​Cellar Door Winery – Pairings at the Point

I was recently invited to attend the Pairings at the Point event which showcased pairings of food and booze at Thompson’s Point. It’s hard to turn down an offer to stay fed and hydrated, so I gladly accepted and was looking forward to reporting on the shindig even if it was on a Sunday during a Patriots game. Put on by Cellar Door Winery, we arrived with the expectation that it was actually occurring at the winery, but were pointed in the direction of the Thompson’s Point event space by a sign sitting outside. As we walked toward it, we saw that it was taking place under a giant, enclosed tent.

We made our way into the tent, walking through a long corridor and checking in, and then getting a Cellar Door branded wine glass each with which to obtain some of the wet goods inside. When we finally entered the actual event portion of the tent, the large room was not exactly what we expected. The center had lots of cozy seating and cute tables. There was a small stage with a DJ playing music which happened to be all TV show theme songs when we first arrived. Along the outside edges of the enclosure were five food and drink pairing tables which seemed to start to the left of the entrance and go clockwise according to the natural progression of a meal.

After taking a some pictures, we we made our way to the first table, which was full of oysters and champagne on ice in addition to some potato chips which weren’t on ice. My disdain for raw seafood is well documented and I skipped by the oysters, grabbing a couple glasses of bubbly while my wife took a plate of chips for us to share. We sat and I drank some pink champagne while she drank the standard version. It wasn’t a crazy start for us, but a little sipping and chipping gave us a few minutes to observe what was going on and check out the people and happenings around us.

The next table we visited was the White Wine Station. Since I was driving, I chose only a half pour of the 2013 Chardonnay to start and went on a food gathering spree. First I took a Mini Lobster Roll with Tarragon and Dill. From a meat and cheese tray, I made myself an open-faced sandwich of bread, prosciutto, marinated cheese, and pepper jelly. Then I grabbed a little boat of Green Papaya Salad with Peanuts and another with Crispy Calamari with Lemon. Mrs. Portlandeater snagged some food and wine too and we headed back to the table to relax and sample the goods.

A taste of everything brought a joy to my soul. The lobster roll was particularly delicious with the herbs, though admittedly, they could have done most anything with the salty sea bug and I would have been happy. I’m always a sucker for a bit of pork and cheese, and I was thrilled with the exceptional crisp from the squid as was my wife. The papaya salad was lighter fare with veggies, vinegar, and spice. It offered a nice, fresh crunch in every bite. Overall, the seafood items were certainly the best, but everything was pleasant, and while white wine isn’t usually my vino of choice, it was a nice compliment to the food.

Next up, of course, was the red wine station. I requested a small portion of the 2012 Dolcetto, a wine that was new to me. Mrs. Portlandeater went with the same and we both went across the table, grabbing some food. I started with Brisket Sliders with Slaw, then  Moroccan Chicken with spiced couscous, and finally Lentil and Greens Bruschetta with Ricotta Salata. I left behind the Rosemary-Lamb Lollipops with Salsa Verde as there was still a lot of food left to try and it just wasn’t going to be a lamb day for me.

The wine was a nice, smooth red and I enjoyed the pairing most with the chicken, which contained some citrus and almond. There’s no doubt the reds go well with meats and the well-spiced chicken and beef slider were where it was at with the dolcetto. The bruschetta wasn’t my style, but it was worth a shot to find that out. The food was a little heavier here, the wine a little bolder, and the combination was a satisfying grape and grub grouping. We took our time with the food and drink, knowing there was more in store for us when we were done.

Station four had beer and liquor. First up was a Chicago Dog and Oxbow Howie. After that came the Maple Glazed Pork Belly Skewers w/ Stroudwater Distillery Bourbon and Rye. I stopped there for the time being and went back to the table to eat it. Mrs. P stuck with finishing her red wine and I started consuming. The dogs were good with tomato, onion, pickle, and relish, and the Howie was a worthy local brew. The maple pork belly wasn’t something I would eat every day. Frankly, The standalone pork belly would normally have struck me as somewhat unsavory, but the crispy maple-flavored fat wasn’t so bad and the maple and whiskey pairing was a definite win. I ate and enjoyed it, slightly disgusted with myself.

