July 31, 2011

And a few of our favorite things

From staff reports

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Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro has fans among readers and our staff.

Staff file photos

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Longfellow Books in Portland s Monument Square is the staff pick for best bookstore.

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BEST PIZZA

Portland Pie Co.

Various locations

portlandpie.com

The most important part of pizza is the dough. Portland Pie offers basil, beer, garlic, wheat and gluten-free, in thin crust or regular crust. All are flavorful with a substantial texture. Portland Pie has 15 pizzas named for Maine locations, with wonderful combinations including seafood, vegetarian and varieties of meat. If they don't do it, you can create your own. 

BEST FRIED CLAMS

Dolphin Marina & Restaurant

End of Basin Point Road, Harpswell

833-6000; dolphinmarinaandrestaurant.com

Food with a view. The Dolphin serves up awesome fresh seafood at the end of Harpswell Neck, with spectacular water and island views. The eatery just relocated to a new building on the same property with more seating and lots of windows. 

BEST WHOLE LOBSTER

Azure Cafe

123 Main St., Freeport

azurecafe.com

Remember when we said earlier that Freeport boasts award-winning restaurants? This is one of them. More specifically, it holds the title of Maine Lobster Chef of the Year by the Maine Lobster Promotion Council, and is in the running to defend its title during this year's competition in October. 

BEST LOBSTER ROLL

Red's Eats

Corner of Main and Water streets, Wiscasset

882-6128

Sure, the line is always long, but it's well worth the wait. Each lobster roll contains meat from more than one lobster, nestled in a toasted bun. Add drawn butter on the side and an order of Red's homemade onion rings, and you're in heaven. 

BEST BARBECUE

The SoPo

725 Broadway, South Portland

767-0130; thesopo.com

Despite a name change from Beale Street Barbeque, this South Portland eatery still serves up smokin' barbecued meats and spicy Cajun favorites. There's a great beer selection, and blues music always seems to be playing. 

BEST BAGEL

Scratch Baking Co.

416 Preble St., South Portland

799-0668; scratchbakingco.com

Incredible bagels that are chewy and crusty enough on the outside, but heavenly light on the inside. This lively neighborhood bakery in Willard Square has lots of other great treats as well. 

BEST HOT DOG

Hadlock Field

271 Park Ave., Portland

bit.ly/o9ghhl

There's a reason hot dogs are the most popular item at Hadlock's concession stands (tied with the wildly popular Sea Dog Biscuit). It doesn't matter what brand they serve at Sea Dogs games, hot dogs just taste better at a baseball game.

BEST BREAKFAST OR BRUNCH

The Good Table

527 Ocean House Road (Route 77), Cape Elizabeth

799-4663; thegoodtablerestaurant.net

The Good Table won the Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off two years in a row with its creme brulee French toast, but this ain't no fancy breakfast joint. Simple but delicious food, reasonable prices and a friendly staff are what bring people back for seconds. Try the Greek Soul Food. 

BEST BAR

Gritty McDuff's

396 Fore St., Portland (Freeport and Auburn locations as well)

772-2739; grittys.com

Maine is a beer-loving state, so it's fitting that a brew pub is the favorite bar. The superb beer is made on site. If you want a cocktail, a single-malt whisky or a glass of wine, you can get that too. The food is pub fare done well, with a Maine twist, and the service is quick and friendly. Regulars are greeted like friends, and newcomers soon feel like regulars. 

BEST SPORTS BAR

Rivalries Sports Pub and Grill

10 Cotton St., Portland

774-6044; rivalriesportland.com

Be it white-knuckle play-off time or just a midweek Red Sox game, Rivalries' two floors have all the action on countless TVs. It also offers a perfectly respectable menu of better-than-average nosh. 

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The Danforth in Portland gets the staff nod for best bed and breakfast.

  


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