so I think I owe it to this wonderful town of Portland to at least have some sort of page that is dedicated to the wonderful local shops, musicians, restaurants, and any other form of establishment that has helped in the raising of the cultured EO. I believe that when one supports a locally owned business they are bettering the community in which they reside, and because I feel as though Portland has really had a great impact on my upbringing, I do in fact owe it to these fantastic people and businesses to have this kinda…praise page to them. It’s relatively easy to follow; broken up in concise catergories, with reviews and such, and links/contact info. enjoy! xoxo eo.
strange maine- I make a stop there at least once a week to check out their new inventory. vinyl is found in ample amounts, I generally take my picks for the recently added sections and or female folk- but they have a wide range of classic rock in every era, 50s thru 80s. they have a great college punk section and the stoner rock is pretty snazzy too. check out their book collection, cassette collection, and ask about deejaying. there’s also some random junk made by local artistes, so check that out too. strange maine is located @ 578 congress street and is reachable by http://www.kraag.org or by phone at: (207)771-9997
absurd records- definitely kinda new to the vinyl scene in portland, but I got me a soft spot for absurd. soooo much 80s vinyl to choose from, and an incredibly large reggae/hip hop section too. the largest in portland I think! prices are very reasonable, and all time favs like echo and the bunnymen and human league are found and replenished just about everyday. random things sold near cash register. i recently snagged myself an old opaque sign that reads, “cassettes” for 10 dollars. let’s just say… stellar. absurd records is located on: Oak Street right next to Marcy’s Diner!
Enterprise Records- OPEN since 1987! way before my time… enterprise was where I got my first piece of vinyl…ever (fleetwood mac). They have very reasonable prices and a wide selection. Often they show at many vinyl fairs and the owner is just a doll (; contact info: http://www.enterpriserecords.net/ Enterprise is located at: 650 Congress Street- open: thurs-sun. reached by phone at: (207) 773-7672
material objects: I grew up with this store in my blood. One of the best thrift shops in portland- tons of new stuff, but a nice large vintage section too. the prices are incredibly reasonable…if not even CHEAP. the staff is great; good fashion sense etc. consignment is hard to get though, appointments are needed…but worth it. you can make some $$ if you consign with these ladies. material objects is located on: 500 Congress St Ste 1 & is able to be reached at (207) 774-1241
time lag records: yes..they sell records, but the main reason I go to time lag is because of the clothes. t.l. is run by a bunch of hipsters- excuse my language, and all the stuff they sell is their hipster stuff, but you can find some good deals on vintage threads, and there’s always an ample amount of cowboy boots, vintage purses, and 80s sweaters. records are kinda on the more pricey side, however there are a ton of rare sealed good deals. and there’s a boa constrictor. only open on fridays-sundays. above strange maine. no contact info available.
find: it wasn’t too long ago that I made my way into find for the very first time. this second hand shop has been open since summer 09 I believe and it always makes my list when I am searching for an article of clothing! Find sells really great clothes- both vintage and modern, but unlike the other thrift shops in town, Find buys your clothes on spot! and you can get some really good money for the clothes you sell! you’re paid with either store credit or cash- I like to get store credit because there’s a constant flow of new things coming in….EVERY day! also, trades are common, and that is just the kind of thing everyone could use in their life. the space is wonderful, exposed brick and even a vintage pacman game to play! the staff is wonderful as well, and is always helpful. find completes my clothing store list, and I think it’ll be around for a while! Find is located on 16 Free Street (where the old Arabica was) and is open mon-thurs from 10-6, fri-sat 10-7 and sun 11-6- phone # (207)699-4285 and is found hehehe find is found…. at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Portland-ME/Find/
norms bar and grill: best crew in all of town. good pub grub, and great company. norms b&g is like my second home. with daily barflies, and a bartender who is the best in portland, what more can you ask for? cheap food and drinks, and multiple locations. the one on upper congress is my fav. because of the staff, but there’s DTL (downtown lounge 21+ with Leon) aka the Deets, and there’s also Norms East End- and its more a BBQ joint, but still delicious. norms bar and grill reached at (207) 828-9944
the corner room- soo soo good. such a classy restaurant, with extremely good prices. foods range from pastas, salads, pizzas, and paninis. the desserts are a must, and the atmosphere is great. owner also is in charge of the front room and the grill room, two other divine restaurants hailing in portland. the grill room is located on the corner of federal and exchange street.
