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“I really wanted to like this place, but didn't”
Review of Pepperclub - CLOSED

Pepperclub
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We had such an excellent experience at the Good Egg Cafe (same location - see my review), and have heard good things from many people about Pepperclub, that we assumed the dinner experience would be great, too. Not so much.
The service was very slow, and seemed to lack any sort of team work. We had no appetizer, no dessert, and one glass of wine each, and it took a party of two over an hour and a half to eat. The server seemed to have no idea of how to combine tasks - she seated us with menus, but didn't ask about drinks, and then took more than 10 minutes to return and ask if wanted drinks. Meanwhile, there were 3 other women roaming the dining room, even though we were only the fourth party there - all two tops.
My husband had the lamb, served with mashed potatoes and butternut squash. He thought it was very good except for the potatoes, which he said had no flavor until he poured the lamb au jus over them. I had scallops, served with mussels, a saffron tomato, and chard/asiago risotto. The scallops and mussels were perfectly cooked (meaning very lightly), but were room temperature. I couldn't tell the difference between the saffron tomato and stewed tomatoes, but I also got some grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and onions which were tasty, and just slightly spicy. Mixed with the tomatoes, it all evened out into a nice accompaniment. The really weak part of the meal was the risotto- it came as 2 scoops (as from a large melon baller, or a lunch lady's potato scoop). Properly prepared, risotto shouldn't hold a shape like this. When I tried some, it was cold - as in prepared in advance, portioned, refrigerated, and inadequately reheated. I asked the server to take it back, and I got a repeat - only this was so cold, the chard stem I bit into resembled a refrigerated carrot chunk in texture.
When the server finally brought the bill, we were overcharged, and the server seemed confused about how to rectify it.
I was completely unimpressed, and in city with so many outstanding places to eat, I doubt I will return.

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1  Thank LayniMSN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (103)
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23 - 27 of 103 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2013

This is a great small restaurant off the Exchange Street area. The food is very good and the menu changes seasonally. There are also specials that are not on the daily menu. Their vegan choices are great and they support local farmers and businesses. The service is excellent, always friendly and accommodating. The atmosphere is a bit funky, so don't be looking for anything fancy - just great food.

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Thank kathylk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

Was here 12 months ago and couldn't wait to get back. These folks have THE BEST home made granola on the face of the earth! Must try it!!

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Thank GeeJAre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Pepperclub is a much better restaurant than it's location and modest crowds would indicate. Please, go there to support what could be a truly great establishment serving vegetarian and began cuisine. Portland is unique in Maine to cater to the plant-based diet - even Ashville, NC is not so isolated in the pursuit of healthy eating! Of 5 or 6 vegetarian restaurants in town, we've tried 3, and Pepperclub is worth the walk out past the main harbor district. If you're at the Residence or Hampton Inns, it's right on your doorstep. The wine list is acceptable and the menu changes with the available harvest and the chef's whim. We had a lovely two curry vegan entrée, but the mushroom main dish was to die for! We discovered that it had cheese in it, so vegans beware, but vegetarians will be very pleased.

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Thank Barbara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

I always enjoy going to Pepperclub. I have a friend who is more or less vegetarian, I am not -- Pepperclub's varied menu works well for both of us. The food is always fresh with an emphasis on local ingredients and creative preparation. The menu is extensive for a small restaurant and the service is good. It is a comfortable place serving comfort food. Other have described the decor as funky, I guess it is but to me what stands about the furniture and the atmosphere is that it is comfortable. Pepperclub is also relatively quiet, unlike many other Portland haunts which get high reviews on TripAdvisor; I like to eat in peace and quiet and be able to hear what my dining partner is saying. One doesn't have to shout to be heard at Pepperclub. Another reviewer described it as loud and the service as poor, evidently there was a wedding party there at the time. I have been to Pepperclub often enough to know that this is not typical.

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Thank ThePurpleProfessor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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