We had a unique opportunity to visit Portland, ME in July during the Covid-19 pandemic, when few states were allowed to travel to Maine. Being from New Hampshire, we were able to travel freely without quarantine or a covid test. It made for an interesting visit to Portland since it was so uncrowded during this time, which I think is unusual for the summer tourist season. I was able to walk right up to Duckfat’s outdoor seating with no wait time.
Since there was no indoor seating at all, the restaurant had set up a few tables in the road out front, blocked off from traffic by jersey barriers. Wonderful social distancing measures were being taken, and everyone was wearing masks. I ordered an Allagash White, a Portland classic, while we looked at the menu, and my son had their Tahitian vanilla milkshake (not pictured….. he ate it too fast.)
Of course we had to order the famous Belgian fries, cooked in duck fat. The large order comes with two sauces of your choice, but you can also order a flight of all five of their sauces if you can’t choose. Yes, please! The sauces are: Truffle Ketchup, Thai Chili Mayo, Curry Mayo, Horseradish Mayo, and Garlic Mayo. Between me and my kids, I think our universal favorite was the garlic, but they were all so good and complimented the fries perfectly.
We destroyed the fries in no time flat, and soon our paninis came out. I had the duck confit, and it was absolutely amazing. It was so crispy on the outside, and perfectly warm and melty in the middle. There was such a satisfying crunch as I bit in to it. I was so happy with the duck choice, but I also really have my eye on the meatloaf panini for next time I go. My son had the Brisket panini, and he was absolutely in love with it and kept talking about it for days afterward.
I really can’t say enough about the wonderful Duckfat. Maybe one day when things are back to normal, I’ll go back to Portland and have to wait in line to eat inside the crowded restaurant like it used to be. But for now, eating under a tent next to the yellow lines in the road was a pretty good experience.
Where to find it:
43 Middle St.