A Quick Stop for Lobster Wontons, Ramen & A Lighthouse in Portland, Maine
On my way back down the New England coast from Bar Harbor to Boston, I made a quick pit stop into Portland, Maine. Why? Well, partially because I felt like I had to seize the opportunity since Portland was on the way to Boston; partially because I wanted to start a collection of lighthouse photographs; and partially because I wanted to check the Portland Headlight and some Maine lobster off the bucket list.
Portland reminded me of a cross between Buffalo (small-city with a hometown vibe) and Austin (hipster central). I almost didn't stop in for food because I wasn't feeling the stress of the overdone hipster vibe. However, I forced myself to find some crazy $20 parking at the Hampton Inn and walk myself onto the streets of Portland for some Hipster style food establishments.
Do you sense a rant on "HIPSTER-DOM" coming on?
Don’t worry. I'll spare you the pleasure and rant to my husband instead.
Originally I was planning to go to the Eventide Oyster Co., a Google 4.5 star rated establishment known for its revival of the great American oyster bar. Eventide offers pristine shellfish and a fresh take on classic New England fare—such proximity to the Gulf of Maine provides the sharpest seafood money can buy.
However, Eventide Oyster Co. was not really set up for individual dining (except at the bar). It was also crazy crowded on this particular Saturday afternoon. Therefore, I decided to head next door to its more chill and less crowded sister establishment, The Honey Paw, a 4.6 Google star rated modern spot for Asian fusion faire and other Asian-inspired bites.
Was The Honey Paw worth the $40 in food plus $20 in parking?
I'll let you observe these Instagram worthy flat-lays of overpriced(?), but nevertheless #DELISH, Lobster Wontons and Ramen and allow you the space to decide...
After a solo meal that engaged my inner psychologist to observe the Hipsters of Portland in their natural habitat while taking copious notes (and concurrently being distracted and annoyed by the young men next to me at the counter who were speaking so the entire restaurant could hear them...#somanysideeyes), I left pretty underwhelmed and feeling pretty out of place despite the valet trying to convince me Portland was the "best place to be in the Summer."
Did he convince me?
Well, Portland probably is one of the best places to be in the summer—if you're into the coastal Hipster social type of thing. I’ll definitely rank it above Austin because: (1) ocean; (2) temperature; and (3) fluffy grass and trees. However, as for me, I just prefer my “beside-the-sea excursions” to be a bit more off-the-beaten-path, less commercial and more low-key.
I also think I randomly chose a prime time to embark on this whole Portland Head Light excursion because from observing the signs and parking situations, this part of Portland probably gets pretty cray during the peak summer season. The weather was sunny but a bit on the chill (50s-60s). However, not having to deal with the crowds made the cooler weather totally worth it. I claimed one of the six parking spots right by the entrance and it took me 15 minutes to have a look and take some pictures. Then, I continued on my way down to Boston-Salem.
(P.S. - I think this would be pretty cool to see with some crazy choppy waves, but definitely got the more chill version of Portland on this particular day.)
Thanks for stopping by.