Carol McCracken (Post # 2,617)
“This is the best lobster roll I’ve ever had,” said an acknowledged musician who also plays the guitar and said he lives in California earlier today. The acknowledged musician was eating with his wife, Mary Ann, at the Patio on Congress Square Park – just opened – by the adjacent Westin Portland Harborview – for the first year.
MHN.com would have to wait until this mysterious musician and his wife of thirty years finished their lobster rolls before learning more – like who is Al Jardine and why was he performing at Merrill Auditorium this evening?
MHN.com is not a food critic, but is one who knows good food when presented with it. The pulled pork sandwich and salad were outstanding. So was the in-house prepared cheesecake with fresh raspberries smothering it. A good salad with a very satisfying salad dressing replaced French fries or chips. Liquor is served, but must be consumed within the confines of the Patio and not consumed in the Park itself. Brian Anderson, is the Executive Chef. The Patio is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
It was a lovely day to enjoy the Westin Patio and the plants and flowers that David and Pandora LaCasse have so steadfastly nurtured into full leaf and bloom this spring. in the Park.
The brothers LaCasse were enjoying lunch and the gardens as well. “The hamburger is amazing,” David said. “I was here last night and I’m planning on coming back tomorrow for lunch,” he said. “I like it here!” David and the Westin have been negotiating for many months about opening up the Patio for hotel guests as well as visitors to the Park itself. (See above right photo.)
“I’m one of the Beach Boys,” the 73-year-old musician told me when he’d finished eating his lobster roll and mhn.com was invited back into their space. “The B- e- a-c- h B….??”, I sputtered back at him incredulous at my great good luck as a forever fan. “I’m performing with Brian Wilson tonight. I’m part of his show. We are promoting his latest album – “Pet Sounds,” he said modestly. Brian wrote all of our music.
Jardine went on to explain the breakup of the “Beach Boys” in 1998 – Brian’s brother a close friend of his died and the group disintegrated – it just wasn’t the same. However, Al and Brian maintain a rigorous touring schedule. After tonight’s concert at Merrill Auditorium, they leave for Boston where they will perform with the “Boston Pops.” “California Girls” was his favorite hit during the group;s most popular years.
Jardine was one of the most unpretentious people mhn.com has ever met and generous with his limited time.
Some tickets for tonights performane are still available at the box office. The price starts at $75.00 and the show begins at 8:00 pm.
Meanwhile, although there is no guarantee guests will meet superstars like Mary Ann and Al Jardine, the setting is top notch and so is the menu.