Well, these do. Words are hard to find to describe the bagels from Scratch Baking Co. on Preble Street Extension (Willard Square) in South Portland, Maine.
But it will try: Inordinately crispy crust, intense flavorings, and pillow-soft sponge-like dough inside. At 6/$7.50, these are realistically priced. And, worth mentioning, notably larger than most other bagels, and each one an obvious indulgence and example of passion from the bakers at Scratch.
Now, with the best bagels, try the best cream cheese I have found, at least at a grocery store:It’s Zausners (by Smithfield) Whipped Cream Cheese, and it is readily available at Whole Foods Market, among other locations.
At best, getting to Scratch Bakery, for me, is a 15-minute round-trip departure from my travels, but let’s just say, it is the best 15 minutes I could invest in quality breakfast eating.
As a photographer, I am often asked, “what is the best camera”? Well, I avoid the slippery slope of wanting to get on a soap box and launch into the speech that goes something like “handing me Picaso’s paintbrush won’t make me an artist”, I usually recant “the best camera is THE ONE YOU HAVE WITH YOU”. Well, today, stopping in at my favorite market in the whole wide world, Micucci’s on Portland, Maine’s India Street, and a place regular followers have heard me tout many times, I spied this array of amazing Sicilian slab pizza. Being a cold, snowy/rainy day, the usual noon rush on these delicacies had not quite happened… thus an unusually high “inventory”. Not having this be a planned shoot, after all, I just stopped in for pine nuts (though I walked out with $55 worth of “necessities” in a big box!), I had no “real” camera with me. This has been a relatively long story to say that I took this with my phone. Anyhow, back to food. I didn’t grab one of these, preferring to drive home before having lunch, but I did grab a frozen slab (as previously photographed and shared on this blog) that I plan to share with Liz perhaps as soon as tomorrow noon! I’m sure a photo will be had of that, as the last frozen slab I baked at home bubbled up so darn nicely! (previously posted image repeated here:)
Paper plates? REAL paper pie plates? NO generic pizza boxes? Huh? You thought that went away in the 60’s? Well, everything about Alex Pizza (save for the prices, but they are 2013-realistic) is straight out of the 1960’s it seems. And those pizzas! Wow. Here are a trio, bacon in the front, back left hamburger and green pepper, and a tried-and-true cheese!Some say there is no difference, but the locals insist on asking Alex to cook their pizzas in the “old oven”. So, I always do, too…. yes, hot air is hot air, but you can imagine how much flavor must remain inside, subtle or otherwise, an oven that has seen probably over a million or two pizzas run through. I also ask for extra sauce, it is “that” good!
Alex Pizza is on Rte. 111, Alfred Street, just on the fringe of Biddeford’s downtown district, right across the street from the U.S. Post Office.
From the FOOD NETWORK magazine October 2012 issue, you just have to try this recipe. This was lunch here today on this blizzardy day, and it would be nearly as well served as dinner for a family staying in from the storm. Here’s the recipe from the Food Network site.
Always a good measure, the kids loved this dish this morning. So simple, too. Four strips of butcher-cut thick bacon. Cubed par-boiled potatoes finished cooked for about 15 minutes with bits of onions sauteed in olive oil and a trace amount of the bacon drippings. Separately sauteed mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, green onion, celery salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and grated sharp cheddar cheese. Combine all with about 8 medium eggs and cook until the eggs are done. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese after serving on plates.
Proudly hanging in the kitchen is the new set of All-Clad cookware from LeRoux Kitchen in Portland, Maine… ready for some amazing upcoming food photography for Liz’ (and my) new food blog coming in a few months… All of these items were spec’d out and selected by Liz…And then, also from LeRoux, is the new oval pot rack… now getting the hooks up into the beam that is 14 feet up was a challenge… but once installed, it sure looks and works nicely!And, lastly, a fine BOGO and another 15% off sale at Macy’s last week allowed us to get eight new colors of FiestaWare, again for future photography that will populate posts here and mostly on the aforementioned new blog site…
Hot Suppa! located near the Bramhall section at 703 Congress Street in Downtown Portland, Maine, well-represents the very highest echelon of Portland’s best (and we all know that there are many amazing restaurants in this city!) restaurants. As they say, they represent original scratch cooking.
And, don’t let this lead in photo fool you. The real star this day, and all, was what Liz ordered… read on, please : ) !
Always fun, always top-notch service, and at fair prices considerate of the creative and quality food. Above is the hard-to-resist waffle and eggs from the menu. With choices of the day’s waffle variety, and of course your choice of eggs and breakfast meat, who couldn’t love this? With or without the optional Maine maple syrup.
And , look at Liz’ absolutely amazing corned beef hash: (In 2009, bon appétit magazine published Hot Suppa’s corned beef hash recipe, and in naming this particular dish Portland’s best breakfast thus intimated Hot Suppa’s contribution to Portland, Maine being named America’s Foodiest Small Town that year… read about it here!)This hash was the meatiest, tastiest, freshest, plain-old-best hash I (and maybe bon appétit!) have ever tasted. With meat far outweighing the potatoes, this is 100% gourmet breakfast at its best. Add the wonderful dimly-lit atmosphere, the decor with its bold colors, the fun art, the convenient location, the overall reasonable prices, and now you now you’ve hit the lottery when you arrive and there awaits your table for two, with no waiting.
Next up, one of these days, will be a lunch or evening dinner stop at Hot Suppa!.. My concern is will we be able to avoid ordering breakfast at lunch??
Brunswick Diner is a true diner experience, in Brunswick, Maine. In the summer, it’s a tourist’s mecca; in the off-season, a guarantee to be replete with many locals. For certain is the consistency of the (pretty much always excellent) breakfast experience. This dish is the “veggie home fries” (with eggs and bacon optional) and yes, it is as good as it looks like it might be. The staff calls it “veggie home fries”, which is what it is in essence, but the menu names it something else, which I have summarily dismissed from my memory since the staff dismisses the menu names, too.
Liz ordered her custom omelet, seen here, and she reported it to be good. As expected. And here, for good measure, are a couple more shots of the veggie home fries. Thanks, Liz H for this close up shot of the gooey cheese surrounding the potatoes and veggies on my fork! A nice selection of Capt. Mowatt’s hot sauces are at the ready, too.
Miss Brunswick Diner is on Route 1, 101 Pleasant Street, in Brunswick, Maine, just before Route 1 makes the sharp left toward Bath. The wait is a lot shorter at this time of year than it can be in the summer months, so this is a good time to check things out on your own.