The other Portland has some pretty good coffee roasters coming up, too. On a recent trip to Maine, we enjoyed a sonnet-worthy cup at Bard Coffee, a small indie that's caffeinating the city's Old Port one handcrafted cup at a time.
'Maine' on Serious Eats
If Albert Einstein came back to life and found himself in Portland, Maine, he might enjoy sitting under a rainbow umbrella in Silly's backyard garden. "As far as we can discern, the universe is a very silly place," he once famously said. That quote inspired the name of this kitschy, chilled-out townhouse eatery. Inside there are pom-pom-covered light fixtures but the backyard is really where you should be on a bright day.
As the name suggests, this place is a Big Easy tribute plopped down on the outskirts of downtown Portland, Maine. No surprise, then, that they're pulling pints of Abita, but you'd never guess that this Turbodog shake is chocolate-free.
It can be challenging for a beverage older than agriculture to maintain its relevance over the years. Indeed, you rarely see mead these days except at Renaissance Festivals or as a novelty at a theme party. Maine Mead Works is on a mission to change all that. Using cutting edge techniques—continuous fermentation, for one—and inventive flavorings, such as hops and lavender, they have crafted some dangerously drinkable booze.
One of the oldest commercial soft drinks, Moxie's got a strong New England following. It starts out tasting like cola or root beer, but quickly moves on to a more medicinal bent with notes of wintergreen and bitters. Not surprising, as its main flavoring is gentian root, where many bitters get their characteristic, well, bitterness.