Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our reports are typically of our lunchtime adventures. But everySaturday morning we "gird up our loins" for a trip to Hannaford's by having breakfast at Uncle Andy's, just over the Casco Bay Bridge in South Portland. Not only is the breakfast fare excellent, they are always ready to fill your special desires (I always insist on CRISP bacon). Specials are always offered, and the corned beef hash is home made, a welcome change from the typical canned stuff. I don't think you can stump them on any kind of omelets (including keilbasa and the occasional mexican beef & salsa omelet), and the abundant veggies in the Farmer's Scramble are great. Good variety of bread for toast, at least two choices of muffins, and Bear Claws: a wonderful pastry topped with sliced almonds--but unfortunately not always available. The atmosphere adds a lot. The staff and the other customers are all friendly--like going to a favorite aunt's for breakfast. They also serve lunches, and on occasion, dinner. The boiled dinner on St. Patrick's Day was good, not soggy, though the green icing on the cake was a bit much.

You always feel that time has stood still at Uncle Andy's - the prices are very reasonable (from about $1.50 for a pancake to $5.00 for a full egg/meat/toast meal), the counter and stools look to be the same as the ones your grandpa sat in, and Dennis, the proprietor, practices his stand up comedy routine on the customers - he's usually pretty funny!

Abby and Josie patiently await their breakfast fixin's in the car and heartily enjoy their feast of bacon, veggie sausage and eggs every Saturday.

Rating: consistently two thumbs and four paws up!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Long Horn Steakhouse, South Portland, Maine

We don't usually review chain restaurants, but this is an exception!

Long Horn Steakhouse in South Portland has a good reputation for steaks, and one of us really likes their Black and Blue Burger, but they have a scrumptious summer special: Strawberry Chicken Salad. It starts with a base of crisp greens, decked with grilled breast of chicken pieces, onions, goat cheese, mandarin oranges, grapes, candied pecans and, of course, sliced ripe strawberries, all topped with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. A steal at $9.99.

When the manager stopped at our table to ask if we were pleasedwith our lunches, we told him the only objection we had was that this was a summer special and suggested that a shift to blueberries might work when strawberry season is over.

Suggestion: If you go there for the steaks, order a strawberry salad to share with our party. You can take some of that steakhome in doggie bags! Speaking of doggie bags, our canine assistants didn't get a scrap of the salad! And we went back three days later for a repeat!

Run, don't walk, to Long Horn to sample this tremendous summer special - available through September only.

Rating: two thumbs up (no paws this time!)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

David's - Monument Square, Portland, ME

Another rainy day in Portland in the month of June...more time to go out to eat.

David's - in Monument Square, downtown Portland - was a great surprise! We had planned to go to the pub next door (Shay's), but they were completely filled with a waiting period of 15 to 20 minutes.

We went into David's and (the Hungrygals and two out-of-town guests) all had great meals at good prices:

No. 1: Pork medallions with mashed sweet potato and asparagus.
No. 2: Sirloin steak with cumin fried onion rings and vegetable.
No. 3: BBQ chicken salad, with blue cheese crumbles and assorted veggies.

The food was all excellent, reasonable, and presented well. The server went out of his way to make us comfortable, and despite a busy lunch crowd, the food was delivered quite quickly. Our canine assistants were especially pleased-- the portions were large so they had plenty of leftovers to enjoy! If they could have managed it, it would have been 8 paws up. We'll give David's a try for dinner, that's for sure!

Rating: two thumbs up; "eight" paws up!

Joe's Boathouse Review - South Portland, Maine

Recently, the Hungrygals visited a local eatery with a visiting relative from New Jersey, who also happens to possess a grand fondness for good food. With the rain a constant event during the month of June, what could be better activity than going out to eat? And so we decided to take our guest out for some good ol' Maine seafood!

Joe's Boathouse was our restaurant of choice. We'd recommend this establishment, even if the food was mediocre--and it isn't! The view of the harbor is great, and the ambience and service are just as good. Strong accent on seafood, of course, and we tried different dishes to everyone's satisfaction.

First, we split a ceasar salad 3 ways, and the kitchen was gracious enough to divide the salad into 3 separate dishes for dining ease; a nice touch. The salad was crisp, the dressing tasty. Next, we enjoyed two entrees - the Lemon Curry Scallops (scallops sauteed in lemon & curry and served over rice noodles) and the Ocean Catch Saute (mussels, scallops, haddock and shrimp sauteed in a marinara and served over pasta). Both dishes were outstanding, and we barely were able to save enough for our 4-legged assistants who were waiting at home! But we managed to bring them a few morsels, which they gobbled up instantly.

All of the lunch entrees are affordable, in the $10-$14 range. Ours were about mid-level in price.

A great place to take guests "from away" for a great Maine lunch...even if its raining. Rating: three thumbs up (thanks to our special guest) and two paws up!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wild Willy's Burger Review - May 09

When one of the Hungrygals was in a taxi recently, the driver pointed out a little
restaurant and said, "They used to make the best burgers in town."
He was happy to hear the loud praises of Wild Willie's - and that nothing has changed.

