by Caitlin Saniga
I visited: Duckfat, a restaurant one of my friends recommended before my trip. This low-light, cozy nook serves lunch and dinner fare, including paninis (The corned beef tongue reuben with homemade sauerkraut and the roasted pork belly with pickled peppers, manchego and saffron-tabasco mayo looked good.), soups (chicken and mushroom bisque), salads (charred broccoli with goat cheese and dried olives) and Belgian fries. And it also specializes in craft soda (Roots, Bark, Sticks & Leaves for one) and quirky desserts (gelato floats, milkshakes and doughnut holes). Paninis cost no more than $12, soups and salads are $4-$8, and sodas and desserts are in the same ballpark.
I tried: The doughnut holes, which were fried in duck fat, scented with citrus and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Duck fat-based caramel sauce was served alongside. I also tried the duck fat-fried, hand-cut Belgian fries with garlic mayo and a Big Red craft soda, which was served in a Ball jar and tasted like fizzy cinnamon and hibiscus flowers.
Why it stood out: These hot little doughnuts were made to order and were a great option to take to go. I picked caramel sauce for pairing, but a spicy chocolate sauce was another option.
It cost: $4 for a parchment cone holding six doughnut holes and an extra 50 cents for the caramel sauce.
Find out more:
43 Middle Street
Portland, ME 04101