Once I was out of food, I headed back for more. I took a Chili with Sharp Cheddar, Red Onion, and Sour Cream which was served with Oxbow Farmhouse Pale Ale. The last item at that station was Fish Taco with Crema and Slaw and Maguey Mezcal Margaritas. With my hands full, I once again made my way back to our table. I spooned some of the chili into my mouth and found it to be exceptional. The hearty, hot chili had a tiny bit of sweetness and was full of flavor. I enjoyed it with the ale. Moving to the taco, I found the fish fresh, the crema was a tasty accompaniment, and the red cabbage slaw added some texture. The margarita was smokey with the mezcal, but a nice take on the standard tequila tea.

Nearly at the end of the line, we paid a visit to the last spread – the dessert wine station. I went with the 2013 Treasure – a wild Maine blueberry wine infused with Maine maple syrup and fortified with brandy. I passed on the Fourme D’Ambert Bleu on Brazen Baking Crackers, but happily dove for both the Chocolate Dipped Biscotti with Pistachios and Cardamom and the Goat Cheese Pannacotta with C’est De L’or Cherries. C’est De L’or was actually the other dessert wine available. My wife only took a pannacotta.

Starting with the pannacotta, I took a spoonful of the soft, creamy custard. It was magnificent. Rich with a dense flavor of cheese, it was easy to eat and a wonderful finishing touch. With the addition of the soaked cherry and sweet blueberry wine, it was a masterful combination. After the pannacotta was done, I bit into the biscotti. It was better than I expected. Sometimes I find biscotti a bit dry and I suppose this might have been, but it wasn’t noticeable, because I couldn’t get past the awesome flavors. Every part of it stood out – nutty almond, chocolate, pistachio, and a little Indian spice. I was pleasantly surprised.

As my wife was finishing her dessert and margaritas, I went and got one more lobster roll for good measure. I didn’t want the lobsters to think I didn’t like them, because I sure did. I cut through that quickly, she finished her drinks, and we left to go relax at home. It had been a nice time at a nice event. We considered that the set up allows you to take a comfortable space and make it yours, and then at your own pace enjoy as much or as little as you want from what they have to offer. Everything is served in a small portion so you can try it all without getting too full or you can go berserk and have 82 lobster rolls if that makes you happy. The pairings were quite well done and I felt that that overall, the whiskey/pork belly and dessert wine/pannacotta combos were the best, but the others certainly were all certainly more than worthy of a sampling.

The one change I would love to see for next time would be to have the pairing event on a Saturday evening where guests can really make a night out of it and maybe indulge a little more than a Sunday afternoon allows. I thought the concept was great and enjoyed it quite a bit, but eating and especially drinking to my heart’s content pairs really well with a night on which I don’t have to work the next day. Either way, it was fun, delicious, and a great opportunity to enjoy some excellent food and drink combos that were new to me and some that I had been lucky enough to try previously. Who can argue with that?

Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater releases a new blog entry by clicking the “follow” button on the right side of this page after entering your email address directly above it. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter. You can now also find me at pppe.bangordailynews.com.

Rosie’s – Still What It Used To Be


I’m not sure how long Rosie’s has been around, but I think it was somewhere around the time man discovered fingernails that their doors first opened. One of Portland’s exceptionally popular dive bars, the cheap booze and eats purveyor draws a significant crowd from Old Port business and often has a crowded house filled with a crazy mix of patrons. College students, suit and tie types, dirty auto mechanics, clean auto mechanics, people named Jed – you name it and they might all be there any time the doors are unlocked.

I found myself headed to Rosie’s when a friend wanted to grab a burger and a beer for a Saturday lunch. I didn’t want to go to any of the places he suggested, so I chose and we ended up at the Fore St. haunt. There were a few people scattered about and we grabbed a seat by the window so we could see if my car was being ticketed after my 42 minutes on the meter expired. A waitress came up to our table, handed us menus, and asked us if we wanted anything to drink. It turns out we did. My buddy ordered a Sam Adams and I went with the advertised $1.50 Miller High Life which was a 50% increase in the cost of of the brew since I was last there. Still, I suppose it was a reasonable price for “The Champagne of Beers”.

