It is impossible to google Portland, Maine without coming across some suggestion to check out Duckfat. Located diagonally across the street from Hugo's and Rabelais, it is also owned by Rob and Nancy Evans of Hugo's. I tried two items.The beignets were little, tender balls of fried dough. For my topping I chose "Spicy Chocolate Sauce." It was good, but a topping on the side would have made it easier to appreciate. The best element of the beignet? That they are made with orange zest.
The fries were definitely a perfect indulgence. Frying them in duck fat keeps them crisp and rich. In fact my favorite were the darkest morsels, crisped in the fat itself. Again, you can choose from a variety of sauces. Though truffle ketchup is their most popular, my favorite was the spicy Thai Chili mayo. Their garlic aioli, recommended by my waitress, was also a great salt on salt taste. I was too full to try their "poutine" or fries coated in gravy and cheese, or sandwiches.
Ironically, while I ate fries and beignets, I got a few more recommendations from some local folks. Lucky for me, they recommended the "slabs" at Micucci.
Located a few steps away from Duckfat (and Two Fats Cat Bakery), it is a combination Italian grocery store, deli and bakery.
The "slabs" are huge chunks of Sicilian style pizza. It was pretty fantastic: light on the cheese, tangy tomato sauce and a perfect sprinkling of salt that balance the sweet, doughy crust. It costs $4.95, but is definitely a meal in itself. And it freezes well, too.
Duckfat, 43 Middle Street, Portland, 207-774-8080
Micucci, 45 India Street, Portland, 207-775-1854