Thursday, March 13, 2014

East Ender Bar & Kitchen (Portland, ME)

On my trip to Maine a couple weeks ago, I finished my trip with brunch at East Ender Bar & Kitchen with my sister and her boyfriend.  Located on Middle St. right next to Duckfat, it is a short walk from Commercial St. and is one of many good restaurants to open in the Old Port in the last few years.  We arrived fairly late for brunch, close to 1:00pm, as our first attempt at a restaurant was met with failure, so it was not too busy and we were seated immediately.  The brunch menu features a good mix of the classics (Eggs Benedict, a standard two eggs, meat, toast, etc option, and a burger for those more inclined to the lunch side of brunch) and some nice surprises (chicken and waffles, pulled pork with johnnycakes), though there are not many vegetarian options on the menu.

I went with the chicken and waffles, because...well, do I really have to explain this to anyone?  I mean, it's fried chicken on top of waffles.  And this was really good fried chicken, despite being boneless breasts; it was crisp, juicy, flavorful, with breading that stuck to the meat and never became soggy despite the delectable maple hot sauce crème fraîche sauce that doused it.   That sauce was amazing, creamy and slightly sweet, with just enough hot sauce to put a little fire into it, but never overwhelming anything at all.  The waffle part was great too, with a crispy exterior on the waffle and a soft, moist interior, that was perfectly cooked.  It was not super sweet, but had just enough to balance the hot sauce and the savory chicken.  All in all, this was one of the best dishes I've had for breakfast or brunch ever.  If not for all the other amazing options to try for brunch in Portland, I would probably go to this place every time I'm in town for a weekend; as it is, I will still certainly come back at some point.


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