Taking a hard look at the menu, I reminded myself what the restaurant had to offer. They had a pretty sizable menu with all the pub standards and a few items with a little extra flair. I wasn’t looking for anything spectacular, just something to fuel the rest of the day’s house cleaning project. The specials menu wasn’t anything I was looking for, but the main menu with apps, salads, burgers, dinners, sandwiches, pizza, and more had plenty of possibilities. My buddy immediately decided on the BBQ Bacon and Cheddar Burger – 8 oz. burger with carmelized onions, lettuce, and tomato with fries. It took three visits from the wait staff before I decided on Chili, Cheese, and Jalapeno Nachos served with salsa and sour cream.

We soon had our beers in front of us – he with his highfalutin Sam and me with my “man among men” MHL. I took a sip of my High Life and it caused an effect in my brain that sent me back in time. It tasted like college and career ambition, and while don’t usually want for the cheap beers of old these days, I must admit, it fit with my mood and location. We both seemed pleased with the way the beer went down, so we drank and engaged in verbal tomfoolery while awaiting our food orders.

Our goodies made their appearance like a superhero in the nick of time. Both of our items were well portioned with his stacked high and mine spread throughout my plate. My nachos were simple – tortilla chips, cheese, chili, and jalapenos. With little cups of salsa and sour cream on the side, they were complete. I took a bite and their simplicity was evident, but they did the job with cheese, meat, and heat. My cohort seemed to enjoy his burger and fries.


At some point, not long after we got our food, we both finished our suds and requested waters to continue staying hydrated. We worked on our grub, with his finished well before mine was. I eventually ate the last of my chips, and feeling like it was just the right amount of food for a Saturday lunch, decided I would call it quits right there. I had a little of that feeling one gets when they don’t live up to their own expectations – I believe it’s called disappointment, but if I had eaten anything else, the house cleaning I was returning to would have suffered and I didn’t want that.

Our meals came to about $36 total after tip. His Sam Adams was $2. I’m not sure why or how it was only that, but I was thinking I might have been willing to dish out an extra half dollar to upgrade to a more upscale beer. Of course, it wouldn’t have had the same effect on me as the High Life, and the truth is that every once in a great while and under just the right circumstances – like at Rosie’s, I actually want a cheap beer to reminisce about the days when I didn’t have money for anything pricier.

Rosie’s offers something you can only find at dive bars – an atmosphere where anything goes as long as you’re not causing a problem; where the food is always good, occasionally very good, and rarely great; and where you can get served with hardly any green in your pockets. I drink there more than I eat there, but when I do either, I always leave happy and feeling like I got more than I paid for. It’s a place where just about anybody can go and have the same experience.

You know that old t-shirt you used to wear a few days a week when you were younger? Sometimes you’d wear it all weekend and by Sunday night it smelled like stale beer, BBQ sauce, and cheap perfume. Eventually it wore thin and had holes, so you’d wear it to clean or paint. You wore it that one time to help old Mr. Haskins move and it got snagged on a nail from his beat up dresser. Then you sort of forgot about the shirt and it sat in the bottom of your draw with no attention paid to it for years. In a massive purge, you found it, and unable to bring yourself to include it in the Goodwill pile, you brought it back, wearing it occasionally on the weekends. You smiled every time you opened your drawer and saw it on top again. Your wife hated it, but she didn’t understand, because she wasn’t with you when you bought it, and didn’t know your connection to it. That shirt is Rosie’s, except your wife will love Rosie’s. Everybody loves Rosie’s.

Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater releases a new blog entry by clicking the “follow” button on the right side of this page after entering your email address directly above it. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter. You can now also find me at pppe.bangordailynews.com.

State Plate – New Food Show Coming to INSP TV

If you love seeing Maine food on TV as much as I do, you’ll want to check out State Plate. Maine is featured in one of the first episodes and Maine food producers are highlighted on the show. Read below for details and check out http://www.StatePlateTV.com for more information.

Family-entertainment network INSP has a new original series called State Plate premiering on Friday, October 21st at 9:00PM ET. The show’s host is Taylor Hicks, the platinum-selling artist and popular American Idol® winner. In each episode he’ll take a “culinary tour” of one state, assembling a plate of their most emblematic foods. The states featured include Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and California.


Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater releases a new blog entry by clicking the “follow” button on the right side of this page after entering your email address directly above it. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter. You can now also find me at pppe.bangordailynews.com.

