By morning, it's a breakfast hub known as The Good Egg Café. During lunch and dinner, the festively colored space, draped in twinkling string lights, turns into Pepperclub Restaurant. Entering the eatery is like stepping into a crayon box; the walls are painted in a lively palette of oranges, purples, blues and reds. Though the globally inspired menu draws on local seafood, beef, and lamb for Indian curries and Greek recipes, vegan and vegetarian dishes such as baked and stuffed jalapeños, veggie burgers, and asiago risotto cakes with portobello are also plentiful. After finishing off complimentary homemade bread, patrons ease sugar cravings with a handmade chocolate cake, or ease sunburns by applying cool vegan tapioca directly onto the sun.
Despite their tendency to end up boiled, GetMaineLobster.com's crustaceans somehow managed to keep one customer out of hot water. After waiting until the last minute to plan something for his fiancée's birthday, Emilio put together a next-day delivery of fresh lobsters that turned into an impressive dinner. His gratitude joins a chorus of praise for the company, whose flavorful foods have been featured on Rachael Ray and in the Wall Street Journal. Each of the lobsters is hand-selected from the coast of Maine, whose frigid waters are famous for preserving the meat's sweetness. In addition to lobsters, patrons can order a menagerie of seafood cakes, marinated meats, and hearty side dishes. Full dinners take gourmet fare out of the restaurant and onto home dining tables with several-course feasts prepared by Chef Margaret Salt McLellan, who was named the 2008 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year. Customers that lack Margaret's culinary chops can reference the site's collection of recipes, which boast everything from Cajun shrimp to stuffed lobster bursting with crab, scallops, and emotion.
Stepping inside TJ’s Pizza transports patrons back to the '50s. Red booths span the black-and-white checkered floor, and pink and blue neon lights run across the walls. A jukebox plays tunes while guests grab slices of pizza topped with broccoli, grilled chicken, and jalapeños. The chefs’ extreme pizza creations include a double-cheeseburger pie and a spaghetti pizza. The chefs also cut their own french fries and fry mozzarella sticks in vegetable oil.
Frothy mugs of nine different draft beers and a belief that you can never use too many peppers complement chef Jon Russell's surfeit of steak, seafood, and pasta. He tosses hot peppers into his Peppers chicken dish and sprinkles peppercorns onto his signature steak, which is then flambéed in brandy. When taste buds are craving the saltiness of seafood and licking snowplow trails won't suffice, he grills Atlantic salmon, rubs sesame onto sushi-grade tuna steak, and weaves fettuccine around bits of lobster, shrimp, and scallops. He rounds out his menu with a selection of burgers, Mexican fare, and homemade desserts that guests can enjoy on the restaurant's patio or in the casual dining room with exposed brick and tropical stained-glass artwork.
The chefs at The Dancing Elephant II prepare a large menu of traditional Indian cuisine complete with vegetarian options. Delectable chunks of chicken or lamb swim in spicy curries, mingling with potatoes, spinach, or cashews. Vegetarian specialties include green peas with potatoes or chickpeas and spinach. The restaurant also offers a full bar complete with beers and cocktails.
True to its name, Portland Discovery helps visitors explore the scenic coastal town's majestic, rocky coastline with tours by boat or vintage trolley bus. These tours include cruises among the lobster boats and seabirds of Casco Bay that pass lighthouses and historic forts, and trips through downtown that highlight local landmarks.