Thursday April 24th 2014

Eat

Freeport
Freeport Seafood Co.
// InfoOpen11:30 am-9 pm Sun-Thur; 11:30 am-10 pm Fri & Sat  
freeportseafoodco.com
// At a glance

A few nice food surprises and friendly service, but overall the dining experience is lackluster.

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Old Orchard Beach
Joseph’s By the Sea
// InfoOpen 5 pm to close Thur-Sat; Brunch 7:30 am-noon Sun    
josephsbythesea.com
// At a glance

Joseph's By the Sea offers a nostalgic dining experience, especially in the off-season. It is banquet and wedding reception food, but it is banquet and wedding reception food done well. The staff is friendly, and if you are looking for a night (or brunch) that's just off the beaten food trail, try Joseph's. The ride through Old Orchard Beach in the off-season is fun, and I suggest ordering from Joseph's long list of signature, warm espresso cocktails.

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Winthrop
Flaky Tart
// InfoCafe open 8:30 am-4 pm Tue-Fri & 9 am-2 pm Sat; Dinner: once a month, usually on the third Saturday, with two seatings.
facebook.com
// At a glance

At its once-a-month prix fixe dinners, The Flaky Tart combines homestyle elegance and delicious upscale comfort food in a fashionable atmosphere that melds the vintage and contemporary. During the day, the bakery and cafe offers homemade soups, sandwiches on homemade bread, quiches, wraps, espresso drinks and baked goods. Dinner service may become more frequent next summer.

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Brunswick
Tao
// Info5 pm-close Tue-Sat
tao-maine.com
// At a glance

Uncommon food prepared expertly, with special attention to new and complementary flavors, textures and visuals. The results are surprising and enticing. A creative kitchen melds the best of Far East seasonings and food with local ingredients when possible, and seldom gets it wrong.

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South Portland
Teriyaki Exchange
// InfoOpen 11 am-10 pm daily
www.facebook.com
// At a glance

All sorts of sushi and soups to noodle and rice dishes and, of course, a world of teriyaki. Meals can feed two people and are a bargain - but don't skimp on taste. And teriyaki is just the tip of the iceberg of what the place offers.

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Saco
Luis’s Arepera & Grill
// InfoOpen 11 am-8 pm Sun-Fri (closed Sat)
www.luisareperaandgrill.com
// At a glance

An arepa is a patty made from ground corn dough. It's round, about 1/4-inch thick and when stuffed with your filling of choice, is a completely hunger-eclipsing experience. Options include ground beef, turkey, tuna and scrambled eggs, among several others.

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Portland
Back Cove BBQ & Pizzeria
// InfoOpen 11 am-7 pm Tue-Sat
www.facebook.com
// At a glance

It's a nice little neighborhood place to get fresh-made pizza, subs, burgers and hand-cut beach fries. A pulled pork plate is one of the customer favorites, and pulled pork also shows up on pizza ($11.99 for a 12-inch with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, caramelized onions and peppers) and in sub sandwiches ($7.99).

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South Portland
Scratch Baking Co.
// Info11 am-6 pm Mon-Sat; Balery housr: 6 am-6 pm Mon-Fru; 7 am-6 pm Sat; 7 am-noon Sun
scratchbakingco.com
// At a glance

Anyone who drives anywhere near Willard Square in South Portland knows about the gravitational pull of Scratch Baking Co. There was a time when it was all about the bagels at Scratch. Believe you me, it still is. And it's also about the cookies, the cakes, the glorious array of baked goods. And now: Soups and sandwiches, too.

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Portland
Veranda Asian Market
// InfoOpen 9 am- 9 pm daily
verandaasianmarket.com
// At a glance

The new Veranda Asian Market at Forest and Vannah avenues in Portland -- owned by the same family that owns the Veranda Thai restaurant and the Veranda Noodle Bar on Veranda Street -- bills itself as the largest Asian market in Maine, and that's not hard to believe. Takeout is prepared to order in a kitchen in the back of the store.

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Portland
Portland Pottery Cafe
// InfoOpen 7 am-7pm Mon-Thur; 7 am-5 pm Fri, 8 am-5pm Sat  
portland-pottery-cafe.mowbi.com
// At a glance

An extension of the Portland Pottery studio and store, the cafe is filled with sturdy but attractive wooden tables and chairs, and lots of pottery is for sale on the shelves. The cafe serves breakfast items all day and also has a menu of sandwiches and wraps, salads and sweets.

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