This past long weekend, we took a long-anticipated trip to Portland, ME, A's Christmas gift to me and our first trip of the new year. We spent about 36 hours in the city, and although the frigid cold kept us from walking as much as we would have liked to, we were able to see quite a bit!
We arrived Friday evening, and after dropping our belongings off at our Airbnb, we headed to dinner at Boda, a late-night eatery and bar specializing in Thai street food. It was a 30-45 minute wait, which gave us enough time to stumble upon one of our favorite (and unplanned) moments of the trip, The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box, for a drink (I had a spiced hot cider). The hostess at Boda gave us a ring when a table was ready, and we ordered the brussel sprouts (highly recommend) and sticky rice ball to share, Kee Mao noodles for me, and fried rice with crab and shrimp for A.
Saturday morning, we had a breakfast of smoked salmon, red onion, capers, cucumbers, and cream cheese seasoned with dill, salt, and pepper on everything bagels, and hot drinks at 158 Pickett Street Cafe, then headed to the Portland Head Light. The drive from the cafe to the lighthouse was scenic with beautiful New England homes along the water.
The lighthouse itself, amplified by the sparkling water and winter morning sunlight, was also beautiful and well worth the cold trip. We then stopped by the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow house, tucked away in the Old Port district, to be informed by a man who looked like he could be Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that it had closed for the season. We picked up a delicious chocolate almond mylk from Blake Orchard Juicery and headed back to our Airbnb.
After resting and warming up, we braced the cold once more in search of fries. Duckfat, known for its Belgian fries, had a line out the door, so we opted for Central Provisions, another one of our favorites of the trip.
We entered through a cute back alleyway to find two open seats at the end of the bar. The bartenders were sweet and never let our water glasses go empty.
We shared the CP Frites with Korean chili spice, ketchup, and garlic aioli, and the bread and butter, topped with a lemon yolk dip, and I sipped on the most delicious house-made pomegranate soda. Dreaming of getting back here for a full meal!
It was too painfully cold to explore Old Port, so we headed to Rising Tide Brewing Company, where we sat chatting for a couple hours while A sampled a couple flights. In the evening, we headed to Otto Pizza for their roasted red pepper, Kalamata olive, and roasted garlic pie--I would gladly return to try the three-cheese tortellini, margherita, and plain cheese pies.
Sunday morning, we purchased an assortment of (seriously underpriced) pastries from Standard Baking Co., a cute little bakery in an industrial building and setting, and a trio of donuts (dark chocolate sea salt, triple berry, and chai) from The Holy Donut. We walked around Old Port for a bit before heading home.
Despite the cold and some sites being closed for the season (the Portland Observatory was an epic bummer as it was just down the street from where we stayed), I'm happy we made a trip up in the winter as New England does fall and winter (non-tourist seasons) well. To our pleasant surprise, all the good food we enjoyed was relatively inexpensive (though we do recommend hitting these spots either early or on off-hours).
I did capture some video footage that I may share once I get around to piecing it all together! x