local 188– located on upper congress, local 188 is home to some of the best spanish cuisine in all of new england. their paella is so delicious, and the menu is simply divine. the space is very large, and not only is the dinner extremely good, but brunch cannot be missed. the staff is hip and generally helpful. tis a bit more pricey, but WORTH every cent you spend. *** MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT
boda thai- definitely the best, most authentic thai food in all of portland. creative cuisine, inexpensive prices, modern chic atmosphere, boda has received much praise since being open, and i must be frank and tell you that their spicy calamari out beats walter’s by far. located next to Joe’s smoke shop, where the old Bangkok Thai used to be.
bonobo pizza- located in the heart of the west end, bonobo cooks up the best pizza in maine. flatbread originally held this title, but lost it as soon as bonobo started makin’ pies. crust is thin, sauce is savoury, and toppings endless. in short, bonobo is a classy pizza joint, with a good selection of specialty pies, option to make your own, simple salads, and the best desserts in town. get the creme brulee and the tiramisu. bonobo is found on the corner of pine and brackett street in the heart of the west end portland, maine.
Figa Restaurant- Figa is the creation of chef Lee Farrington, and took a very long time to open, because of several issues with waterlines, liquor licenses, etc etc. But I’m so glad that it did open- it’s the only restaurant in Portland that offers wild boar rendang, and I must be truthful and tell you I’ve consumed the best tofu EVER there.
Miyake Sushi- the best sushi in maine, let me just say that the combinations of fish and veggie and rice are incredible and shouldn’t be in maine, but golly gee, I’m lucky to have these people. In addition, Masa Miyake opened up a ramen bar, pai men miyake where the old local 188 used to be in longfellow square. it’s absolutely fantastic and is home to their infamous japanese big mac.
market street eats- owned by a close family friend- I love market street eats! I don’t get in there quite enough, but let me just tell you a little secret; market street eats has the best sandwiches in all of portland, and I’m just not saying that. there are so many combinations and its an awesome lunch spot! they’re also open for breakfast- lots and lots of breakfast burritos, and the space is really great- kind in a basement…well, yes a basement, with checkerboard floors, band posters galore, the owner is just about the coolest guy who owns a sandwich shop, and he has pretty great taste in music, if I do say so myself. Market street eats is located at 36 Market Street and can be reached at (207) 773-3135
arabica coffee: the best americano intown- as well as the best space. Arabica coffee is something that’s almost out of a fairytale…hehe, they have the most delicious toast, made by Doug- and all their pasteries come from either Doug or Standard Bakery. Coffee is divine, and the teas are just as good. Wifi is available, but windows are just as beneficial to those who enjoy people watching. the staff is great and is quite personable… you may want to take a while out of your schedule to hang out at arabica though…you’ll never want to leave. arabica coffee is located 2 Free street and is reachable at (207) 899-1833
mornings in paris- the used to be breaking new grounds is still a steady diet in my book- I go plainly for tea, because they have moroccan mint and I can’t go a day without my moroccan mint. wifi available, pasteries and soups and sandwiches. staff….hipsters, so if you like em, go! located on lower exchange street, on weekends open late… I’m not gonna find their contact info though… just walk right in.
coffee by design aka CBD- I do not go to the CBD on india street, but I do go to the cbd on upper congress across the street from norm’s b&g. I like getting bagels there, and odwallas, their coffee is just a cup of coffee, but I think the reason why I like CBD is because they’re open EARLY they close LATE and the customers….well, just see for yourself.
zarra’s monumental coffee house- located in monument square, zarra’s is great when you’re running errands or on lunch or whatever. the staff is again the reason why I go- the coffee is good, I don’t mind it, and the inside is small, as in three tables I think? but in the summetime, drinking coffee in monument square is great and its right next to the public market house! zarra’s is located at 24 Monument Square and can be called at (207) 761-2424.
bard coffee- while the atmosphere lacks greatly, the coffee is divine. cafe cubanos, vietnamese coffees, absurdly delicious americanos, bard wins my vote for best selection!