​Peter Peter Portland Eater Hits the Road – SoME Brewing in York, Tributary Brewing in Kittery, and Fury’s Publick House in Dover, NH

I recently hit the road with Mrs. Portlandeater to drink a little beer and indulge in some food. There’s not much I enjoy more than eating and drinking at the site where whatever I’m consuming is made and breweries definitely fit that description. It feels like an authentic experience that to me is like an adult amusement park – not that I don’t love actual amusement parks. Mrs. Portlandeater suggested we take a trip to south to a couple breweries she researched and I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.

The first stop on our tour was SoME Brewing in York. In the back of a relatively non-descript building, we found a parking spot and walked our way past a few people drinking beer outside. Upon entering, the bar was straight ahead. To the right was a popcorn popper and beyond that a room with tables and large chalkboard along part of the far wall. We walked to the bar, the bartender gave us a quick tutorial of their nine beers, and my wife wasted no time in ordering a $5 pint of Whoopie Pie Stout – milk stout with cocoa and vanilla. That was also my first choice, but I wanted a flight, so I waited for my wife’s pour so I could try a sip before I made a final decision.

Four ounce tasters were two bucks each, so I decided to order four of them. The stout was good, so I ordered that and the Post-sesh Porter, a coffee rye porter. My last two were Crystal Persuasion double pale ale and Apostrophe mosaic IPA. Once I got my four pours on a flight tray, we walked to the back of the room to find a table. We sat right next to the popcorn and I served myself a bag of that to serve as a salty beer supplement.

Sipping each beer in a stately manner, I tried to ascertain the full flavor of each of them. My favorite was the stout, followed closely by the porter, and then the other two not far behind that. The beers all had great qualities, but the first two I felt were sweet and heavy on flavor. They were “big” beers, and despite their excellent taste, I couldn’t see myself having more than one or two at a time any more than I could see myself eating more than one or two full meals at a time. The other two were more of the long-drinking type that could be picked from the cooler all day or night while enjoying a day at at the beach or a bonfire.

With all my beer done, I was selected to finish the last half of my wife’s. I did just that and we decided to move on to our next stop. A short trip to Kittery brought us to Tributary Brewing, the southernmost brewer in Maine. With a large parking lot and a spot seemingly in the middle of nowhere, we made our way in for some suds. There was a guitarist playing Jimi Hendrix and the atmosphere was lively and funky fresh. We walked up to the service counter and took a gander at what was available.

Tributary had six beers which were each either $1.50 or $2 for four ounces. I was looking at the little ones because I again wanted a sampler. After some thought, I went with their Oktoberfest, Black IPA, Cali Common, and Blueberry. My wife went easy with just a four ounce Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, once we had our beer, all the tables in the house were full, so we pulled up to a shelf along the wall which appeared to have great beer holding abilities.

Oktoberfest was the first beer I tasted. I found it a little lighter than the Oktoberfests I was used to, leaning more toward a pale ale. That may have been because I had consumed a double pale ale shortly before and my beer buds were relaxing a bit. The Black IPA and Cali Common came next and they ended up being my favorites with the latter probably my overall fave and actually quite a bit tastier than I expected, particularly for a lighter beer. The blueberry wasn’t bad, but I think I missed out on some of the fruit flavor by not trying it first instead of the Oktoberfest. Next time, that will be my primer for sure.

After enjoying a little music and beer, we were ready to go for another ride. We headed to Dover, NH, one of the stops I often make when I’m leaving Maine. The reason? The food at Fury’s Pub House. Originating from a drink stop prior to a wedding reception next door, my visits to Fury’s have become a near necessity when heading south. The pub, as it usually is during the day when we go, was sparsely populated with a few people at the bar and a few others here and there throughout. We took seats at the bar which we figured would be a little more exciting than sitting completely alone at a table.

A quick review of Fury’s menu showed a few changes from the last time we were there, but nothing major. The bartender asked us what we wanted to drink and my lady went with a Magner’s Irish Cider. I told the bartender to suggest something and that I particularly liked whiskey and vodka. She threw out “Old Fashioned” and I thought that would work. I upgraded from the house whiskey to Jim Beam – yes, an upgrade to Jim Beam – and went back to find some food.

Once my drink was ready, we put in our orders and had some sips. The first item to come out was my two Scotch Eggs – house sausage wrapped around a hard boiled egg lightly breaded and fried, hot honey mustard or whiskey maple syrup. I got one with each of the sauces. The biggest reason I go to Fury’s is their Scotch eggs and these were exactly as I remembered – tennis ball sized or maybe even a little bigger and nicely crisped around the outside.

