April 5, 2011

Brunch at The Porthole, Portland, Maine

Ed. Note: The original Porthole closed in October of 2012 and has since reopened. This review is of the now closed Porthole. 

I have so many thoughts on brunch. I am getting a little worn out on musing about the weekend meal that is brunch though. There's just so much to consider: the food, the wait, the price, the coffee, the boozy drinks (if indeed it's that kind of brunch)...


I know, poor me. But to put my brunch fatigue to rest: the Porthole. Good food, no wait, great prices, hot coffee, and plenty of Portland character.

I have been many times, but a recent visit solidified my love affair. Nothing special happened, just that moment where you know- yes, yes I can eat brunch here many times.

You've had that moment, right?

My recent plate of biscuits and gravy wasn't even my favorite (I've yet to meet a restaurant version that beats my Bittman Cheddar Biscuits and Sausage Gravy), but for the price ($5.99), I'm willing to let it go.

The biscuits were great, the sausage was spicy, but the surrounding gravy tasted a little like... soup. Maybe the addition of celery and onions are to blame.

Their Eggs Florentine ($7.99), however, is delicious. I've yet to meet another Florentine in town that doesn't make you choose between meat and vegetables on your Eggs Benedict. And why should you have to?

M. likes to get the Lobsterman's breakfast- two eggs, home fries, toast, a pancake and your choice of meat, all for $8.95. I asked him to snap a photo of it for me, and this is what I got:

The best thing about the Porthole is that it's not just a brunch spot. They serve breakfast and lunch during the winter and add on dinner in the summer. There's a great deck overlooking the waterfront, and it's the home of Reggae Sunday in warmer months.

...ahh, warmer months... sorry, got distracted.

The Porthole can be warm and cozy or cool and happening, depending on the time of year. It's the kind of place where you can spot your friends, mingle with tourists and the business happy hour crowd, and get your $5.99 All-You-Can-Eat Fish and Chips at lunch on Fridays.

And as I've learned, they serve a good brunch. Check it out, I hope you like it. But save me a table, will you?