Located in what used to be a Dexter Shoe just off the Westbrook St exit in South Portland. The log cabin building is easy to spot. Handicapped accessible, too, a
nice feature.

Their burgers are made of Angus beef, but oh my, the Bison
Burgers (with a lot less fat) are incredibly good. We
both opted for the Buffalo Bill Bisonburger which is topped
with horseradish sauce, cheddar cheese, and mushrooms.
Our two assistants waiting in the car were lucky to get a taste!

The menu also includes steak sandwiches,chicken sandwiches,
fries (no transfat), onion rings, salads, chili,and a good selection
of beverages, including draft root beer!

It's not a fast food business, so you have to wait till your order
is individually prepared and delivered to your table. It is well worth the short wait.

I wish we had more than 4 thumbs and 2 paws for this place! Run, don't walk, to Wild Willy's for the best burger in town.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

GR DiMillo's

G&R DiMillo's Bayside -

Disappointing. The decorating, both outside and in, is bright and
cheerful. Gino, the owner, took the time to stop and chat at our table - a nice touch (we were the only ones there for lunch).

The food was okay, and while the sauce was on the sour side, it was still acceptable. The homemade pasta was good, but not exceptional, as we'd expected for homemade. The prices are somewhat hefty for lunch (our entrees that day -a gnocchi dish & chicken parm) were both about $13 - $14.

But the service! As the only diners present until we had finished our
entrees (another couple with their child came in later), this apparently placed too
much of a burden on the lone waitress. We sat with our empty
plates and glasses until we left the place. We were given complimentary canolli (left from a photo shoot), to enjoy amid
the dirty dishes. The bill finally arrived after one of us waved
wildly and called to the waitress, who seemed surprised that we were still there, as if she'd completely forgotten about us. Even then she didn't remove the dishes!

If the food had been outstanding, the cost of the meal would have been inconsequential. However, for "just okay" food and terrible service, the prices are simply way out of whack.

Our esteemed assistants, the Belgian and the Labrador, seemed to enjoy the leftovers. So- two thumbs down and two paws up for GR DiMillo's!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bruno's Restaurant in Portland

We believe the best Italian restaurant in Portland is Bruno's at Morrill's Corner. For starters, they have a good sized parking lot, a commodity in Portland!
You are greeted by the hostess, Jeannine, who escorts
you to your table decked with a linen cloth and fresh flowers. Jeannine provides spirited conversation as well as recommendations from the menu. Jodie, the efficient and effervescent server, is quick to bring the bread and drinks while customers peruse the menu.
The choices are mind-blowing both at lunch and dinner, everything from seafood to pasta. Our
two favorites for lunch: Pasta with red clam sauce (over linguine) and Chicken
Piccata served with rice. The stuffed mushrooms are to die for! Get a doggie bag--desserts are also
good, their specialty cheesecake (new flavor-of-the-month created by "Jim") is outstanding.

Prices are extremely affordable, with most lunch items around the $10 range.

Our two assistants, Abby and Josie, have yet to turn their noses up at our leftovers (chicken piccata is the favorite so far). The HungryGals and our four-legged assistants give Bruno's two thumbs up, and two paws waaay up!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

OHNO Cafe - Bracket St, Portland, ME

Perhaps one of Portland's better kept secrets is the OHNO Cafe on Brackett St (West End). The HungryGals have visited twice recently and were extremely pleased with the offerings. The OHNO cafe serves up freshly made soups, salads and sandwiches, including specials, daily. All items are very reasonably priced - with breakfast sandwiches in the $3-$4 range and lunch sandwiches & salads in the $7-$8 range.
On our first visit, we tried the flank steak sandwich which came on ciabatta bread. The steak was accompanied by bacon and a mild cheese; a side salad of spinach and carrots was served with the sandwich. We also tried the hanger steak & spinach salad with bleu cheese. Yum! The sandwich and the salad were both outstanding, fresh and delicious.
The OHNO cafe serves up homemade soup, so although the sandwich and salad were enough to share, we couldn't resist trying the creamy carrot and ginger soup. Fabulous! While the HungryGals lapped up the sweet & spicey soup with great vigor, our four legged assistants did not care for it. Apparently, ginger does not appeal to dogs (while almost everything else does). They very much approved of the flank and hanger steak, however.
The bottom line for the OHNO cafe: two thumbs up, two paws up!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Welcome to our first blog

Good day!

We, the Hungry Gals, love good food, and we'd like to share our experiences in Greater Portland, Maine with you. Please don't hesitate to chip in, agree or disagree with us!

We are not paid reviewers, and we will not usually cover chain restaurants. After all, we all have a pretty good idea of what the chains serve and how they serve it. But there is no shortage of independently owned restaurants in our area. Portland, Maine is a culinary mecca for food lovers!

Two of us are originally from New Jersey, and have been living in Maine for about 30 years. Our two assistants add an international flavor: a Labrador Retriever and a Belgian Shepherd. Not too fussy - so far, they've eaten everything but carrot soup! No, they do not get to join us inside at the table; however, they patiently await their share upon our return.

Welcome to our blog! We hope you will find it entertaining and helpful in your pursuit of Portland's culinary offerings.