First, I visually took in my eggs and then cut into the gargantuan spheres. I forked and knifed my way into them, successfully trying to slice a piece of the breading, sausage, and egg in one swipe and then dipping it into the mustard. It was time to consume it, so I dropped it into my mouth with determination. BY THE POWER OF THE GOD OF SCOTCH EGGS! I’ve never met a scotch egg I didn’t like, but these were special. Crunchy seasoned breading on the outside, perfectly spiced sausage reminiscent of a breakfast version inside, and a standard hard boiled egg. The egg was – as it always is – unbelievably delicious. The hot honey mustard was an amazing touch and the best mustard I’ve ever had. Quite hot, enough to burn the nasal passages, the slightly sweet finish lended itself to a flawless dipping sauce.

My second bite of of egg was dipped into the whiskey maple. In case one brilliant sauce wasn’t enough, the whiskey maple was exactly what you think it was – maple and whiskey in exactly the right proportions where the maple syrup sticks out and the whiskey adds a little  “Y’all come back now, ya hear?” I’m not a huge fan of maple, but I was a massive fan of the whiskey maple from the first time I tried it. I sliced and diced my eggs until the two of them were completely done, at which time a single tear fell from my eye.

Next up for food was my Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese – rich smoked gouda cheese sauce tossed with cavatappi pasta, topped with breadcrumb and chive. My wife had ordered the Fury’s Chicken Salad with pickle and fries – roasted chicken, red onion, green apple, dried cranberries, Sriracha sunflower seeds, and mayo on sourdough, rye, or garlic herb wrap. She went with the sourdough which I felt was a good choice.

We were both ready to get down to business and went to work. My mac and cheese was flat-out fantastic. It sounded simple and I suppose it was, but bah gawd, it was delicious.  As I shoved that melty, smokey, cheese-laced pasta into my mouth, my wife nibbled on her sandwich which she insisted was good. She also kept taking bites of my food, which I told her was okay the first few times. When the mac theft got excessive, she offered me some of her sandwich. I took a piece of it and chomped down. Wow! The chicken salad was stellar – sweet, crunchy, outstanding seasoning, the sandwich had it all. I was blown away. It was among the best chicken salads I’d had.

There was plenty of food to go around and it certainly went around me plenty before it all went in me. With the eggs, mac, and sandwich all done, I finished my drink and we were ready to hit the road again and return home. It was another spectacular trip to Fury’s for us. Their scotch eggs simply can’t be beat. Portland, Maine is my place without a doubt, but if I want the best in sausage wrapped, breaded eggs, I travel to Dover. At a mere $3.50 each, they’re half the price and twice the size of the average ones in Portland and they’re better. And it’s not just the eggs that are better, they come with some of the most awesome sauces I’ve had. They’re just so damn good.

For all the praise I give the scotch eggs, it’s important to note that our other food was so outstanding, it’s hard to believe it came from a pub. I don’t know who’s creating and cooking the food there, but they’re killing it. Every time we go, it’s top of the line and they make a good drink too. Their prices are super reasonable and our entire meal with drinks was $36 bucks before tip. Since we travel to get there, we’re always there during the day, but apparently there’s music some nights and the party atmosphere can pick up. For me though, I’ll stick with my lunch and dinner at Fury’s. I recommend you do that too if you’re traveling out of state. Their food will astound you and they might become your food stop away from home like they are for me. Portland’s always gonna be my town, but Fury’s definitely deserves a semi-regular visit.

Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater releases a new blog entry by clicking the “follow” button on the right side of this page after entering your email address directly above it. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter. You can now also find me at pppe.bangordailynews.com.

Hot Suppa – Portland South


It was…oh I don’t know..maybe three years since I first said to myself, “Self, I wonder how that Hot Suppa place is.” Since then, I every time I drove by the Congress St. eatery, which was at least once a week, I noted that I had to check it out at some point and then just forgot about it until I drove by again. I never bothered to look at their menu or figure out what they were all about, though I had heard from reliable sources that they started out as a breakfast and lunch joint and had adopted a dinner service over the last few years. That all sounded well and good, but didn’t really matter unless I actually went to check it out for myself. I finally did on a nice Friday evening as my hunger was reaching its peak.

