Roadfood restaurants come in all shapes and sizes. The Fishermen’s Grill falls on the smaller scale of the spectrum. Located off the tourist trail, The Fishermen’s Grill is actually inland on one of Portland’ main drags. It’s so tiny that you might miss it. In fact, we did and had to turn around. As we approached, we observed a picnic table in front of the building. Entering the small storefront there are a couple of tables. No wait service here, you approach the counter, view the menu board, which also lists the daily specials and recite your order to the counterman or woman.
We had considered ordering the seafood chowder but we were told it is made to order and that there would be a 25 minute wait. Unfortunately, we had a while to get to our final destination, so we decided upon their ready made, home-made clam chowder. In addition, we decided to share a “Seafood Combo 3”, which is essentially a combo of three fried seafood items. We chose Whole Belly Clams, Haddock and Clam Cakes. The combo comes with fresh cut fries and homemade slaw. At first we were concerned that the order may not be large enough to share. When our meal arrived, our fear quickly subsided.
The chowder was a classic creamy New England style Chowder, topped with parsley and loaded with freshly shucked clams. Our hunk of fried haddock was huge, very fresh and completely grease free. Our oceanic whole belly clams were some of the best we’ve ever had, with a very unconventional batter. We questioned if it was tempura fried, but were enjoying them so much, we forgot to ask. Our clam cakes were thick, dense, and chock full of clam in each bite. Even the homemade slaw was exceptional, not overly creamy, topped with parsley and seasoned with old bay. Both of us really enjoyed our meal.
We hope to return and try their seared scallops and especially their Jumbo “Lobstah” Roll: 1 1/2 pounds of freshly picked lobster. For generous portions of fresh seafood, The Fishermen’s Grill proves that bigger isn’t necessarily better.