Second Chances

This month’s topic for the collaborative food blogging project was Second Chances. Everyone was challenged with revisiting an eatery that hadn’t exactly wowed them the first time around. We all have off days, that’s as true of restaurants as it is people, so it only seemed appropriate to give these restaurants a second chance and ourselves a second chance to like them.

As you’ll read below, the results were a partial success. Edible Obsessions was ably to cheerfully report that Grace has undergone a complete turnaround since it’s current chef took charge in the kitchen, Vrai-lean-uh and I, while not enamored with our repeat visits, could see something that people might enjoy, and unfortunately The Blueberry Files confirmed that, despite it’s popularity, Taco Escobarr is just not the place for her.

Edible Obsessions – Grace

We’ve been back a few times since then, eating and enjoying our way through Chef Sueltenfuss’ menu. For us, it’s no longer an overpriced, monolith of a restaurant whose food wouldn’t even pass in restaurants that charged one third of the price. For us, Grace is a new restaurant, completely different than the one I was disappointed with a few years ago. It’s one that we’re more than happy that we gave a second chance to. read the full article

The Blueberry Files – Taco Escobar

If you’re in the mood for crunchy Tex Mex Taco Tuesday-esque food, go to Amigo’s, where at least you know what you’re in for. If you want good tacos, with interesting fillings and salsa, head across the bridge into South Portland to Taco Trio. read the full article

Vrai-lean-uh – Sonny’s

All that said, if you’re just looking for a drink and appetizers, I would recommend Sonny’s. Their drinks are very good, the bar is lovely and very appealing. I just wouldn’t go for dinner. Read the articles on read the full article

For my part in this month’s Second Chances series, I made a return visit to The Farmer’s Table. I’ve heard from a few friends who’s culinary sensibilities I trust that they had really enjoyed meals there. That hadn’t been my experience during the restaurant’s first year but I was open to find things had changed. Unfortunately, I can’t say that the return visit did much to change my perspective. The outdoor decks overlooking Commercial Street don’t have an equal and I enjoyed my wine quite a bit but the food didn’t live up to the view and with so many other excellent eating options in town it didn’t make it into my regular rotation.

4 comments on “Second Chances

  1. Went into Sonny’s for the first time a few Saturdays ago! First, the location is the best part – overlooking a bustling city view. Giant windows fill the place with soft afternoon light. The bar staff is attentive & friendly — many drinks are made with spicy jalepeno, herb or fruit -infused vodkas. I enjoyed their refreshing & sweet, but not overly sweet, version of a pina cola. My Hemingway Daiquiri was also strong but delicious! My friend liked his Jaycito, but it was too much muddled cilantro for me – woah! Like sister restaurant, Local 188, this place is ideal for pre-dinner drinks at a well appointed bar. The food is good, although a little pricey for what you get. There are better places for a fabulous dinner in Portland.

  2. I too went to GRACE once years ago, shortly after they would have ironed out kinks after their grand opening. No one could argue the space isn’t beautiful, but the food was not as impressive — and certainly not at the price tag. I understand a delicate hand in portions at a “fine restaurant,” but this seemed ridiculous. Literally FIVE tiny potato gnocchi in my dish swimming in sauce with other (cheaper) vegetable ingredients. Had I not just recently made homemade ricotta gnocchi, I may have overlooked it — chalking it up to being hard to make. Other dishes in our small group were inconsistent in portion — someone got a HUGE crabcake while another a tiny piece of white fish. Personally, after a soup appetizer (chilled watermelon that eventually got kinda gross to eat), five gnocchi and a chocolate dessert — I left feeling underfed and therefore unsatisfied. My only consolation was at least I wasn’t paying the bill. I have not since been back to Grace but have always been tempted to go there. I think I will give it a 2nd shot this Fall. I’ll report back…

    1. I think you’ll have a very different experience on your return visit. The new chef is turning out some very nice dishes.

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