March 4, 2010

Bar Guide

AMBER OLESEN

— By

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Derek Davis/Staff Photographer: Sara VanDeventer mixes a drink at Portland Pie Company in Scarborough. Photographed on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009.

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Derek Davis/Staff Photographer: Sara VanDeventer mixes a drink at Portland Pie Company in Scarborough. Photographed on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009.

SCARBOROUGH — With three locations, Portland Pie Company keeps growing.

Its first location opened in 1997. Eleven years later, the company has expanded in both store locations and menu items.

After originally specializing in flavored dough and gourmet pizzas, owners Steve Freese and Nat Getchell added appetizers, salads, sandwiches and desserts in a sit-down eatery venue with beer, wine and liquor. The company distributes its dough throughout New England, and opened its Scarborough location last year.

While some could claim the town already has enough pizza (and traffic), if Scarborough is going to be the home of Cabela's, there might as well be a decent place nearby to eat and drink.

The newest location is spacious, with tons of seating for large groups in the dining room. The bar holds 12 seats. Separated from the bar by a fireplace, the lounge area boasts another nine tables. With two televisions over the bar and one in the lounge, any spot you take is perfect for game watching. The decor is minimal, but the place is clean and the beer is cold. (I'm serious like, really cold. Two things turn me off more than anything: warm beer and plastic cups. You'll get neither of those here.)

Cold pint glasses serving up local brews such as Shipyard ($4), Sam Adams Octoberfest and Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat are available, along with Miller Lite ($3.50), Guinness ($5) and Bass Ale.

For bottled beer, you can choose Corona, Corona Light, Budweiser, Bud Light, Heineken ($4), Amstel Light, Michelob Ultra ($3.50), Twisted Tea and the ever popular PBR Pounders for just $2.50.

Wine is available by the glass or the bottle, and there is a decent selection, including Calatrava chardonnay ($6 glass/$16 bottle), Arbor Crest sauvignon blanc ($7/$22), Parker Station pinot noir ($9/$26) and Silver Palm cabernet ($8/$26).

I'm thrilled that there's a full bar here, because I have some friends who refuse to meet me out if they can't get a Jack on the rocks or a Vodka Tonic.

Portland Pie teamed up with Shipyard and offers a mug club; for $25 you can have 20 ounces of beer for the 16-ounce price. The total is applied to your frequent PIE-er program.

The frequent PIE-er is kinda brilliant because it's a card that gets swiped and, if you're a regular customer, you reap the benefits. For every $300 bucks spent, you get $25 dollars back, you get a free meal (up to $10) on your birthday and half-price bottles of wine Monday though Wednesday. Yeah, I might be down for that!

Have I mentioned how much I love pizza? I could eat it three times a day. Portland Pie pizza makes my mouth water; vegetarian, meat lovers, sauce-less and/or cheese-less versions, even gluten-free crust.

My favorites include the Harbormaster (barbecue chicken, caramelized onion and smoked bacon, $11.49 for a 10-inch) and the Great Diamond (no red sauce, garlic, olive oil and mozzarella cheese). Believe it or not, I married someone who doesn't like to eat pizza as much as I do (the nerve!), and he's a huge fan of the Penobscot (barbecue pork, red onion and cheddar cheese; $6.99 for a small, $8.49 for a large).

Portland Pie also features entrees such as lobster ravioli ($15.99) and a children's menu where everything is $4.99.

Living in Westbrook, we tend to gravitate towards that Portland Pie location. But now I know that the drive to Scarborough is totally worth it if I get a craving for a cold beer and a hearty pizza slice. My husband's going to be so thrilled ...

Amber Olesen is a freelance writer who lives in Westbrook.

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