After living in the Washington, DC area for nearly ten years, our family decided to shake things up and make a big move to a new city in a new state. A place where we could settle in and raise the kids, knowing there wouldn't be another big move in the future. After much deliberation, we decided we would call Portland, ME our new home.
Whenever we tell people about our move, they inevitably ask us: why Maine? Why Portland?
Simply put: the people are wonderful, and over the years, we've fallen in love with the state of Maine. And Portland? Because it has all the best attributes of a big city (fine dining, interesting shopping, incredible arts, great music scene), without all the annoyances and hassles of the really big cities (no traffic jams, no grouchy people, no super-inflated cost of living, no rat-race that always keeps you on edge).
We've been here for around 6 months now, and we're thrilled to call Portland, ME our home. And I'm thrilled to be able to start designing and developing web sites for all the great restuarants and small businesses in the area. I'm especially excited to try and help many of those restuarants and business develop their first mobile friendly Web sites. With smart phones changing the way people find places to eat and stores to shop at, optimizing your Web site for mobile devices is becoming increasingly a necessary part of your small business marketing strategy.
Some of our favorite places (so far) in Portland are:
- The Holy Donut | This relatvely new donut shop elevates those little fried rings of deliciousness to a new level. Before stopping there, I'd never tasted a potato-based donut, but now I don't think I'll ever go back. Plus, their store is so cozy and well designed, and the staff is a joy to interact with. Definately a must-try place.
- Hot Suppa | We've been to Hot Suppa for breakfast twice now. They are open on Monday's, which is wicked-smart, because many other restuarants in town seem to take Monday as a day of rest, leaving Hot Suppa to capitalize on the hungry breakfast crowd of Portland. The atmosphere is amazing, with great paintings on the wall and a huge window facing the street. Not a lot of seating, and both times we've been there, by the time we left, there was a crowd waiting to be seated. I recommend you get there by 8:30 for breakfast to grab a table. The staff is always great, and the food always delicious. My personal favorite (so far) is the Breakfast Burrito. They take this humble entree and elevate it to a new plane of deliciousness. The eggs are so fluffly, and the grilled tortilla just adds a wonderful texture and flavor you didn't realize you'd been missing. Plus, their coffee bar is incredible!! Lots of great specialty lattes are available, including the Maple Latte. Yum. I can't wait to go there again to try their lunch or dinner.
- Mornings in Paris | A great, beautiful little coffee and pastry shop. The lattes and drip coffee are very tasty, and the speciality pastries behind the display case will make your mouth water. The decor is just as the name implies: you feel like you've take a brief vacation to the City of Lights. I think my favorite think is the spiral staircase in the middle of the seating area. The owner is so sweet, and her staff is always courteous.
- The Bayou Kitchen | For awhile, we were coming here for breakfast every Friday. Cajun inspired food, with the decor to match. Again, the staff is friendly and fast, the diner style coffee a pleasure, and the food delicious. My favorite is the Heauvos Rancheros.
- Bintliff's American Cafe | For your fancier brunch cravings. Set in an old house on Portland Street, across from the big Post Office. I feel like a broken record here, but the staff is superb, the decor makes you feel like you stepped back in time to some earlier America, and the food delicious. Great coffees (specialtiy and rip), delicious French Toast, superb Eggs Benedict, and so much more. We've been once and can't wait to go back.