Monthly Archives: June 2018

There is one more lobster restaurant in Portland but there are never enough

I’m of the opinion that there can never be too many good seafood restaurants in town. While Maine Lobster Shack on Fore St. isn’t right on the coast, it’s close enough to feel the part and its April opening added another spot for both locals and tourists to choose from when thinking about where to get their seafood fix.

We took a trip to MLS on a beautiful Friday night and chose to sit outside. It was quiet in the Old Port and the restaurant wasn’t particularly busy, so the scene was quite serene. We were provided with both drink and food menus. Never having been and not knowing what to expect, I was surprised by the size of the menu, expecting purely lobster-based items, but there was a full offering of Maine seafood specialties.

There were plenty of beer, wine, and liquor options, but she stuck with a soda water and lime while I just had a standard, oft underappreciated water. The food menu started with soups/chowders, oysters, steamers, fried seafood, and shrimp and crab items. Lobster, rolls, and salads came next, followed by plates, mac and cheese, and sandwiches.

it was either a lobster roll or some fried seafood for me and since my wife wanted a roll, I went with the fried. There were clams (whole belly or strips), oysters, scallops, or calamari from which to choose. I went with Scallops (served with tartar or cocktail sauce), but the fried seafood was considered a starter and didn’t come with sides, so I also ordered Coleslaw and Onion Rings. She picked the Naked Lobster Roll – pure lobster meat on a roll served w/ fries and coleslaw and side of drawn butter and mayo.

When the food came out, I immediately thought that the portion sizes were fair. There were eight large scallops ($16) and at $4 each, the sides were plentiful. My wife’s roll was quite full, though I expected it to be for $22.50. We requested silverware and tartar sauce for me and took the ketchup from the basket of condiments, each squirting a fair allotment of the tomato-based flavorer in our baskets.

Once I had the proper utensils and sauces, I snagged a scallop. The lightly breaded, cylindrical mass of seafood was mildly seasoned, fresh, and perfectly sweet. Its natural flavors shined and paired perfectly with the tartar sauce when I chose to dip them in that. The coleslaw was mayo based and the onion rings had heavy breading. They were both solid – not far out of the ordinary, but well made and an appropriate compliment to fried seafood.

My wife’s roll was grilled. I don’t remember ever having a roll with plain lobster meat, though plenty of locations offer them. I took a bite and was impressed. The meat was fresh and tender and I confirmed there was plenty of it in there. The roll gave just a little butter flavor. It was definitely a healthier lobster roll than most if you’re into that sort of thing.

All the food got finished and my hunger was fully satiated. Maine Lobster Shack turned out to be an excellent place to eat and the outdoor seating in nearly perfect Maine weather led to an outstanding experience. Their menu is robust enough that one could make many visits there before eating the same item twice. If you like oysters, fried seafood, and lobster rolls, they’ve got what you want and much more beyond that.

I wouldn’t say that Maine Lobster Shack is the best at any one thing, but they performed well with everything we had. They seem to have a solid grasp on casual seaside fare and the Fore St. location really is a fun, central spot in the Old Port. Have beers and oysters outdoors, lobster rolls and fries indoors, or whatever combo of atmosphere and seafood you want. I think you’ll find a pleasant experience without any wanting for more when you’re through.

425 Fore St.
207-835-0700
mainelobstershack.com

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Decadent brunch is everything you want it to be

Its awning still reflects the name of its previous incarnation, but a much more visible sign removes any question about who now resides there. The Sinful Kitchen on Brighton Ave., opened two years ago, serves brunch six hours per day (8-2) seven days per week. A little too close to Westbrook to be convenient, we figured it would be worth the trip anyhow to try someplace new. When we got there, we were at the mercy of those who had actually made reservations.

After a short wait, we were informed there was a single table left by the kitchen and were promptly seated. Mrs. Portlandeater and I both considered a beverage, taking a close look at the Mimosa and Bloody Marys since it was a little too early for whiskey. Instead, we kept it classy by ordering twin Nitro Cold Brew coffees which arrived in Mason jars.

The menu was impressive in both its variety and unique offerings. I first noticed the El Diablo Omelet – jalapenos, ghost pepper chesse, and side of ghost pepper sausage. I did want to try it, but just in case the warning below it was accurate, I passed. It wasn’t just too early for whiskey; it was also too early for burning mouth.

Another incredibly tempting option was the Peanut Butter Cup Waffle with chopped Reese’s, chocolate and peanut butter sauces and whipped cream. That sounded like the best dessert/brunch ever, but I really wanted to avoid something so sugary sweet. A specials menu offered Lobster Poutine, Braised Brisket Omelet, and Chorizo Hash which all would have been excellent choices.

My final selection was the Braised Brisket Omelet – tender beef brisket, roasted red peppers, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and Swiss cheese, with home fries and English muffin. She ordered the Egg White Scramble – egg whites, turkey sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, baby spinach, and parmesan cheese, with home fries and wheat toast. She held the cheese, which I thought to be a poor choice.

As we were waiting for our food we saw the peanut butter cup waffle ready in the server pick-up area. It looked like everything I expected and was pure peanut butter art. It ended up in front of a child at a table near us who asked for syrup, received it, and then promptly sent it back because the waffle was already sweet enough without. I was a tad jealous.

Our food arrived just as my coffee jitters started. My omelet looked a little thin at first glance, but brisket and veggies were peeking out of it. The potatoes appeared to be perfectly grilled and my English was crispy. My wife’s scramble was sizable and full of color. I took a large bite of the omelet and was thrilled. The lean brisket was plentiful as were the veggies and cheese. It was both hearty, tasty, and well balanced.

I tried the potatoes which were indeed brilliantly prepared including a top notch seasoning. I blended some ketchup and sriracha for them which gave the few I dipped in a little extra kick. My wife enjoyed her egg mass and even left me a few taters at the end which I was happy to consume. We finished our food and requested the bill.

Our total came to about $37 before tip. We thought it to be a great breakfast and with all the interesting items on the menu, I look forward to going back a bunch more and trying some of their other great options. It doesn’t matter whether you like sweet, savory, or spicy, The Sinful Kitchen has something that will certainly please you. I’m so glad I finally got to experience it for myself.

906 Brighton Ave.
207-536-0611
thesinfulkitchen.com

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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 also find over 50 articles archived at pppe.bangordailynews.com.