It may seem like I’ve been a bit MIA since Maine Restaurant Week last month but I assure you, I haven’t! There’s been A LOT going on in Portland’s food scene the last month or so. Check out this roundup of 7 new places to try this spring in Portland!
N to Tail released a new Korean small plates menu
So we know that N to Tail started doing Korean BBQ this winter and it’s been amazing! What you may not know is the upstairs finished renovations and is now serving up Korean small plates.
I had the opportunity to attend a press tasting of the menu and I can tell you, this is so different compared to Fuji.
I liked Fuji for hibachi more than anything (which you can still do at N to Tail since they left a few hibachi tables on the lower level) but N to Tail is so versatile!
There’s basically something for everyone now! Some favorite plates included their oyster kimchi, Korean barbecue chicken, and the Confit Rabbit.
Royale Lunch Bar
Over on Union Street in the Old Port, you’ll now find the new Royale Lunch Bar. Does anyone remember the short-lived Hero’s Subs? That’s where you’ll find the new Royale Lunch Bar. So what can you find here?
When I went, they had a fried chicken sandwich on special, which was out of this world! And of course, I ordered poutine topped with the signature smoked meats.
Montreal smoked meats, to be exact. Oh yes. The poutine by itself could easily be a meal, but the chicken sandwich was worth it.
The other thing I need to go back and try are their milkshakes, since they have an old-fashioned milk shake machine. Let’s be honest, that’s the only way I want to have a milkshake!
Feeling hungry? They’ve got meals that include over half a pound of meat and then a bunch of sides.
If it’s not clear from the name, they do breakfast and lunch, so plan accordingly. I’ll be back to try the whole menu, so you might see me there!
Cheevitdee offering Thai Style Breakfasts Friday-Sunday
All right, so Cheevitdee isn’t exactly a new place. But they have done a little reinventing to help them stand out in a highly saturated food scene.
Now, in addition to lunch and dinner, Cheevitdee is offering Thai style breakfast sets Friday-Sunday. This is a big deal because there’s nobody else in town offering anything like this.
It’s not your standard brunch fare of benedicts, omelettes, and scrambles. You’re looking at things like savory porridge, custard buns, and Thai style donuts. Oh yes!
The breakfast sets are a great deal and they give you the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. So far, I love the concept and I intend on coming back over and over again. This is a welcome addition to the beyond popular brunch scene. This is a big part of why I love spring in Portland so much!
If you haven’t heard, Maiz recently opened its first brick and mortar location in the Woodfords Corner area. Now, with that, they also closed their Public Market spot to focus more on their new restaurant.
Like what they served at the Public Market, they are serving arepas, along with other Colombian fare. Talk about yum!
I love the fact that they opened a restaurant, since now I can have their classic arepas for dinner! My personal pick: the double meat areas.
They are stuffed (and I mean that literally) full of beef and chicken, plus cheese and your choice of hot sauce. So much yes! I’m excited to see how they continue to expand and will be eating plenty of arepas!
Other Side Diner
You can’t have a hot spots list without this very new addition. The Other Side Diner is brand new and hot, hot, hot!
Seriously, I went for breakfast on a Sunday not even a week after they opened and there was a crowd. The wait was at least 20 minutes for two people, which is fantastic when a restaurant has just opened.
Spring in Portland is just beginning, and summer will be even crazier with more restaurants opening.
The Other Side Diner is serving breakfast and lunch with a focus on Greek food. Again, this is another welcome addition because before, the only other Greek restaurant was Emilitsa.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Emilitsa, but it’s nice to have a more casual option for great Greek cuisine! Okay, so what about the food?
Surprise surprise, it’s amazing! Yeah, that’s really no surprise at all to me, since they have two very successful locations of the Other Side Deli in Portland.
I ordered the corned beef hash with 2 eggs, and Greek donuts, which were on special. Full disclosure: I love corned beef hash.
Pretty much if I see it on the menu somewhere, I usually end up ordering it. And the corned beef hash at Other Side Diner is no exception.
There’s a ton of flavor jammed in beef, onions, and potatoes. You’ll be stuffed and you probably won’t need another meal til dinner.
It’s cost effective! Oh, and if the Greek donuts are on the menu, order those too. They are basically like a baklava and brown sugar donut miracle and it’s a beautiful thing.
Another change at the Public Market comes with Pho Co closing their spot and Pho Huong taking over. If you were wondering, Pho Co is now going to be known as the Melting Pot and will be opening in Westbrook where Spring Street Variety used to be.
You know I’m excited since I can pretty much walk there from my house in Westbrook. But anyway, Pho Huong is serving up plenty of Vietnamese favorites, along with a few other things that Pho Co didn’t.
So far, the Thai iced tea is delicious, and the shrimp banh mi is the best $7 you can spend. Yes, $7 for a sandwich that’s filling?
You can find it at Pho Huong’s new spot on the second floor! You know I’ll be back to try each and every menu item as well. Spring in Portland has never looked tastier!
Bird & Co
If you love tacos, you need to go to Bird & Co. It’s another restaurant that recently opened in the Woodfords Corner area, which is becoming hotter and hotter by the day!
So what do you get? What I love is how different their tacos are. Yes, there are your standards like beef and chicken, but then there are some seriously different ones.
Where else are you going to find a banh mi taco? How about a duck taco? These are just a few of the gourmet tacos you’ll find on the menu at Bird & Co!
Don’t like tacos? You can try their elote, as well as their churros. Yes, another place that sells churros, and I hope that it’s becoming a trend.
You know there are going to be plenty of other new places to check out this spring and summer, but this is definitely a delicious start! Let me know in the comments if you try any of these new spots this spring in Portland!