Friday April 25th 2014

Eat

Becky’s Diner
// InfoOpen 4 am-9 pm daily
// At a glance

It seems like every TV food show, every visiting celebrity and every travel writer who comes to town finds their way to Becky's. So the place gets a lot of hype. But there's a reason all that hype started in the first place -- it's a genuine local institution, a great diner with a very local vibe.

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Portland
Back Bay Grill
// InfoOpen 5:30 pm-close Tue-Sat
backbaygrill.com
// At a glance

If you are saving up for a special-occasion dinner, this is a splendid place to splurge. It's got it all: A thoughtful menu with a variety of options that are consistently excellent, unwaveringly good service that isn't stuffy, and traditional candlelit decor with a touch of fun. The restaurant's open kitchen and penchant for welcome surprises bring a bit of drama to the experience. Back Bay Grill was honored with a AAA Four-Diamond Award in 2011.

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Cornish
Phat Boys
// InfoOpen 6 am-7pm Wed & Thur; 6am-8pm Fri & Sat; 7 am-2pm Sun; 6am-2 pm Mon & Tue
// At a glance

The drive to Phat Boys includes apple orchards and antiques, and it is a pleasant way to spend a weekend morning. Breakfast is hearty, abundant and exactly as expected, with none of the typical weekend waiting present in many local diners. For those who crave country-fried steak and sausage gravy, go here, because it does not get any better.

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Portland
Schulte & Herr
// InfoOpen for dinner 5-9 pm Tue-Sat; lunch 11:30 am-2:30 pm Tue-Fri; brunch 8 am-2:30 pm Sat & Sun  
www.facebook.com
// At a glance

Delicious, high-quality, homestyle German food, most of it made in-house, served in a storefront restaurant in downtown Portland. The proprietors bring skill, personal attention and passion to their small eatery, which fills an ethnic gap in Portland's celebrated culinary scene and offers a very good value to boot.

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Portland
Emilitsa
// InfoOpen 5-9 pm Mon-Thu; 5-10 pm Fri & Sat
www.emilitsa.com
// At a glance

Check your expectations of Greek food at the door. Demos and John Regas have created a rustic, special-occasion dining experience for Portland food lovers. Mediterranean flavors appear in hyper-color at this small eatery, and if you close your eyes, you can almost feel the Greek sun on your face. Hours and tables are intentionally limited and intimate, so call ahead to avoid disappointment.

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Portland
Marcy’s Breakfast & Lunch
// InfoOpen 6 am-2pm Mon-Sat; 7 am-2 pm Sun
// At a glance

Over the years, Marcy's has consistently served low-priced diner food quickly and with a smile. It has been a sort of oasis of comfort food in downtown Portland as more upscale eating options have come to town. The place also has lots of creative daily specials, which are usually posted on the Marcy's Diner Facebook page.

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Old Orchard Beach
Yellowfin’s Restaurant
// InfoOpen for dinner 5pm Thur-Sun; Sat & Sun brunch 9am-1 pm
yellowfinsrestaurantme.com
// At a glance

Yellowfin's is a terrific option for pedestrians in the Ocean Park neighborhood. Near the beach, Yellowfin's also offers a nice respite from the rowdier Old Orchard Beach establishments.

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Portland
Pepperclub
// InfoOpen  5-9 pm Sun-Thue; 5-10 pm Fri & Sat; The companion Good Egg is open 7am-noon Tue-Fri; 8 am-1pm Sat& Sun; closed Mon
www.pepperclubrestaurant.com
// At a glance

Find satisfying and globally inspired entrees of all sorts at Pepperclub, a good choice for vegetarians and gluten-sensitive individuals as well as couples or groups with a mix of eating styles. For the most part, the food -- seafood, meat, vegetarian and vegan -- is ample and interesting, with diverse flavors. The restaurant has a comfortable, bohemian vibe.

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Brunswick
Fat Boy Drive-In
// InfoOpen 11 am-8pm Sun0Thur; 11 am-8:30 pm Fri & Sat
www.facebook.com
// At a glance

It's hard to find a better-preserved piece of food Americana than Fat Boy Drive-In. Or a cheaper one. The food is classic drive-in fare, priced really low. A regular hamburger is just $1.65. The signs look old-fashioned too. Nothing glitzy, just a straightforward "FAT BOY" in black letters.

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Wells
The Maine Diner
// InfoOpen 7 am-8:30 pm Sun-Thur; until 9 pm Fri & Sat
mainediner.com
// At a glance

Nuthin' finer! The Maine Diner is a family-run celebration of good food and community. While offering a range of diner favorites, the diner also combines higher-end ingredients with a down-home sensibility. It's great food, served by happy staff.

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