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MST Gives El El Frijoles 5 Stars; Portside Picnic; 555

El El Frijoles, a counter service Mexican street food restaurant located in a converted barn in Sargentville on the Blue Hill Peninsula, is the surprising recipient of a perfect five star review from the Maine Sunday Telegram's Nancy Heiser. It's only the second such rating she's doled out in over two years on the job. It's not fine dining, "But all aspects combined to make our visit to this modest, 7-year-old eatery exceptional," she writes.

Can one really make a sublime grilled veggie burrito? Yes, apparently. The greens were cooked to a char and mixed with rice and black beans ($6.95). Those black beans come from a local farmer who only uses horse-drawn power. It's not just tasty food at El El; the restaurant commits to community and ecology. [MST]

Portside Picnic, a food truck that can often be found at the Back Cove parking lot in Portland, earned four and a half stars from the Press Herald's anonymous Eat and Run reviewer. On the lobster taco: "It came in a warm and very fresh flour tortilla. The lobster meat was sauteed and topped with fresh, thinly sliced red cabbage, tomatoes and a great homemade salsa. The taco was great, with just a little kick of spice." [PPH]

In his The Golden Dish blog, John Golden chronicles the 10-course tasting menu served up at Five Fifty-Five to celebrate the restaurant's 10th anniversary. Golden opens the entry with an interesting retrospective on the evolution of the Portland dining scene over the past decade, then gets into the meal. "Though I've said in the past that I'm not a fan of tasting menus, Chef Steve Corry's roster of multiple courses was superbly devised. From the perfect oyster over grilled Caesar and served with a cunning Sancerre; shaved scallops in vanilla carrot essence and a roulade of Poussin, foie gras and chanterelle, the progression of courses presented moments of culinary magic." [TGD]

El El Frijoles. [Photo: Facebook]

Five Fifty-Five

555 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3308 207-761-0555

El El Frijoles

41 Caterpillar Hill Rd Sargentville, ME 04673 ‎