Friday, June 8, 2012

Falling in Love with Portland Part Two

Hello all!

I knew you'd be back - who isn't intrigued by Mashed Potato Pizza? Or maybe you truly were curious about how food-obsessed the city of Portland is...either way I'm glad you're back because I have lots to share today!

First on the list today is Miccuci's Grocery, specializing in high quality cheese, wines, and breads. An adorably nostalgic brick building, you are greeted with the scent of freshly baking bread coming from deep within the store, and aisles upon aisles of high quality ingredients, such as white truffle oil.

Yes, white truffle oil. Now maybe it's the college student mindset, but I almost bought this just to say I have white truffle oil in my pantry. Then of course I floated back down to reality and realized I knew not how to use this oil nor how I would justify paying for it when I had so many other places to see on my foodie adventures through Portland. One day, truffle oil, you will be mine AND I will know how to employ you in my kitchen.

As I traveled deeper into the grocery, past rows of wines I've never even heard of and the offering of gourmet Provolone cheese from my boyfriend, I found the source of the scent that emanates through the entire store: fresh bread. Behind this photo of Ciabatta lies a group of busy bakers, diligently working near hot-as-blazes ovens to churn out artisan loaves for happy customers.

Now I take a moment to pause in my adventures to remind everyone that, if you are like me and not around high-quality, fresh ingredients or artisan, gourmet foods all the time, the wonderful internet is here for you! Whether its high-quality Saigon cinnamon from the Gourmet section of Amazon or fair-trade Gourmet Chocolate from FineFoodSpecialists, becoming a gourmand is only a click away! Or, you know, just base your next move on how awesome the food is in the area. It's a key factor that is largely overlooked in my opinion; if HGTV would work that into House Hunters, maybe Josh would actually watch it with me without rolling his eyes.

Now, back to Portland.

My friends, this is the Willy Wonka of Popcorn Shoppes. We almost walked right by it on our way to mashed potato pizza (who doesn't love the sound of that?!) but I became intrigued by the flavor possibilites listed on the sign.

Who knew popcorn had such depth? They allow you to sample any flavor you want, but I was a bit wary of the more out-there flavors. I opted to try the olive oil/sea salt while my boyfriend plunged right in for the Key Lime Pie. Naturally we shared and I must say, it tasted eerily similar to Key Lime Pie. Almost too close in my opinion, but when asked how they do it, the young teenager working behind the register gave me the most vague reply ever. I bet it's magic. After sampling their wares that seems the only logical explanation to me.

NOW my friends we have come to the epic climax of my foodie adventure: Otto's Pizza. Thank you for being so patient; unless you just scrolled down immediately thinking "get to the mashed potato pizza already!" In which case, you are most likely not even reading this little paragraph anyway since you are mesmerized by...


Why did I scoff at my boyfriend for ordering an entire pie, thinking we could never finish it? How did I even manage to secure these two photos before the pizza vanished into thin air, or more specifically, our stomachs? WHY have I never been given the honor of eating this pizza before?

Friends, some questions are just not worth asking. Needless to say, we did finish this pizza, and even ordered single slices from their astounding list of gourmet pizzas before we slowly made our way to the ferry back home. I went to bed with the words "mashed potato pizza" on my lips and a smile on my face; my love affair with the city of Portland complete.

But you can't think I didn't bring my own baking skills to the table while up in Maine do you? Of course not. This little baker from Jersey has to represent too.

Check back this Friday to see what I baked and get the recipe for yourself!



  1. You had me at "Mashed Potato Pizza"! How crazy is that...I would love to try some! You may have to figure out the recipe to share with us all!

    1. Becky,

      I'm WAY ahead of you there. How could I taste that pizza and be satisfied with only enjoying it on vacation?? We all need mashed potato pizza in our lives whenever we want!

  2. I am from Maine and I love visiting Portland. There are so many great foodie places to enjoy. Potato and bacon pizza is huge in New Haven too. My husband goes nuts for it.

    1. Emily,

      I think potato and bacon pizza needs to be shared with the WORLD so that everyone can enjoy it :D My bf loves it so much I am going to have to try to make it at home one day.

  3. I'm sorry but gourmet popcorn? Say what?? Mashed potato pizza? This is actually food heaven :D


    1. Choc Chip Uru,

      You have no idea how right you are in calling it "heaven" :D I miss it so much already that I can't wait to go back.

  4. Okay, girl I just discovered your blog and the words "Mashed Potato Pizza", are ringing through my head. Do you have it figured out enough to come up with a recipe? I'll be back to see. I also am your newest follower. Please accept my invite to come over and follow me, too. I am a Pacific Northwestern Grandpa that loves to cook and build. Looking forward to sharing blogs, Steve

    1. Hello Steve!

      It's nice to meet you and I hope I can one day share a "home" version of that beloved Mashed Potato Pizza with the world! :D

  5. Oh my... what do I want more.. the gourmet popcorn or the pizza!! Wow.. now that's what I call a fantastic! :)

    1. Ramona,

      you want the pizza :D

      Not that the popcorn wasn't intriguing, but the pizza was perhaps one of THE best pizzas I've ever tasted!