Wednesday, January 03, 2007

a foodie's paradise

A moment now, to put all this world changing stuff aside, and focus on another true delight of Maine: The Food.


This morning I finished off the blueberry buckwheat pancakes that Scott and I had gorged on all weekend. At the health food store (no, not Whole Food, my friends, this former addict hasn’t stepped foot in a Whole Foods since leaving the District… the run of the mill Hannafords and Royal River Health Food is serving me just fine), I was amazed to find straight from the patch frozen blueberries that, despite any formal packaging, I bought and tested anyway. Um umm good. I still can’t believe that I had never really liked blueberries until I tasted Megan’s Mom’s Maine blueberry pie… blueberries don’t get better than those from Maine as I’m beginning to realize that the ½ inch diameter blueberries from Whole Foods are nuclear-waste scary, not intriguing.


This afternoon I lunched at Natasha’s – Portland owned and operated by none other than… Natasha! Natasha herself was running around the comfy farm/chic restaurant in a black Asian tunic which she made herself ‘for comfort.’ Natasha also owns Mim’s – a little bistro in old Port which makes a fabulous Haddock Chowder (I’ve begun to realize that chowders (chowda-z) are everywhere and I need not order it every time I see it on the menu.) My favorite thing about both menus is this. There are 3-4 soups on the lunch menu – each creative and yummy. Roasted tomato with feta crème fraiche and chives. Clam chowder with fennel, bacon, and potatoes. Butternut squash with apple chunks. And.. there are 3-4 salad selections. Roasted pumpkin with duck prociutto on a bed of greens. Pot sticker salad with sesame, oranges, and greens. For $9, you can get a bowl of any of the soups and half of any of the salads. That’s the best part. Today, however, because I’ve got another lunch meeting at Natasha’s tomorrow, I went with the fish tacos. Another thing I love about Maine. I LOVE FISH TACOS. They are all over the west coast and I’ve had them even in the eBay cafeteria. They are equally represented in Portland and I’ve had them more times since moving here than all my West coast trips. Today’s selection were wrapped in thin crispy flat bread, with apple slaw, wasabi cream, and roasted habanera salsa. Oh dear heaven… so good!


And last but not least my random fine this evening. Days start early in Maine (to the extent that I’ve had a lunch meeting start as early as 11:45… back in the District, Dana would still be on her second breakfast at that time). Usually they end earlier too and I head home to Super Dog. Only this evening, a meeting ran late and I was hustling to get out of the office at 6:30 to make it home. With no food in the house, I swung by a take out place on my way home and found the crème de la crème of soups. Caribbean chicken and sweet potato. The broth was somehow addictive in its spicyness. The chicken was tender and soft. The tomatoes were chunky. I think it is the best soup I have ever had (a hard second to that French Onion soup I had at TGIF– unknowingly sick with Pneumonia and having spent the day outside to watch Clinton’s bitter cold inauguration – that soup tasted damn good.)


Finding something this good random locations is what defines a foodie’s paradise.

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