Wednesday Food: Bye Bye Portland

I'm back StellaBella fans!  Eric and I have finally waved bye-bye to our home for the last five years, Portland, ME.  Now, before I get too comfortable in my new city, I'd like to look back on Portland and talk about the hits, misses and good times I had there!

If you've been following the blog, you know I had some favorite places to eat at.  Portland's food scene is eclectic but can also be repetitive.  Once you get to know Mainers, you realize that they like what they like and they don't want to stray too far.  I began to notice that if a restaurant did well, there were many similar businesses to pop up soon after.  Does Portland really need 20 pizza places in the small downtown area?  So as we lived there, we had to weed out our favorite places to grab a bite.

Since we are on the subject, let's start with pizza.  There were two places that are at the top of my list for pizza.  Bonobo Wood Fired Pizza........

Delicious, wood fired pizza made with local ingredients.  Even just walking by was good enough for me because I could smell the wood fired oven and it would comfort me.  The other place that unfortunately, I did not get to write about, but I DO have pictures to share is Micucci's!

Micucci's is an Italian delicatessen, market and wholesaler.  And they happen to make the most unique pizza I've ever had.  They call them Sicilian Slabs and they pump this delicious pizza out fresh all week long.  Depending on how busy it is you may have to wait for the slabs to come out of the oven for up to 15-20 minutes.  This is the freshest pizza you'll ever find!  A fluffy and airy crust and an ever so slightly sweet tomato sauce top off this awesome lunch!

I won't spend too much time on my next favorite place because I have said SSOO many good things about it already.  El Rayo Taqueria!  Food so good and authentically Mexican that the owners frequently go to different regions in Mexico to learn new cooking styles and methods.  I will miss you El Rayo and it will be hard to find another restaurant with as much commitment to it's food, employees, community and local charities as you have displayed!

A restaurant I did not get to talk about but went to quite a few times was a place called Silly's.  A classic New England funky joint.  The one thing that throws me off about this place is the menu.  It's so huge that I always have the hardest time figuring out what I want.  But I never have a problem ordering their Sangria!  Honestly there isn't a thing I would recommend because everything has been delicious.  You really can never go wrong!

One place that Eric and I will miss very much is called The Bayou Kitchen.  Normally, we stick to making breakfast ourselves because we couldn't find a breakfast place that could outdo Eric's crazy scrambles and omelets. (Let's just say Eric can do wonders with eggs and leftovers!)  And then we came across Bayou Kitchen.  Delicious scrambles and Huevos Rancheros made us love the crap out of this place!  Even if we had to wait 30 minutes outside in a Maine winter morning, it was always worth it.  Once you sit down, get a delicious cup of coffee and start eating, you'll forget how cold you were and be content with the world again.  Best breakfast in Portland!

And now for a couple of things that I never got to experience but would have loved to (some food related and some not).  Which means if you get the chance you must check it out!

- Portland Farmers' Market - I know, you'd think I would be all over a farmers' market but the way our schedules worked, we never would have gotten there or the food would have gone bad by the time we could use it.

- Kings of the Hill - Portland's AMAZING drag king show that I unfortunately did not get to attend but was a huge supporter of.  After a Kings show, the town was always buzzing about how awesome it was!

- Miyake - An amazing sushi restaurant.  I always heard that the chef's menu was unbelievable!  A bit more on the expensive side but I never heard anybody complain once they tasted their delicious food.  And they also opened a noodle restaurant which should not be missed!

- Bayside Bowl - Never got down to the ol' 12-lane bowling alley but you better bet it's the place to be for Viva Lebowski!

Well Portland, it was a fun 5 years....but it's time I should be moseying on to another life adventure.  This was my "good-bye" message to many who know me in Portland.  (If you didn't know before, I was in the field of sexual health)
Time to make new memories, new friends and new food!  Let's get to it!

-Rachel (AKA BabyStella)

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