Food Events and Tours, Vietnamese, and the Lobster Roll
Outdoor events in the summer in Maine are a very pleasant experience and the weather cooperates most of the time; you can almost always count on lower temperatures and a light breeze. If you are forced inside due to a summer shower, it’s usually brief and with it, comes sweet relief. A Bastille Day Dinner is being hosted by Petite Jaqueline, 46 Market Street, on Friday, July 14, 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This is an indoor/outdoor cocktail party and BBQ in commeration of the historic French Revolution. You’ll be treated to a raw bar, a crepe station, picnic food, a dessert station, and a full cash bar. A new and special treat is the Maine Lobster Picnic & Harbor Cruise on the 13th, 14th and 15th (and all summer long, see all tours on the Maine Foodie Tours site). Get a taste of Maine coastal living; a land and sea (food) tour, complete with a picnic lunch of a fresh-picked lobster roll, Tourmaline Spring bottled water, Maine potato chips and the state treat, the Whoopie Pie.
Two openings to note: Cong Tu Bot, Inner Washington Ave. is a new Vietnamese restaurant. This pho noodles cafe is opening this week (scheduled) and will primarily serve lunch and dinner with some breakfast dishes. Washington Avenue is the place to go for delicious epicurean delights these days — be one of the first to visit Cong Tu Bot. The other is Portland Pulp, 116 Free Street; offering smoothies and chopped salad. Many have anticipated this healthy dining option in a city filled with good eats.
As promised, a bit of lobster roll history for those among you who care to know the and my very subjective five favorite lobster rolls in Portland and places nearby. The founder and owner of Maine Foodie Tours, Pamela Laskey, recently shared a bit of trivia I was unaware of: historians credit Simms Diner in Rockland with the first recorded lobster roll. Also, back before lobster was as popular as it is now, folklore tells us that the lobster roll was created because women did not like picking the lobster apart. This messy business had to go and thus the lobster roll was invented to make it a whole lot easier to eat. And eat them I do. My favorite lobster roll is Bite Into Maine, a food truck at Ft. Williams Park. This creative lobster roll in this beautiful and iconic Maine setting, is wicked good. Next, if you’re looking for a non-traditional lobster roll, Eventide can’t be beat. And now we start splitting hairs . . . third would be the Portland Lobster Company‘s lobster roll; combine fresh lobster with live music on the water and you have a tourist favorite. Fourth would be Porthole’s very traditional Maine lobster roll. Having fun at the Porthole Restaurant & Pub is a mandate. Lastly, and you know I have left so many excellent lobster rolls off of this list, would have to be Two Lights Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. Sitting at an outdoor picnic table alongside our beautiful rocky coast is just about as good as it gets anywhere. Sample some for yourself and come up with your very own top five list or ten or twenty even and share it with me!!