Walking into Hot Suppa, I was a little surprised at their layout. We entered into a sizable waiting room and when I peered into the seating area, I saw that the restaurant was small. With about ten tables and six or so seats at the bar, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room in there. The tables were full and the bar empty, so we asked to sit at the bar and were told that was fine. We prepared ourselves to enjoy some southern food, looking at the menus with great anticipation.

Though I saw some good options, I decided to skip a drink as I was both driving and a little sleepy after a long week. Mrs. Portlandeater eventually ordered a Congo Square Zombie – anejo rum, light and dark rum, pineapple, passionfruit and lime juices, angostura bitters. That sounded good to me, but I still opted out. She got her libation quickly and we slowly scrubbed the menu for the best possible eats. The bartender also described the specials which hung from a board on the wall and included a good selection of local beers. Usually I find myself focused on choosing from a few items that grab my attention, but their menu was full of food that looked both adventurous and delicious.

Among the items I considered ordering initially were Charbroiled Oysters, a Pimento Cheeseburger, and the Spicy Korean Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich. I kept looking past those however, continuing to search for the night’s final selection. I knew it when I came to it, Deviled Eggs – three bacon, three Sriracha – to start. Then I wanted the Nashville Hot Chicken and Side with white bread and pickles. I chose the Mac and Cheese as my side for an extra buck. The chicken came with the message “Warning: This dish is painfully spicy; Order at your own risk!” I jumped on that risk with reckless abandon. My wife went with one piece of the Nashville hot chicken – reckless abondon included – and then threw in Hand Cut Fries and Cornbread – ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

As our requests got sent to the back, we discussed our busy week and observed the happenings around us. The restaurant was a cozy, little place and it’s diminutive size was a partial explanation for why it always seemed packed. The place settings included a great selection the standard hot sauce favorites – Tobasco, Texas Pete’s, Sriracha. The staff were running around getting everyone’s orders to them in a timely manner and it appeared that at least one novice server was in training mode. Despite my non-order of a beverage, the bartender had some good suggestions for others who pulled up to the bar for a drink and was able to describe them well.

Before long, my little devils came out and I was ready to get egg into my face. The bacon variety had a little piece of bacon sticking out of them and the sriracha were topped with a bit of pickled onion. I started with a bacon, shoving the entire thing into my mouth. The inch-or-so piece of pork somewhat overpowered the egg. It was undoubtedly good, but the pickled flavor in the yolk filling was drowned out slightly by the bacon. It’s hard to argue with the smokey swine, but I was hoping to get a little more fill flavor. Next I tried a sriracha egg. That one was beautiful with just the right amount of the hot and sweet red sauce. A more balanced flavor than the bacon, I thought it was awesome. Even though it’s tough to miss with sriracha, they played it perfectly and those were the sure winner on the plate.


Once the eggs were done, I had the plate taken away and we waited a bit for our meals. I wasn’t starving any more after the starter, so the extra wait was no big deal. When the food came out, I had one slice of bread, two pieces of chicken, and four pickles all held in a stack with a large toothpick. I also had a large bowl of mac and cheese with it. That was good, because I love me some mac and cheese. My wife had the one piece of chicken with bread and pickles, two sizable pieces of cornbread, and a pile of the fries. It was time to get to work.

I took my fork and knife and got into the fiery fowl, grabbing a piece of the meat and skin together. It was juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, truly hot, and had an almost unnoticeable sweetness from being brined in sweet tea overnight.  I couldn’t think of anything wrong with it. It was a first class example of the burning bird. After that, I switched to the mac which came with a spoon; is is weird that I prefer eating macaroni with a spoon? Al dente without remorse, the cheddar cheesy, buttery covering gave the dish all it needed. I remembered how much I loved to eat boxed mac and cheese as a kid. This was what happened when someone tried to mimic that 25 cent box using real, delicious ingredients. It brought back my childhood joy and multiplied it many times over. I followed it up with a bread and butter pickle to wash it down.

Next, I wanted to try my wife’s food. Looking past the chicken, she offered me an entire piece of cornbread. It was cut into a wedge, huge, heavy, and cake-like. It was definitely different than any cornbread I’d ever had – more buttery, more moist, and almost a soft pudding-like base. It’s probably unfair to compare it to the traditional stuff, but this was the best thing I’d ever had called “cornbread”. After that, I took a fry to try. They were fine, but I was completely distracted by my previous bite of corn concoction.


