Portland, Maine is a lovely city that is diverse and has a fun, quirky vibe to it. We stopped at Boda on the way home for a quick bite to eat. They pride themselves on being a “very Thai kitchen and street-vendor inspired tapas and skewer bar.” We were pleasantly surprised at how friendly and welcoming the staff was despite the fact we had to wait forty minutes for a table. The wait time was not strange given it was a Saturday and they do not take reservations, so we opted to sit at the bar instead. There is parking in a lot behind Joe’s Smokeshop, which is next door to Boda. Boda is also the sister restaurant to the Green Elephant (BMH’s review), a vegetarian restaurant, right down the street. We enjoyed the food immensely because it was full of bright fresh flavors and the skewers we had were quite good despite the price. We would return to try other things on the menu and especially the black sticky rice dessert with coconut cream, which makes us think of the sweet sticky rice with mango of our childhood.
Grilled shrimp skewers with spicy garlic lime dipping sauce $7
Beef skewers marinated in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime leaves, lemongrass $5
Wolfe’s Neck Farm Organic Beef Salad $13- organic beef served medium rare, mixed with red onion, cucumber, lemongrass, mint and chili lime dressing, served on fresh lettuce
Steamed assorted vegetables with Nahm-Prik $7
The nahm prik noom, or spicy eggplant relish, was amazing. I will attempt to recreate this on my own as it is a common Northern Thai dinner staple.
Hot and Sour Tilapia Soup $7- tilapia, shiitake, cherry tomato, scallion, saw cilantro, and cilantro in an herbal broth
We stopped by The Standard Baking Co. for some pastries for later. Immediately upon entrance, the smell of fresh bread and cookies wafted throughout the air.
Boules, french bread baguettes and rolls
Cookies, tarts and scones
Standard Baking Co. had both lemon and pear frangipane tarts and I chose the latter. It was one of the best tarts I have had in a while. The flavor of the soft pear and luxurious almond scented frangipane was a lovely combination. The sweet buttery crust was so addictive.
The chocolate cake was dense, fudgey and dusted with a thick layer of the highest quality cocoa. This was a must get and so satisfying.
The vanilla madeleine was lovely. There were flecks of vanilla bean and intense vanilla flavor throughout the French sponge cookie cake.
I will have to make Standard Baking a ritual every time in Portland because each item I tried was high quality, well crafted and memorable.
After our first visit to the Coastal Maine Popcorn Company, we knew we would be returning very soon. Coastal Maine Popcorn Co serves of quarts and gallons of their uniquely flavored and fresh popcorn.
The rainbow of colors and flavors is impressive, but my favorites are chocolate caramel and sea salt, parmesean garlic, salty sweet (similar to kettle corn) and Maine maple.
Coastal Popcorn offers sweet and savory flavor combinations in four sizes. They also offer samples (two per person). I was tempted to try the Wasabi Soy and Toasted Coconut, but wanted to retry my standards.
I tried the buffalo and parmesean garlic and both were fantastic.
I could not help myself and purchased a large bag of the Buffalo XX. Regular Buffalo was not enough.
The tang and kick of heat is truly special and unlike any other popcorn I have tried. I can not wait for my next samples and popcorn purchases.
Old Port Candy Co. is a fantastic haven for nostalgia candy, chocolate covered everything and Maine sweets. The chocolate covered oreos, pretzels, truffles and bark were so tempting. Next time, we are going to try their award-winning fudge and sample the sea salt caramel, maple walnut, fluffer nutter and birthday cake batter fudge.
I love chocolate covered peeps any season, so I stock up post Easter. Our mother loves Maple candy, so anytime we are in Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire, we are on the lookout.
Do you remember Sixlets? They were round M&M like chocolate candies coated in a thicker candy coating. Love them.
What we had to purchase and try was the chocolate-dipped bacon for $1.99 each slice.
The salty sweet bacon was covered in a thick layer of chocolate and dusted with bits of sea salt. The flavor was unique and fun to try.
East End Cupcakes is relative new to the Fore Street Portland scene and competed on Cupcake Wars. How does the cupcakes stack up? My single sample was luscious and a little cup of pleasure.
As I carried my pink cupcake box while shopping in hopes to prevent any frosting damage before consumption, there was an evident following within the community. Store owners took notice of the pink box and commented on how much they love East End Cupcakes and shared what is their favorite flavor. The majority stated they enjoyed salted caramel.
I love the fuffy swirl on the store front logo. The swirl looks very generous, bountiful and fun.
Upon entrance, my eyes immediately drew towards the pink C lighting, chalk board and pink velvet couch.
The cupcake mobile and art displays the owner’s creative and fashion driven eye.
It was difficult to select just one cupcake flavor amongst a tantalizing options including Pear with Honey, Lime Cupcake with Coconut buttercream & shaved toasted coconut, Chocolate cupcake with Peanut Butter frosting, Bacon Cupcake with maple syrup frosting and Vanilla bean cupcake with Strawberry frosting. Inevitably, I chose the Chocolate Cupcake with Sea Salted Caramel buttercream.
My sea salt caramel chocolate cupcake frosting top was not unscathed after shopping Despite its less attractive looks, it was decadent. The light butter cream was not sickeningly sweet, a perfect consistency and was a nice compliment to the cake.
The fudgey chocolate cake was unbelievable and my favorite part. The only aspect missing was a touch more sea salt and it would be the perfect sea salt cupcake. In fact, I would prefer it over Lulu’s sea salt cupcake.