Place: Pat’s Café – Market and Groceria (formerly Pat’s Meat Market)
Time: 7:30pm, Saturday 10-6-07
With: Hubby, Jess and Matt
Where: Portland, Maine
Saturday night we decided to go out to eat (SHOCKING!) with the neighbors, Jess and Matt. On a whim we tried to get a reservation at Pat’s. I called at 4pm. “Hello, I’d like to make a reservation… Hello? HELLO?!?” Yeah – our “awesome” Time Warner digital phone was cutting off our end of the conversation, AGAIN. I called back (and it worked. Whatev.) and the lady said that there was absolutely no way that we could get in tonight, I mean, at least until 7:30. She said it like it was midnight. Ok, lady. Calm down. Since we don’t eat until right before bed (it helps with the digestions – Alton Brown told me), 7:30 worked perfectly.
Pat’s Café is upstairs from a literal meat market (not a figurative one, like Blackstones). It’s such a cute little general store that you expect Laura Ingalls to run in the door and ask the storekeep for a bag of flour and an orange. Remember that episode when Mary went blind? Way to rip off Helen Keller, Little House. Right – the upstairs is charming. It has exposed beams, dim lighting, and soft music. I went to the potty to wash up prior to eating, and it is wicked tiny. The sink was about 6 inches wide. Yeesh.
Our waiter was a good looking tall guy (yay!) with John Lennon glasses. He had longish hair, in a ponytail. Now, I would normally mock the tail, but waiter was working it pretty well. He had a good sense of humor and had impeccable timing for when to show up at our table.
He delivered a basket of bread to the table – 4 teensy fingers of bread. Thanks, Pat – could you spare it? For the price of our meal, I want some perks, like lots of free carbs. And rapid and unasked for water refills. And hot waiters. I begged for a second basket of croutons, and we got it. Except it was different bread – obviously the cheaper version.
I ordered the Maine Shrimp Bisque for an app. It was thick, and had little bits of wee shrimp in it. It tasted tangy (I was informed that it tasted like sherry). I would recommend.
I had the Mixed Grill as my entree, which comes with 3 proteins – meat, sausage, and meat. Today there was steak, chicken sausage, and pork, I think. It sounded like a ton of food, like they were going to deliver a side of beef to the table, but the portions weren’t so huge – just right, in fact. It was served with a side of excellent ham flecked risotto.
Hub had the Pan Seared Filet of Rainbow Trout. It came with the skin on, and was served with tomato and dill relish. It looked like it was cooked perfectly. Fish aint my bag, baby, so I didn’t try it. It also came with that perfect ham risotto.
Matt ordered the All Natural Hanger Steak, with Mushroom Demi-Glace. I think he had the risotto on there, too. He said it was pretty good. It looked pretty good. However, why do you think they felt the need to put “All Natural” in the description? Should I be worried that when I order a steak, and it doesn’t say All Natural”, it isn’t? I mean, what is it made from? UNnatural things? Like what? Play-doh?
Jess had the winning meal – Pan Seared Duck Breast. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. We all tried and loved. It came with the ever present risotto (which rocked, so, ok).
Jess and Matt had dessert, a flourless chocolate cake and Creme Brulee, respectively. They looked yummer, but I didn’t have any. I mean, really. I don’t want you touching my dessert, and in turn I wont touch yours.
Jess told a story that the last time that she was at Pat’s, she had the same waiter, and at the end of their meal, she jokingly told him that she would like to take the brussels sprouts home. He, in turn, asked if she wanted them individually wraped. Jess (of course) said yes. Well, as they were getting ready to leave, the waiter actually brought out her brussels sprouts, separately wrapped and shaped like ducklings. You know, that’s all I ask: good food and a chuckle.
Pat’s is an excellent place to eat with appropriate ambience and food choices. Everything was well prepared. It is a skosh more costly than Mickey Dees, though, so be warned.