It doesn’t happen often, or at least not as often as I would like, but we found ourselves with no plans this past Saturday. Knowing that we would be house bound with some projects on Sunday, we wanted to get out of the house for a bit. While I like to hunker down, I’m not a true homebody. I get antsy quickly if I stay in too many days in a row. Fortunately, my husband shares my love of going out, although he can also successfully hunker for days on end. He’s multifaceted.
Enjoying the early spring weather that we’ve been experiencing in Maine this year, we headed into Portland for the afternoon. Temperatures were hovering just below 50 degrees so it was perfect weather to wander, and I was craving a lobster roll. For me, lobster rolls are best enjoyed sitting at a picnic table overlooking the ocean, but even with the unseasonably warm weather, outside seating was still not an option so instead we headed to Eventide Oyster Co. for their amazing Brown Butter Lobster Roll. While normally I’m a purist when it comes to my lobster rolls – hot dog bun, lobster meat, and plain drawn butter – Eventide has created something truly wonderful. The brown butter adds just the right touch and elevates the lobster roll to another level. I had only had it once before, at the Allagash Street Fair last summer, and I was looking forward to another taste.
We arrived around 1:00 pm on Saturday afternoon and, since we had done no prior planning, there was an hour and a half wait for seats. Now, normally we would just head somewhere else since there are so many great options in Portland, but I really, really wanted a lobster roll. We probably picked a good weekend to head to Eventide Oyster Co. In Kathleen Pierce’s online article from Wednesday, March 15, 2016, Eventide Oyster Co. gets James Beard nod second year in a row, I read that Eventide Oyster Co. chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley are up for best chef Northeast. Eventide is probably not going to be getting less busy anytime soon!
Fortunately, Eventide introduced us to the best thing ever: the TableUp App! We gave our name and cell number to the hostess, and she texted us a link to TableUp where we could track our progress in the queue, which allowed us to go wherever we wanted while waiting rather than hovering by the entrance.
We tried to grab a drink in a few of the nearby restaurants, but everything on Middle Street was full, so instead we walked down to the waterfront, and went to Flatbread Company for a drink at their bar. We periodically checked the TableUp App, which let us know where we were in the queue. When there were only two parties left in front of us, Eventide texted us to head back to the restaurant for our table which provided plenty of time to clear out our tab at Flatbreads, and walk back up to Eventide.
When we got back to Eventide, they sat us immediately at some seats at the bar. The seats were on the end, which was even better as I could lean against the wall and watch everything happening inside the restaurant. It’s a busy place with lots of activity. We ordered a couple more beers, and the much anticipated lobster rolls. They did not disappoint. They are on the small size, but we were not exceptionally hungry so they were fine for us. Keep that in mind though, if you’re a little hungrier you may want to order two, although at $14 each it could get pricey.
After lunch, we headed back to the waterfront to check out a few of the shops. We were only window shopping, but I did find a great rug on clearance at Company C. Not sure my husband was as excited as I was since he had to run the purchase back to our car, or carry it around for the afternoon which was an even less fun option. We went into a few other shops along Commercial Street, including LeRoux Kitchen, where I picked up some fun little Easter basket items, and then Edgecomb Potters which is one of my favorite stores to browse. I try to get up to their main store in Edgecomb at least once a year.
We walked back up to Exchange Street where we picked up some donuts from The Holy Donut to take home, and then we made one final stop into Vena’s Fizz House which is on our list of places we want to try. It looks like a fun destination and, since they have a large selection of non-alcoholic drinks, in addition to their alcoholic options, it’s a place we’ll be able to come back to on a family outing.
It was so nice to just wander around the Old Port, with no destination in mind, and no deadlines forcing us to rush from place to place. Hopefully, we’ll find a few more free Saturday’s in our future.
|things to know|
|Eventide Oyster Co.||86 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101|
|Website||Eventide Oyster Co. Website|
|Flatbread Company||72 Commercial St #5, Portland, ME 04101|
|Website||Flatbread Company Website|
|Favorite ♥||Brown Butter Lobster Roll|