Excellent beer and the best grilled cheese found at SoPo brewery

It was too cold outside and too warm inside to venture off into the big city. Since I didn’t want to go to downtown Portland, I instead made the trip to Foulmouthed Brewing on Ocean St. in South Portland where street parking is free and so are the smiles. It was hardly a concession from our plans in town since the brewery has built a strong reputation of creating excellent beers and stellar food.

The brewery/restaurant seems to be perpetually busy. When we walked in from the frost for a relatively early dinner, they were all but full, with only their two small drinking “shelves” on the near wall available. We waited for a full-sized seating arrangement while looking at some menus. It was important that we had plenty of room for all our food and drink and small tables weren’t going to cut it. When some patrons eventually left, we grabbed their four-top.

We were quickly attended to and I asked a couple questions about the beers. There were six of them, available in various sizes or as a flight, plus a bonus beer which had just recently been released. I ended up with a 12. oz pour of the Mango Floss, an American IPA. She went with 8 oz. of the Blue Balls, a Belgian style dark aged on blueberries.

Once we received the brews, it was time to put in the food order which we had worked out during our wait for a table. I wanted the Pulled Pork Nachos – corn tortillas, BBQ pork w/ cumin lime crema, smoked paprika BBQ sauce, spicy queso, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes. My wife went for the Curried Squash Soup – butternut squash, coconut milk, cilantro, pepitas, and the Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese – Cabot sharp cheddar, cream cheese, pickled jalapeno, smoked onion jam, on scala bread. She agreed to share the latter.

With food orders in, we tried the beers. I found mine to be a solid example of an IPA. The mango, though it added a tiny sweetness to the beer, was all but unnoticeable. A sip of my wife’s displayed another beer which typified the category. The heavy, dark, high alcohol beverage was tasty and somewhat fruitier than mine. I liked it a lot, noting that a few of those would likely cause me to wobble.

When our food came out, I was pretty happy, maybe especially so since it was all quite aesthetically pleasing. The nachos, which I had had previously, were topped with lots of fresh cilantro over a crema zigzag. The sandwich was sliced diagonally and arranged so the well-stuffed middle was visible. The soup was garnished with cilantro and pepitas. It was a good start.

I was ready to try the spread in front of me to see if it lived up to the presentation. My wife was kind enough to hand me half of the grilled cheese right away, so I gave it a whirl. Holy delichamazing! It was great. The cheese combo with some heat and extra flavor from the jam was just about as good as I was able to dream a grilled cheese could be. This was next level stuff and left me wondering why I didn’t think of it first. It also beat the second best grilled cheese my wife and I ever had which was the last one we had there. Yes, they know how to make a grilled cheese gorgeous.

My half sandwich was done and I was ready for the nachos. I remembered how good they were last time and they were just as good on this visit. With thicker than average corn chips and all the delicious toppings, the nachos were both fully loaded and easily eaten with the rugged tortillas. It was hard to determine my favorite pieces of the plate, because everything was so good. The crema, queso, and pork were all brilliant and stood out as significant flavor enhancements.

As I continued pushing through my chips, my wife alternated between the sandwich and soup, insisting that the soup was also very good. We continued to eat, with a few bites of nachos heading in my wife’s direction, until it was all gone. I finished my beer and took a last sip of hers and we were ready to head home. Our meal came to $43 before tip which was reasonable. It should be noted that they include tax in the menu prices which I absolutely love.

Foulmouthed Brewing appears to be doing pretty well and it’s with good reason. The beers they create have great flavor and they have a decent selection of cocktails too. But what makes them a go-to brewery is their food which is outstanding and pairs really well with their beverages. I’m going back soon for another brew and more grilled cheese. The sandwich might seem a little pricey at $13, but it’s so unbelievably good that I’ll ask them to take my money for it without hesitation.

Stay hungry.

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Peter Blanchette

About Peter Blanchette

Peter Peter Portland Eater grew up in Lewiston, Maine and graduated from the University of Maine in Orono with a degree in English. After college, he left the state to work in Massachusetts, but the allure of a more comfortable life in his home state brought him back after eight years. Upon his return and after meeting his now wife – Mrs. Portlandeater, he slowly integrated himself into the Portland food scene by trying as many restaurants as he could afford. That and a desire to write for others again led him to start Peterpeterportlandeater.com where he reviews restaurants and blogs about whatever Portland/Maine food topics he finds interesting.