It’s an absolute mob scene at Local 188 for Sunday brunch. People milling about, on the couches, outside huddled in the cold, all willing to wait upwards of forty-five minutes for the scrumptious brunch offerings.
Luckily, The Monster gets seated in about twenty minutes because he is certifiably famished.
Inside it’s a funky hodgepodge of style, a bit hipster here, a little bit rugged Maine there. It works because the place is jammed. Not sure how well everything would come off if the restaurant were empty (if it ever is).
Brunch on this cold day is going to be comfort food. Chowder. Side of potatoes. A wee but of lobster. And their special bread of the day which is banana covered in a chocolate sauce with a smear of peanut reduction.
The chowder is pretty well exactly what you want. Smoky, earthy, filling, not too creamy and served with wonderful bread to dunk in it. If there is a complaint, it is one beat salty but that’s a minor quibble.
As for the potatoes and lobster, both hit the spot. In fact, neither need an accompaniment so the hot sauce and ketchup and the like all sit untouched.
Lastly, the bread of the day is super rich, super killer. It would not be out of place as a dessert or being shared by the entire table as a sweet appetizer as happens on this day.
Service is efficient and pleasant and prices are fair, all the more reason Local 188 is a hit.
Why go? The wait at Hot Suppa is an hour.
Monster rating: 3½/5 Monsters
685 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04102