Monday, September 17, 2012

Finding the Perfect Hole in the Wall

$3 Dewey's in Portland's Old Port
I'm done with chain restaurants. When I look at the menus of Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, TGI Fridays and every other place that has loud music, TVs with sports on mute and too much kitsch on the walls, I see the same thing. And I see a lot of calories, a lot of salt, and not a whole lot of quality. In fact, my last visit to a chain restaurant was to the Olive Garden, and while the food was okay, the wait was so incredibly long and people who didn't call ahead but came after me were seated ahead of me. That just makes me angry. Before that, it was Longhorns and the salty, over-spiced tenderloin and watery margaritas served by a dead-in-the-eyes waitress who really sucked at her job, and didn't get much of a tip as a result. So fuck it. I'm done with corporate restaurants. I'm going local.

I have set myself the challenge of only eating at local places, privately owned diners, pubs, and restaurants throughout the state. I've been pleasantly surprised. I don't have much of a budget to do this, so it's slow going, sampling what's available. This weekend was a bit of an anomaly, as I got down into the Old Port, which has a ton of places to eat. My choice was Three Dollar Dewey's, a pub that has the largest selection of beers (36 on tap!) in the Old Port and some fucking amazing eats. Based on my lamb burger alone, they got 5 stars on Yelp from me. I wasn't expecting food of that caliber from a bar. Oh, and the beer was good too. Also local.

I also visited Lisa's Restaurant in Augusta on Sunday. That was not as good. When I reviewed it I gave them 3 stars but I'm willing to give them a second chance because I hear their breakfasts are excellent. Some places have a niche, you know? But I gave it an honest chance, and in a town dominated by big chain restaurants, I kept my money local. Supporting a local place is important to me too, given the economy. A restaurant is an expensive venture in any economy, and a lot get pushed out by the big chains.

One thing I look forward to when I have a job again is being able to eat out more. There are several places relatively close to my home that I've really wanted to try, including one that makes homemade doughnuts. I would go just for that, especially if they taste like my Nana's used to. Eventually, I would like to travel around the state more, and find some more hole in the wall places to try. There's some good stuff out there, I just know it!

No comments:

Post a Comment