Thursday, June 13, 2013

Portside Pub

I have to admit that writing a food blog can get a bit redundant. There are times when you are going through the motions because you're talking about a restaurant that wasn't anything special. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great. It just was and it's those middle of the road visits that are harder than others to write about. But then there are visits to restaurants like the Portside Pub in Essex that remind me why I started a blog to begin with.

Recently, a reader of my blog and daughter of a local restaurant/pub owner asked me if I'd like to visit her dad's establishment. Always happy to try something new, I said yes, which turned out to be the best decision I've made in recent memory.

Upon entering we were greeted by owner Joe Bressi and his wife. They were some of the friendliest folks I've ever come across and were happy to make suggestions about which menu items we should try. I decided to go with Joe's Italian Hoagie and Deana ordered a cup of cream of crab soup and a cheeseburger.

Deana really enjoyed the cream of crab. Creamy and topped with a ton of crab Deana was very impressed with freshness of the crab. She commented a few times that the crab tasted fresh "like someone was in the back breaking down the crab" minutes before they served it. Visually, the soup had me wishing my taste buds got along better with crab because it REALLY  looked good. But you, native Marylander, with the taste of crab ingrained in your blood will be one happy customer when you sit down with this delicious soup. 

The burger was every bit as tasty. We learned that every burger is made to order with meat purchased from a local butcher. That attention to detail makes all the difference as you can really taste the freshness in this 1/2 lb meat monster. The burger was juicy and had really good char flavor. Topped with fresh condiments and housed on a really tasty roll this burger can hold its own.

And then there was Joe's Italian Hoagie. Look at that thing. Seriously, look at it. Actually, gawk at it, because that's what I did for a solid minute before I built up the confidence to attack this thing. Have you ever seen anything like that before? I sure as hell haven't. I'm always complaining to Deana that there aren't enough good Italian Hoagies around here so you can imagine how happy I was when I finally sunk my teeth into this behemoth. Everything about this hoagie is good. Not only do you get 45 lbs of meat, but the quality of meat is top notch. It's dressed with a little lettuce, a simple vinaigrette, and sweet red peppers which help cut through all the salty meat.  Oh, and the roll it resides in is quality as well.

I implore you to visit the Portside Pub. It's not the easiest place to find as it's off on a little side street. And you're not going to be blown away by some ultra trendy nouveau chique decor. But what you are going to get is awesome food at a price that is beyond reasonable and served to you by some of the nicest people around and who truly care if you leave satisfied and happy.

Price: Cheap
Recommendation: If you pass this place up consider yourself an L7 wienie
What to Order: Cream of Crab soup and Joe's Italian Hoagie

  Portside Pub on Urbanspoon
Portside Pub on Foodio54


  1. Been there many times. Try Joe's Cheesesteak sub!!! And don't forget to finish it off with the banana cream pie.

  2. I have been to this Pub myself, several times, and it truly is a great place to get a GREAT Ilalian Hoagie! I myself must mention their Crab Dip.... It is delicious!! We have had several different items from their menu and to tell you the truth, I have not had one thing from there that I didn't enjoy. But don't just take my word, stop by yourself....but, be sure you go on an empty stomach!