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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: February 6, 2016

Dining Guide: 5 places to eat, drink and watch the Super Bowl

Whether you’re cheering on the your favorite team on Sunday — or in it for the commercials and half-time show, you’ll want to do your cheering along with others who love football. The free buffets and Bloody Mary bars are nice, too.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

For full listings and more restaurants, see our searchable Restaurant & Bar Guide.


500 Washington Ave., Portland, 207-775-2722,, 5:30 to 10 p.m., tickets: $20
The Hella Good 2nd-Annual Super Bowl party includes an all-you-can eat buffet, three local brews (from Bunker, Fore River, and Gneiss) on tap ($5/pour) and the game on a “super screen.” Get a free ride to and from the restaurant via The Maine Brew Bus. Tickets:

The bar at SoPo Bar & Grill. Claire Jeffers photo

The bar at SoPo Bar & Grill. Claire Jeffers photo

SoPo Bar & Grill $$

740 Broadway, South Portland, 207-956-7333,
The colossal space where J.P. Thorton’s used to be has been given an major facelift by new owners Peter Verrill (also of Outliers Eatery), and Tasha and Gary Hurtubise, with fresh paint, new lighting fixtures, local art and TVs – lots of them. The sports bar has 10, including one mini flat screen for every booth. On Sunday, food and drink specials include: 50-cent wings, 1/2-price nachos, $5 margaritas, $10 Bud, Miller or Shipyard pitchers, and $2 fireball shots every time there’s a touchdown.

John Patriquin/Press Herald file Dock Fore in Portland.

Dock Fore in Portland. John Patriquin/Press Herald file


36 Fore St., Portland, 207-772-8619, 4 p.m.
In the trendy Old Port, Dock Fore keeps it old-school — a place to chill, sip a drink and chat with friends. It’s been that way for more than three decades. You may be a stranger when you walk in, but you’ll leave having made some new friends. On Sunday, the Tailgate Party with free food starts at 4 p.m., with $1.95 pints until 7 p.m. and $1.95 20-ounce Budweiser or Rolling Rock drafts until close. Come in earlier for $2.95 mimosas and the Bloody Mary bar – $3.95 until 7 p.m.

Allison Stevens pours a draft at her bar, The Thirsty Pig on Exchange Street in Portland. John Patriquin/Press Herald file

Allison Stevens pours a draft at her bar, The Thirsty Pig on Exchange Street in Portland. John Patriquin/Press Herald file


37 Exchange St., Portland, 207-602-6284,, 5 p.m.
An iconoclastic, friendly Old Port pub featuring a rotating line-up of 10-plus beers on tap – with a focus on local – plus an impressive bottled beer selection and a small wine list. The menu is limited to a variety of sausages, made in house and offered on their own with various accompaniments, in a sandwich or on a salad. On Sunday, the staff will compete in a chili cook-off — you get to judge which one you like best.


215 Saco Ave., Old Orchard Beach , 207-934-7499,
At the original location of this popular family restaurant (there’s a newer one in South Portland), the menu offers everything from pizza and pasta to gyros, steak, and “street tacos.” The cocktails are seasonal and mildly inventive, the service is casual but friendly, and the atmosphere is fun and lively. For the annual Super Bowl party: $7.99 pizza/pizza buffet and beer specials. Reservations taken for large groups.

Key to prices

The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up


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