I check in at the front desk of The Press Hotel and ask for a map of Portland, Maine. I’m eager to explore this city. That ‘s when the concierge hands me no ordinary map – it’s a Portland Food Map. That’s when I realize that food is the attraction in this town. He sends me off with a smile and a few suggestions.
My first stop is just down the street at the Holy Donut, which uses all-natural ingredients, including potatoes, for its decadent sweets. Inside, the shelves are filled with large glazed donuts in all shades and flavors: pink, yellow, or dark chocolate brown sporting names like Maple Bacon, Pomegranate and Sea Salt. I order the dark chocolate sea salt, a best seller. It’s delicious as it sounds.
Five minutes later, I’m at the pier at Luke’s Lobster for lunch. A solo traveler, I get seated right away near the big windows looking out onto the water. I opt for fried whole belly clams to start, along with the classic lobster roll and a Maine root beer. The lobster roll is thick and meaty, prepared Maine-style with light mayo, lemon butter, and seasoning. In a word: divine. For the rest of the day, I walked the cobble-stone streets of Old Port.
The main event came the next morning when I ate breakfast at UNION, the hotel’s in-house and buzzed about restaurant. The fresh fruit bowl with berries, homemade granola and yogurt is topped with a rich drizzle of honey and bee pollen from none other than the bees on the roof. Then comes the eggs benedict, made with local farm fresh eggs, and a frothy latte in a gorgeous mug made by a local Maine potter. This is exactly what weekend getaways are all about.