Allagash Brewing Company. The tour ended with a tasting of their main beer, Allagash White, and several other beers. I would recommend making a reservation online ahead of time (plus it's free!).
  {Beer flight for tasting.}

{Beer flight for tasting.}

  {Packaging the beer.}

{Packaging the beer.}

  {Barrels for beer.}

{Barrels for beer.}

  {Our amazing tour guide & beer.}

{Our amazing tour guide & beer.}

  {Yum!}

{Yum!}

  • Duckfat was highly recommended to us by a few people, but unfortunately, the meal itself was incredibly salty. It was impossible to enjoy the poutine from the overload of salt, and the sandwich that we shared was okay at best.
  • When I read "mashed potato doughnuts," I was expecting literal... doughnuts made out of mashed potatoes. One can only dream, right? The Holy Donut uses real mashed Maine potatoe in their dough. The result? A pretty tasty doughnut with visible potato bits in the cooked product. Still can't beat a NYC classic, Doughnut Plant (but I may or may not be biased). {Note: we were rushing to get back to catch our cruise, so I wasn't able to snap any good photos, booooo.}
  • At the recommendation of our Homeaway hosts, we ventured downtown to collect some brochures for lobstering. Lucky Catch Cruises seemed the most appealing, with several different kinds of boat rides ranging from a tour of nearby lighthouses to seal watching. We chose the seal watching ride and managed to catch a morning session. We were all given aprons and gloves to participate in baiting and pushing the traps back into the water, which made this particular activity one of my favorite parts of our trip.
  {Packing bait for the traps!}

{Packing bait for the traps!}

  {Geared up.}

{Geared up.}

  {Staring off into the sky.}

{Staring off into the sky.}

  {Ready to push the trap into the water.}

{Ready to push the trap into the water.}

  {Seagulls flocking to the boat because of the used bait. They hung around the boat because they knew food was coming.}

{Seagulls flocking to the boat because of the used bait. They hung around the boat because they knew food was coming.}

  {No lobsters, but one little girl was so excited to find a claw!}

{No lobsters, but one little girl was so excited to find a claw!}

  • If you actually manage to catch some lobsters on the cruise, you can purchase them and have them for lunch at the Portland Lobster Company right next door. Unfortunately for us, no lobsters were caught, but we ventured over anyway. The real winner for me here were the fried scallops.
  {Fried scallops, fries, and a lobster roll.}

{Fried scallops, fries, and a lobster roll.}

  • Stopped by Hot Suppa before opening time for breakfast fuel before our hike. Probably one of our better decisions of the tripthe hash browns that accompanied both of our breakfast entrees were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The highly-praised corned beef hash didn't disappoint our ravenous appetites, but I still prefer the ones from Louie's in NY.
  {Corned beef hash, omelette, and eggs benedict.}

{Corned beef hash, omelette, and eggs benedict.}

  • Who knew a sweaty morning of hiking would be the absolute highlight of our trip? With the help of Instagram (scouring through Portland, ME hashtags), I found Tumbledown Mountain as our hiking destination. I recommend the Brook Trail for beginners. This trail was the most direct route to get to the pond at the top, but regardless, it was a grueling three hour hike. The last leg of the hike was quite steep, and it didn't help that we were essentially climbing rocks. Worth it? Definitely.
  {Here we go! Before we knew what lay ahead.}

{Here we go! Before we knew what lay ahead.}

  {So many fish at the pond.}

{So many fish at the pond.}

  {Camping at the Tumbledown Pond: added to bucketlist.}

{Camping at the Tumbledown Pond: added to bucketlist.}

  {Tiny Kev 1.}

{Tiny Kev 1.}

  {Tiny Kev 2.}

{Tiny Kev 2.}

  {Tiny Kev 3.}

{Tiny Kev 3.}

  • A little out of the way, but we had to stop by Red's Eats! Voted #1 lobster roll in Maine, but not the best lobster roll that I've had. I think the only reason people say it's the best is because of the amount of fresh lobster that's stuffed into these thingsthat doesn't automatically win "best lobster roll" in my book. However, the fried scallops and fried shrimp were on. point.
  {Food overloaaaaaad.}

{Food overloaaaaaad.}

  • We were beginning to get sick of lobster rolls (oops!), so we opted out when we visited Fisherman's Grill. Instead, we finally got our clam chowder fix with a side of seared scallops and fries. Hands down the best clam chowder, but the seared scallops had me on another planet. The preparation was incredibly simple, but they were easily the best things we ate on the trip. Perfectly buttered and juicy... Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard.
  {Clam chowder, fries, and seared scallops.}

{Clam chowder, fries, and seared scallops.}

  • Did I say we were sick of lobster rolls? Bite Into Maine changed that for me with their picnic style lobster roll. It was raining and windy, but it was worth getting soaked to the bone for these rolls. Coleslaw in sandwiches makes the world go round. We almost opted out of coming here, but I'm glad we were able to end the trip with a bang.
  • With Bite Into Maine, the Portland Head Light was the next destination because they were at Fort Williams Park. Unfortunately, with all the rain and wind, we weren't able to fully enjoy the views, but that didn't stop us form running out, getting soaked, and enjoying ourselves like five-year-olds stomping around in the rain.

So much for making this a shorter post! I got lazy towards the end of the trip, so the rest of the photos are from my iPhone, oops.

While it was a nice little getaway from the hustle of NYC, I probably could not see myself living in Maine. The food was to die for, and the takeaway from this trip is to only stick with the seafood and the little hole-in-the-walls. We tried to visit places like Honey Paw and Duckfat, but because we're so spoiled with all the amazing food in NYC, these foods don't ever seem to match up. Granted we weren't able to try Central Provisions among others, hopefully I'll be able to visit again someday to visit our favorite Portland spots again and to try some new spots.

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