We continued to eat our meals. Each of us had a small fit of coughing at one point due to the spicy chicken, which got hotter and hotter as we ate. Toward the end, I started to sweat, probably from a combination of eating so much food and the hot, hot heat of the chick. We worked hard to finish all our food and I would have been comfortable leaving, but the wife had a hankering for dessert. There were three available and we went with the Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with bourbon butter sauce. Bourbon makes everything better, so once we decided on that, I sort of changed my stance on a sweet finale.

The bread pudding came out and we both put our forks to it. It was drenched in the sauce and covered in whipped cream. I tried to get all the parts in a single bite. Holy mackerel! It was warm and gooey and the sauce was over the top. When I took my succeeding bites, I made sure to get extra bourbon butter on them and the wonderful whiskey shined through in a way that left me wanting a glass of it. This was good stuff, the kind that could cause you to waddle out the door if you ate too much of it, but also the kind that leaves a smile on the face long after dinner is done.


With the last bits of dessert down the hatch, it was time to make our way to another dimension outside the restaurant. The meal came to $70 bucks after tax and tip. These days in Portland, anything under $100 after tip is is pretty low end price-wise, so our tab was super reasonable. Here’s the scoop on Hot Suppa – they’re absolutely awesome. The combination of service at the bar, cozy atmosphere, and really excellent food undoubtedly made this one of the restaurants I will return to regularly. Everything was so good, I have no doubt I could eat their chicken, mac or pretty much any of their food all day long without trouble. They’re open for three meal per day most of the week, so maybe that’s how many I’ll eat there next time I go.

Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater releases a new blog entry by clicking the “follow” button on the right side of this page after entering your email address directly above it. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter. You can now also find me at pppe.bangordailynews.com.

Sapporo – Sushi Central


Right in the heart of touristy street walking on Commercial sits an unassuming Japanese restaurant. Though I’d seen it busy on many occasions and walked by it probably 1000 times, I never had it in my mind to actually go in and eat there. But with my kitchen in pre-renovation shambles and a hungry wife craving some sushi, we thought a trip to Saporro might be just what we needed. She had been, so it wasn’t totally new to her, but would still have a little essence of newness since her last visit was years ago. We headed there on a Monday, which isn’t a day we usually go out, ready to eat some fine Japanese tidbits.

We walked into the restaurant and I marveled at the tiny space. A waitress greeted us and quickly took us to another room which was at least the same size as the one we walked into, removing the quaint atmosphere feeling I had when entering. We sat down and took a look at the menu. I was reminded by it how odd of a human I am when it comes to sushi. I wished I didn’t have such a distaste for raw fish and avocado and an aversion to chopsticks, but unfortunately, I was born that way. Luckily, as is always the case, Sapporo seemed to have at least some items of cooked and vegetable sushi.

I moved through the menu looking for something that stood out. I had a bit of teriyaki chicken running through my head, but I decided I wanted something a little more exciting. Then I saw the Yaki-Tori – grilled chicken and vegetable skewers. I thought that might be an novel way to begin my meal. My wife said she was going to start with some Miso Soup and Seaweed Salad – a variety of shredded and marinated seaweed. It was off to the races to figure our our main courses and we were both looking at some sushi, even though she also considered, as I did, the teriyaki clucker.

When the waitress came to take our orders, I asked for silverware and then we put in our apps and went with some rolls. I had the Umukyu – Plum paste and Cucumber Rolls and also the Fried Tuna Roll – deep fried tuna with wasabi mayo. My wife went with the spicy tuna roll, which is a favorite of hers, and also ordered a riesling. The waitress left to bring the orders to the sushi chefs and I noticed that the restaurant was starting to get pretty busy. It was a little surprising for a Monday night, but I supposed people needed to eat on Mondays too.

The wine came quickly, but otherwise service was slow and it was confirmed by our waitress that the rush had them scrambling. I finally received my chicken skewers, though my wife remained seated with only vino and her thoughts. Chicken, scallion, chicken, onion, chicken, red pepper. Nicely grilled and sizable, the chicken and veggies were topped with teriyaki sauce and a significant amount of the sweet, brown liquid also sat at the bottom of the plate. I grabbed some chicken and then scallion, dipping and dragging them through the puddle before consuming them. The starter reminded me of something I might have made in college if I had had a grill. The skewered bits with teriyaki topping were simple, but pretty tasty.


