EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


August 8, 2013

Eatin' up Portland

Maine tastes oh-so-good in this restaurant-rich city


Your best bet is to treat the fries as the main course, then share a few other dishes as sides. The charred broccoli and goat cheese salad is terrific. And the roasted pork belly panini with manchego and saffron-Tabasco mayo will make your eyes roll back. And despite appearances, Duckfat is family friendly. The little ones will love their handcrafted sodas (try the Roots, Bark, Sticks and Leaves — also known as root beer).

Whether you go for lunch or dinner, chances are you will need to wait for a table (they don’t do reservations). If so, you have the perfect excuse to amble down to Micucci Grocery Co. just a couple blocks away. This old-timey Italian grocer is jammed with fresh breads, olive oils, cured meats, cheeses and plenty of other items to inspire a take-home feast.

After your meal — assuming you have the time and stomach capacity — wander toward the water, where the bulk of the city’s pubs and shops reside. Head for The Gelato Fiasco, which offers roughly 30 flavors (rotated daily out of 100 possibilities) of the chilly Italian treat made from local milk and cane sugar. The brownie batter and fresh cream gelatos are particularly awesome.

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