It’s "Locals Season" in Portland now. The tourists have packed up, the cruise ships are back out to sea, and all of the natives can finally venture back to our favorite spots. My favorite spot, that’s also a hot spot for tourists, is J’s Oyster.

I’m there at least once or twice a month for my favorite haddock filet sandwich ever. It’s not fried, because J’s doesn’t own a fryer, but you definitely won’t miss it. The sandwich is still golden brown and plenty juicy after they pan fry the fresh haddock.

 

I usually pair it with the crab stuffed mushrooms topped with cheese and bacon, and I’ve been eyeing the hot spinach and crab dip that’s back by popular demand. You can go classic at J’s with a lobster roll, or a bowl of lobster stew, or grab a bucket of steamers for the table as you knock back a few adult beverages. Don't forget the fresh raw oysters, always from at least two sources, including Maine. It's in the name, so you'd be foolish not to try a few.

J’s has a full bar loaded with your local favorites as well as a healthy line up of wine, whiskey, vodka, and all the other spirits that keep us Mainers warm in the winter. I’m so grateful for J’s on those chilly winter evenings because everything from the food to the drink to the people — it all warms me up.