Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | January 22, 2011

Portland, Maine

Last weekend I had a four day weekend. days. It was absolutely lovely. Since I knew I’d have more free time to spare than usual, I asked Steve to join me on a day trip to Portland, Maine. I’d only been to Maine once before in my life when I was 13 and with my family in Bar Harbor. It wasn’t our typical beach vacation, and being the typical teenager I was, I could not appreciate the national parks and beautiful nature that surrounded us.

10 years later, I was ready to give Maine a second chance. I had heard of Portland Maine being a cute port town and as I researched more about it, I discovered all there was to explore. Restaurants featuring local food, shops, microbreweries, bakeries…need I say more?! My good friend from college, Chris, or as we call him, Topher, joined us on this excursion and we were more than happy to have him come along.

We left Boston at 9:30 Sunday morning. A mandatory stop at DD for coffee before we hit the road. The rule is don’t talk to Topher until he has his coffee :). Many early morning laughs in the car while Topher showered us with his sarcastic humor, he could not get over how many people are up and about at 9:30am on a Sunday morning. “If I were mayor, I would make a law mandating everyone to stay in their beds until 11 am.” No better way to start off your morning than with a dose of Topher and many laughs.

We arrived at “Old Port” at 11:30 am.

We walked the streets when we first arrived, up and down the cobblestone streets with shops galore. We loved the artsy craft and jewelry stores and the cheesy tourist shops.

We had already worked up an appetite and decided it was time for lunch. We ran into The Farmer’s Table which I had seen mentioned on Jess’s post on Portland.

The menu looked awesome, featuring local comfort foods. After a hard decision on whether to order brunch or lunch food, I decided on a local fried haddock sandwich on a homemade potato roll with local greens and tomato and homemade tartar sauce. Oh, and did I mention it was served with the most delicious hand cut fries ever?! They were definitely sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Steve got a bowl of haddock chowdah.

Topher approved. He got a hearty bowl of tomato soup with goat cheese and croutons.

We then took a walk over to the harbor.

We tried to take a tour of the Shipyard brewery but they were closed. Bummer! I loved the humongous sign on their building though.

We continued on…I had to stop in Two Fat Cats Bakery because of a personal connection…

Meet my fat cat and love of my life: Whiskers.

In Whiskers’ honor, I bought a cupcake from Two Fat Cats. Chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting. Super moist. Just how I like them!

We spent a while in Rabelais, a bookstore selling books on food and drink. Cookbooks everywhere! I was in heaven. I also read about this bookstore on Jess’s blog, thanks Jess! I couldn’t leave without buying a book so I bought The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball. A book on sustainable food PLUS a love story?! My two favorite things. Can’t wait til I finish my current book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, to read it.

The owner of Rabelais was great, he gave us suggestions on how to spend the rest of out afternoon. We took his recommendation to hang out in Novare Res Bier Cafe for the late afternoon until we were ready for dinner.

With a menu of over 100 different beers, Novare Res offers craft brews, as well as beer from Belgium, Germany, and the UK. We had a great time here sharing laughs, each others company, and tasting beer.

Topher gave it a thumbs up.

I really enjoyed my winter holiday brew.

For dinner, we headed to Flatbread suggested by my cousin Emily. They pride themselves on using fresh, local, organic ingredients and specialize in their wood-fired oven pizzas.

Steve and I split an awesome goat cheese salad.

I ordered a veggie pizza with mushrooms, olives, sun dried tomato, arugula, and mozzerella.

We left Portland at 8pm and drove back to they city. I can’t wait to go back to Portland again once the weather warms up. I hope to do a summer weekend getaway and stay in a bed and breakfast.

I leave you with my theme for our day in Portland…in the words of Flatbread: Think Good Thoughts.

Peace, love, and food,


Have you ever been to Portland, Maine? Did you try any good restaurants while you were there? Have you taken a fun day trip recently?



  1. i loved portland!! i went to a seafood restaurant (obviously!) but it wasn’t too great.. there was a great breakfast diner.. called Julie’s maybe?? seomthing liek that.. it was GREAT!! and there were some bangin’ ice cream shops too!

  2. Kara!!! wow wow many good eats. I’ve never been to Portland, but am convinced that I need to get up there! Also great to see you on Thursday. Would sincerely love to get lunch sometime; get to know you, ask some tips about future job hunt, hear your thoughts on first RD job. Let me know sometime! Have a great Sunday too!

  3. Thanks for the mention!! I’m so glad you got to go to Rabelais. That’s the SAME book I bought when I was there! Great minds must think alike.

    Love Flatbread. There’s one in Portsmouth NH if you are ever there, too. I’ll have to check out that cafe next time I go. I didn’t see it last time.

    Glad you enjoyed this beautiful city!

  4. What a fun weekend! We love Portland too. Its so easy to get to and such a great little city. Be sure to check out Flatbread in Somerville if you need a Flatbread fix!

  5. i’ve been to the flatbread in porstmouth, love their pizza! I’ve never been to portland but everyones visits keep reminding me that i need to plan a trip!

  6. I love that we were up in Portland the same weekend! I am definitely going to check out the Farmer’s Table next time I’m there!

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