The name could be considered eponymous, but there is a clear implication nonetheless: We’re better than the rest.
I’ve been exploring for the topic for several months, and Ruski’s — the definitive neighborhood bar and grill that’s been in Portland a lot longer than I have (over a century) — might just have the best burger in the city.
If you’re a meat maven then you should get to know Jarrod Spangler, butcher extraordinaire whose well used chopping block gets a full workout at the Brighton Avenue branch of the Rosemont Market in Portland.
On September 24, 1970, an explosion and fire flattened the Port Clyde Sardine factory. "The explosion, it went hundred of feet, those great big timbers went hundreds of feet in the air," remembers volunteer fireman Wayne Hilt in Memories of a Fire, a video produced by Alex Acquisto, Ashley Cleek, Nellie Large, and Emma Weatherill, students at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. "When I looked up, those great big timbers, 24-foot long ones, went spinning. Cans, wood, timbers. I said, 'This is it. I've had it.'"
Many restaurants in Maine have attempted to appropriate the essence of barbecue with only middling results, generally perpetuating a sorry world of flabby ribs and overly sweet sauces.
The lobster processing business is vital to the Maine economy. Port Clyde's prominent business is fishing, including lobster. Local fishermen, however, have been shipping their catch to Canadian processing plants. Salt students Jessie Wright-Mendoza, Katrina Roi, Wolfgang Daniel, and Gillian Fish paid a visit to Port Clyde and interviewed two processors: Kyle Murdock and Linda Bean, the granddaughter of the famous L.L. Bean, are both are attempting to bring this important industry back to the local community.
After a long overdue visit to Five Fifty-Five I’m happy to report that nothing has really changed since my last dinner there. The food is as spectacular as it was at the restaurant's initial trail-blazing debut in 2003. In fact,Five Fifty-Five gets better with age. That wisdom of experience and expertise continue to shine upon chef and co-proprietor Steve Corry and his extremely able kitchen crew.
Port Clyde has been sending fishermen to sea for generations, the products of their fathers' and grandfather's legacies. The community takes a great deal of pride in its fishing past, and its role sustaining and protecting the culture of fishing livelihoods in the Northeast. But with these traditional livelihoods come sacrifices for fishermen and their families.