I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about Portland is that perfect summer day. You go out, you eat lunch, you walk around, and just enjoy life. Even better is when you get to sit outside! I figure there’s no better time than the present to start a summer lunch series. These are my favorite places to go for lunch in Portland. First up: The East End
Lolita is a very cool place to be, whether it’s for cocktails, cheese or desserts. Apparently, you should add lunch to that list, because they have that too, minus the crowds. On a Saturday afternoon, I went and tried it, and was one of the only people in the restaurant. I got a spot right by the fire, and could see everything going on inside of the open concept kitchen. Not to mention, I got a sweet view of their bar, which has to be one of my favorite set ups, and on par with Ebb & Flow.
So what do you get when you get lunch here? A selection of their regular menu, complete with toasts, pots and snacks, along with smaller plates and some large entrees. The right way to do Lolita is to order a little bit of everything. Or if you’re there Saturday, try out their new brunch offerings (Yes, you heard me right!). Because how can you say no to a breakfast sandwich with speck prosciutto laid inside? The answer is, if you’re my boyfriend, you order it.
And if you’re me, you try a little more, like the chicken liver mousse. Though I’m not sure it’s a crowd favorite, but pretty much if I see this on a menu, I’m ordering it. I might just be an 85 year old woman at heart but I love it. Lolita’s is creamy, served with homemade and fresh out of the oven bread. I know because I watched it come out. This did not disappoint, and was a great way to start my lunch experience.
Finally, the piece de resistance: the squid ink spaghetti, because people go to Lolita specifically to try it. And I’d been to Lolita at least 3 other times and had yet to try it. Well, it was something! In a good way, of course. Briny, a little salty, and it should probably come with a toothbrush, because my teeth and mouth were black! Sorry to my server, who was probably horrified. But I can see why people come from near and far to try it. Though squid ink is definitely having a “moment”, there’s a good reason for it. It’s nice to switch it up and try something that’s a little out there!
If you’re looking for a quiet lunch (available every single day except Tuesday’s) then the East End’s Lolita is a perfect spot. Sit inside and get a taste of how the busy kitchen works, or sit outside and enjoy the beautiful summers that Maine is so well known for. Thanks for having me, Lolita!