Norm's is located on Congress Street, almost directly across from the Post Office, so at times parking can be a challenge. We lucked out, though, and got a spot almost right in front of the restaurant.
Since we were early, we had our pick of tables and chose a booth near the window for people-watching. The waitress came over and got our drink order right away (always a plus). We also asked her for something that wasn't on the menu: a portabello mushroom appetizer, grilled and dressed in balsamic vinegar. It's a treat that Norm's used to serve years ago but is no longer available...unless you ask, because the kitchen was more than happy to accommodate us (see photo). A yummy start.
My hungrygals companion ordered the meat pie (lamb and beef combo) and I got the grilled Rachel, which is basically a Reuben made with turkey instead of corned beef.
The meat pie looked more like a calzone than a pie. Guess we were expecting something more like a chicken pot pie or something, but despite being a bit hard to eat - it looks like something you can eat with your hands but really a knife and fork worked best - the ground beef and lamb mixture was very good. Warm, juicy and seasoned well, it was served atop a salad with a side of rice.
The Rachel was delicious. Norm's uses REAL sliced turkey, the kind you get at Thanksgiving, not the uber-processed, sodium-bomb type from the deli. The sandwhich, served on rye, was stacked high with saurkraut and moist, tender turkey. A sucker for cabbage of all kinds, I asked for a side of cole slaw too, which was crispy and sweet.
The meat pie took a bit long to cook, but the waitress warned us of that up front. Our bill came to $34 without tip. The four-legged hungrygals missed out on the portabello (mushrooms are on the do-not-feed-your-dog list) but they did enjoy the leftover beef/lamb from the pie and turkey from the Rachel.
Two thumbs and two paws up for Norm's!
Norm's Bar and Grill
617 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101