Having Lunch at Tomaso’s Canteen in Portland while Shopping Local

One dollar jello shots and three dollar craft cans were on special to celebrate the first anniversary of Tomaso’s Canteen in Portland this past Saturday. But, it wasn’t the bargain pricing that I noticed, but rather the eclectic mix of beverages on the menu generating both a dive bar and more upscale neighborhood hangout feel all at the same time.

I was out shopping for Small Business Saturday, and only stopped in for a quick bite between local shopping destinations, so I didn’t get the full bar experience but was able to scope things out for future outings. It’s a cozy, narrow space with a long bar running the length of one side and a single row of table seating along the other. Continue reading

A Hot Night at the Portland Lobster Company

There are about three nights during the summer that are stifling hot. I don’t have air conditioning at my house which is by choice. While there are many warm summer days, I have an abundance of windows which usually provide a nice breeze and, along with a few fans, is enough to keep me relatively cool and happy. But, there are those few random days each summer when I feel like I’m going to melt. On a recent Friday, when after doing something as simple as washing the dishes I was sweating as if I had dug a six foot trench, I knew we’d hit one of those days. I was drenched and desperately looking for a way to cool off.

What to do on such a hot day? Head into Portland and grab dinner at one of their many outside venues, and hope for an encounter with a lovely ocean side breeze. We hadn’t been to the Portland Lobster Company yet this season, and a hot night seemed like the perfect time to enjoy this fun summer outside destination. It’s one of my favorites, but things have been hectic and the timing hadn’t worked before now. Continue reading

#atozchallenge | Y is for Yelp and Best Happy Hour Destinations in Portland, Maine

On a recent outing into Portland, and in an attempt to finish prepping my a-z blog challenge posts, we let Yelp be out guide for the night. It’s important to point out a few things before diving into this post:

  • You can get extremely different Yelp results just by making slight modifications to your search criteria. “Happy Hour Cheap” and “Happy Hour Fun”, not surprisingly, don’t give you the same results. This was helpful to us, as we could manipulate our searches to make sure we liked the results we were seeing. We had to maintain some control over the night.

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Bull Feeney's

St. Patrick’s Day Fun in Portland, Maine

While we have always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, it has been a long time since we celebrated with a night on the town. Our more recent St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have been focused more on a semi-traditional home cooked meal of corned beef and green mashed potatoes. (We don’t do cabbage in our house.) But, this year, we decided the time was right to head into Portland so that my husband could listen to Irish music and drink Guinness in the company of other happy St. Patrick’s Day participants.

My husband is only half-Irish, but he leans towards those genetics and absolutely loves Irish music. The St. Patrick’s Day activities offered so many great opportunities to catch live Irish music which was our deciding factor in heading out for the night. Continue reading

7 Differences between Austin, Texas and Portland, Maine

I spent this past week down in Austin, Texas for a work conference. It was my first visit to the area and while the majority of my time was spent inside a hotel attending conference related events, there were a few things that I was able to enjoy in Austin, that would not have been possible if I had been back home in Maine.

Seven things I would not have been able to do in Maine:

1) Eat Outside. I enjoyed an al fresco lunch soaking in the sunshine. I was in Austin in early March, when things are still relatively chilly in Maine.While eating outside is something that I love to do during the summers in Maine, even with the unseasonably warm winter we’ve had this year, dining outside is not really an option in March. But, it did get me excited for the warmer weather heading our way. Continue reading