Earlier this month, I spent a weekend in and around the Downeast Maine town of Eastport. Downeast is successful at attracting tourists interested in the quintessential coastal Maine experience, and Eastport is no exception.
Lobster boats patrol the waters, and lobsters of all shapes and sizes are on the menus at local eateries. I enjoyed an amazing Lobster Club sandwich at Eastport’s Quoddy Bay Lobster, for example. Lobster lobster lobster.
But who would have guessed that nestled amongst kitschy souvenir stores, questionably pricey art galleries, and the town’s upscale lobster-serving restaurant, I would also find Bank Square: a pizzeria moonlighting as the most traditional Mexican restaurant that I’ve yet found in the state of Maine?
The food is affordable, is served up quickly with a smile, and is deliciously filling. My dining companion and I ordered three dishes, each a distinct offering of what was proudly proclaimed (multiple times over) to be authentic Mexican cuisine. Having last been to Mexico at age six or so, I remember less about the food, and more about barking dogs, waiters pouring water stylishly, and a girl ferociously trying to sell Tic Tacs.
Puerco Asado, $8.95
The Puerco Asado is a dish of pork that has been slow-cooked for 12 hours. It was served in salsa verde and came with black beans and rice. While the pork was succulent and juicy, the standout for me was the side of rice, which was buttery and so filled with flavors that I could easily have eaten a gallon of it.
The Pollo (Chicken) Chimichanga was a deep-fried concoction of greatness. Filled with chicken, beans, and salsa, this hefty 13+ ounce fried burrito was accompanied by salsa and crema fresca. The crema fresca was the perfect counterpart to the calorie-laden chimichanga, brightening the overall taste and flavor, and allowing me to (nearly) finish my portion.
Taquitos, $1.75 each
My favorite item on the menu, aside from the aforementioned amazing rice, were the Beef Taquitos. These deep-fried corn tortillas were filled with chipotle-seasoned pulled beef, and were served with salsa and crema fresca. Small and easy to devour, they made for a great snack or appetizer.
Bank Square’s owner, Marilu Larrea Scott, presides over her restaurant in a welcoming, albeit a smidgeon authoritative, manner. I was chided for taking a picture of the menu, and was told that “It’s all on Facebook. Go there.” Good for her, though, for using technology to her advantage to help her small restaurant not only survive, but thrive in the seasonal town of Eastport.
I loved hearing her talk about her cuisine. In telling me how taquitos differ from tacos, her perfect English was peppered with food words spoken in Spanish with an endearing accent.
It reminded me of how I [seemingly pretentiously] like to talk about my love of crêpes and croissants (kreppe and kwa-sahn).
34 Water St
Eastport, ME 04631
Monday-Saturday 11h00 – 18h30
Check out this applicably humorous – but obscene! – video from Food Coma TV about Eastport, including Bank Square’s Mexican offerings.