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Rob Evans Shines a Light on Little-Known Local Haunts

In picking his favorite Portland food and drink spots for Serious Eats, chef Rob Evans includes a couple of surprises. Will tourists pay attention?

Rob Evans' ever-popular Duckfat, Portland.
Rob Evans' ever-popular Duckfat, Portland.
Duckfat

Curious where chef Rob Evans goes out in Portland? The owner of national darling Duckfat lays his cards on the table for Serious Eats.

Many of the selections fall right in line with typical "Best Of" listicles - Duckfat neighbor Eventide Oyster Co. (owned by the former employees who purchased Hugo's from him), Tandem Coffee Roasters, Pai Men Miyake, Oxbow Brewing Company, and Portland Hunt and Alpine Club all receive their share of (deserved) praise. Locals, who expect these hot spots to be mobbed most of the year thanks to the perpetual spotlight of national recognition, plan visits accordingly.

Other picks are less expected but by no means free from tourist attraction: The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Portland Lobster Company, Otto Pizza.

But Evans also throws curve balls like underrated El Salvadoran restaurant Tu Casa ("great pupusas and the best taquitos in town") and off-peninsula Vietnamese spot Thanh Thanh ("Any chef I know who eats there brings that [raw beef] salad up"). Could these unassuming restaurants be hit with Duckfat-level lines come summer 2015? Will Tu Casa's amicable front-of-house representative finally be forced to ask for a name or a number when noting take-out orders? Or will the distance of these eateries from the beaten path of the Old Port continue to insulate them from even Rob Evans' glowing recommendation?

Duckfat

43 Middle Street , Portland, ME 04101 (207) 774-8080