Time: 7:00 pm, Saturday December 6th, 2008
Where: 375 Fore Street, Portland, Maine
Sabrina and I decided to walk around Portland on Saturday night, to see the Portland Christmas spirit. I love Portland at night, especially at Christmas time. It’s so “beautiful buildings and cobble stoned streets and fun Christmas lights and happy people hugging”. Its just so ME.
We decided on Bull Feeney’s as it had been some time since we had been there. Bull Feeney’s is on Fore Street, downtown. The inside has high tin ceilings and lots of wood and plaster. The downstairs portion is mostly a large bar in the middle, with some tables in the front window and off to the side (the best few are up on a landing near a fireplace). There is also an upstairs dining room and a back room for live music. The floors are beautiful wide planking. The walls are painted with suitably Irish things. Leprechauns and unicorns frolic around your table as you eat. Everyone has a thick brogue. You are given a green top hat to wear when you walk in the door. …Ok, the last few things there might be lies.
Our waitress was sweet and prompt. She did her job and did it well. And, all the time with a little Irish twinkle in her eye. She smoked a pipe and wore a tartan. She called me “Laddy” and Sabrina “Lassie”. She carried around a pot of gold. …And, a bit of exaggeration, there. Maybe.
To start we ordered a mix of Pub and Sweet Potato fries. They came with ketchup, horseradish sauce, and the most excellent curry mayonnaise ever. They were hot and crispy and tasty. A perfect beginning.
Sabrina ordered the Shepherds Pie. It was huge, about 10 inches across and 2 inches deep. It was the deep golden brown of an Irish man’s cane. I snuck a taste, and it was glorious. It was filled with herbs and meat and mashed potatoes and corn and gravy. Mmm. Later, Sabs told me that it was lamb. Baa. I felt a little sorry for the soft, fluffy lamb, but then I remembered how good it tasted, and I decided that the lamb was thrilled to be part of such a delicious dish.
I had the Bangers and Colcannon. It came to the table piled high like an Irish mountain. Four sausages (cooked in beer, I think) were laying atop a huge helping of mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage, which was cooked with what tasted like a very hearty portion of butter and bacon. Oh, yes. Bacon drippings. It was excellent.
We were not able to save even a tiny portion of our bellies for dessert, after ingesting what seemed to be (and, in fact, was) huge portions of meat and potatoes. Maybe next time.
Of all the Irish pubs downtown, Bull Feeney’s has always been my favorite. It seems less like a seedy bar than others. It is equally charming as a casual dinner place as for a special night out. You should go.
And bring your green knickers!
4 out of 5 stars.
PS – It is a “little” dim; bring a teeny tiny flashlight if you have trouble seeing menus by what is not more than the light glinting off of a pot of gold.