After a few minutes of skewer madness, I had only two empty sticks and some sauce left. It was a while before we got the rest of our food, but when we finally did, it all came out at once. I poured some soy sauce into my little bowl and got to eating. I started with my umekyu. Wasabi on fork, fork into roll, roll into soy, roll into mouth, eat, consume pickled ginger. My sushi ritual was complete for piece number one. I was a little surprised by the sour plum paste, thinking I might have preferred just plain cucumber rolls, but there was something about the roll that I did enjoy. Maybe it was the change of pace from my usual cucumber rolls that provided a bit of a smile to my face.

As I worked on the sushi, I came upon two issues of minor concern. The first was that there was just barely enough pickled ginger to go with my plum and cuke rolls. Next time I’ll be sure to ask for more as I would have liked some for my tuna too. The other issue was that the wasabi was cut too weakly; it just wasn’t quite hot enough for me. I wanted a bit of that “scorch your nostrils and eradicate your tastebuds” sort of feeling I’m used to with the hot, green Japanese paste. I wanted to cough with tears running down my face while people around me gave that knowing look and I tried to catch my breath. I used a little extra on my rolls and it sufficed, but it wasn’t ideal.

Once I worked my way through the first rolls, I took the midnight train to tuna town. The fried rice and tuna roll was bland on its own, but I dipped a piece in the wasabi mayo that came with it. It added a creamy seasoning that took the sushi to some great places. Not very spicy, but still a nice addition, the mayo added a layer of flavor that worked well with the seafood. The outside crunch from frying provided a little extra touch. I crunched and munched the rolls, adding a dose of wasabi to every bite in order to get some heat through the cool sauce.


My wife made her way through the soup and some of the salad, moving on to the sushi which she seemed to enjoy. Once I finished my rolls, I ate the rest of her seaweed and it was about what I figured it would be. I enjoy a good seaweed salad here and there and it fit the bill. She offered me some of the raw tuna, but I shook my head and gave a “No!”. She finished the sushi and we passed on dessert when asked. I was still a bit hungry, but figured I’d grab a snack at home.


Our meal came to $40 before tip which was quite reasonable, especially since it included an $8 glass of wine. I liked my food, though I would have appreciated a more spicy, harsh wasabi and the service could have been a bit speedier. The rolls were good and my starter was basic, though worth the four bucks it cost. Sapporo has been around for a while and there seem to be a steady stream of patrons rolling in. I think they could improve a few minor items, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. I felt they had a solid menu, good food, and a pleasant atmosphere. Go grab some rolls or a teriyaki of some kind and report back.

Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater releases a new blog entry by clicking the “follow” button on the right side of this page after entering your email address directly above it. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter. You can now also see me at pppe.bangordailynews.com.

Christopher Kimball 50% off promo code

Christopher Kimball will be appearing at the State Theater Thursday, September 8 at 7:30 and you can now get 50% off tickets to the event by using promo code MSK50.

To get tickets:

1. Start here: http://www.statetheatreportland.com/event/1235107-christopher-kimball-live-portland/

2. Click through to buy tickets and then select promotions and special offers when you get to Ticket Type.

More about Christopher Kimball and his appearance:

Spend an evening with Christopher Kimball, founder of America’s Test Kitchen and, most recently, Milk Street Kitchen. Participate in a live audience taste-test to discover whether you are a super-taster. Enjoy rare blooper footage including a disastrous Today Show appearance and Mr. Kimball’s TV moment as Carmen Miranda! And watch live experiments on stage as we magically whip egg whites to 50x their volume, drop Jell-O in slow motion to explore the science of gels, and demonstrate the theory of parallel universes using Angel Food Cake!

This is also an evening to share your cooking problems and memories with Mr. Kimball as he answers questions from the audience and invites audience members onto the stage to compete in a culinary quiz ($100 prize!). Plus, we smack down conventional cooking wisdom, reveal the worst ingredient substitutions ever made by home cooks, and go behind-the-scenes in Mr. Kimball’s Vermont hometown.

A limited number of premium tickets are available for each show which entitle the holder to a meet and greet with Mr. Kimball plus a personalized book signing for The Cook’s Bible and The Dessert Bible.

Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater releases a new blog entry by clicking the “follow” button on the right side of this page after entering your email address directly above it. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter.