As a birthday gift from David, I simply told him that I would like to go out somewhere on a free day that we had. I didn’t really need anything; I just wanted a nice day out. When it came to choosing a place to go, I realized that I had never really experienced Portland, Maine. I’ve been there to run the Maine half or full marathon, but never explored the city. So that’s where we went.
We could not have asked for a nicer day yesterday too. It was sunny and in the mid 50s.
To start the afternoon, David and I went to Duck Fat for lunch. I had heard great things about their fries and their overall menu. It was crowded when we arrived, but the wait was only for 15 minutes.
The set up inside the restaurant was very communal. There were two big tables of 8 chairs, a small bar and a long communal bar along the wall. To eat here, you have to be ok with sitting thisclose to other people. But they do keep you occupied while you’re staring at the wall.
For drinks, David and I both requested their craft sodas: I had the mint and lime, he had the birch beer. It took a while for the soda’s came out and they were in little ball mason jars. David complained that his was mostly ice.
For entrees, we ordered the Belgian fries with truffle ketchup and garlic mayo, David ordered the roasted pork belly panini with pickled fennel, shaved apple and horseradish mayo, and I had the ham and Swiss panini. Well, that’s what I ordered, but apparently the server heard grilled cheese. When they brought our dishes out, they took mine back but left David’s. I encouraged him to eat, while I snacked on the fries.
As the name of the restaurant implies, these are cooked in duck fat. They made the fries more soggy and I couldn’t really discern a different flavor made by the duck fat. The truffle ketchup was delicious! But I guess I like my fries with a bit more crunch.
After about 5 minutes or so, I finally received my ham and Swiss panini.
For all of the hoopla I felt that surrounded the restaurant, I was a bit underwhelmed with it all. Don’t get me wrong, the panini was cheesy, crunchy and full of ham, but it wasn’t mind blowing. Thankfully, because of the mix up, our server took it off of our bill. But in the end, I probably wouldn’t seek this place out again. Some people may rave about its food and atmosphere, but it’s just not my type of place. I think once is enough.
Duck Fat is located on 43 Middle Street in Portland, ME.
After the restaurant, the only other place that I wanted to check out was Holy Donut…donuts made from Maine mashed potatoes. But apparently it is SUPER popular, especially on this holiday weekend, because when we arrived around 1pm, they were all sold out. Whomp whomp. They did give us two coupons for a free donut so next time we’ll be there bright and early!
Since we had some time to kill before we were going to meet my cousin, David and I drove around for a bit. Then we got the idea to meet my cousin where she worked so that David could get a hair cut. After that we headed down to the Old Port to walk around.
Even though I was full from Duck Fat, David was still a bit hungry. We ended up popping in to Buck’s Naked BBQ and Gritty McDuff’s.
At Buck’s David ordered some pulled pork and pulled brisket for us to share. I also ordered a Buxton IPA (I’m pretty sure that’s the name?). At Gritty’s, David had a French onion soup and I had the Red Claw IPA. That beer was delicious. It was smooth and had a bit of a caramel flavor to it.
Once my cousin, Angie, was done with work, we met up for some frozen yogurt.
I had the blood orange with mini chocolate chips, sliced almonds and toasted coconut. Yum! And the prices were so much more reasonable than Pinkberry: $3 for a huge small!
We hung around for a bit before David and I had to head back to Massachusetts. I hadn’t seen Angie in over a year so it was wonderful to catch up.
And that was my birthday day! After all of the cruddy weekends we’ve had, it was so nice to finally have beautiful weather. And wonderful company.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!