Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dogfish Bar and Grille - Portland, ME

Restaurant Review – Dogfish Bar and Grille – 128 Free St., Portland, ME

We were recently at an event at the Cross Insurance Arena.  After the event, we thought we’d do a late lunch at a restaurant nearby.  The weather was miserable, snow blowing sideways, so we wanted somewhere close.  We decided on the Dogfish Bar and Grille on Free Street about a block away.  When we arrived, there were no other patrons at the restaurant; the weather clearly was keeping folks away.

We were met by an attractive hostess who brought us to a table well away from the door, which when opened blasted the inside with cold wind. Because our walk there was so miserable, we ordered a couple hot toddies to warm our spirits along with our usual “water with lemon.”

Photo of Bar Area at Dogfish Bar and Grille by Don Taylor | CC BY CA
Bar area - Dogfish Bar and Grill
Portland, ME
The bar area looked very nice and well kept.  A dozen things on tap, a couple televisions, clean looking and inviting.

The drinks arrived just as we decided what to order.  My wife decided on a half rack of the St. Louis style pork ribs.  They come with coleslaw and chips.  When the server confirmed that the nachos were layered with cheese in between the layers, I decided to go with them.  I asked and our server, John, suggested the chili.  By the way, the hot toddies were just what we needed.

BBQ Ribs at Dogfish Bar and Grille by Don Taylor | CC BY CA
BBQ glazed pork ribs with coleslaw & chips
Dogfish Bar & Grill, Portland, ME
The ribs were tender, not over sauced, and quite good.  The coleslaw was tasty, not overly sauced, savory, not sweet – Very good also.  The chips tasted like Cape Cod kettle chips.  They were as expected.  We both wished they had options other than chips.  Possibly oven browned potatoes or mashed potatoes would have been a better compliment to the BBQ glazed ribs. 

The nachos were rainbow tortilla chips with lot on top.  It looked very good.  I’m not sure I like the way the salsa bowl was placed on the top of the chips. It mashed the top down and detracted from the presentation. The salsa was quite bland and uninspiring. The jalapenos were the pickled canned variety and not fresh.  There was some cheese between the layers, but only a dusting and nothing else between the layers.  There wasn’t a lot of chili, but enough, I suppose.  The nachos were fine, but not inspiring.

Nachos with Chili at Dogfish Bar and Grille by Don Taylor | CC BY CA
Nachos with chili and salsa bowl on top.
Dogfish Bar & Grill, Portland, ME


  • Ambiance: 4 (Clean and open, good for conversations.)
  • Food: 3 (Every item was okay, but nothing was outstanding.) 
  • Service: 4 (Server was friendly and attentive.)
  • Price: 4 (Lunch was under $12 each, not including drinks)
  • Value: 4 (For lunch I don’t know of many places nicer, more civilized, with better prices.)


The Dogfish Bar and Grille was fine.  However, there are probably 20 restaurants within a block and a half of the Cross Insurance Arena.  We’ll try some of the others before we return, but Dogfish Bar and Grille is still on our "okay to eat at" places in downtown Portland.  If you haven't eaten there, give it a try.
Dogfish Bar and Grille on Urbanspoon

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