Bar, Eatery

25 Preble Street Ext
Portland, Maine, 04101-1819
United States

(207) 245-3088 | map

Notes: At the Portland Public Market
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Photo of mynie
Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

4.06/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5
Located downtown, on the ground floor of an office building. Kind of easy to walk right by it.

The bar/restaurant is large. The vibe is quiet and bright during the day, thanks to the abundance of windows, packed and a little loud at night. Never gets clubby, though. It *is* a restaurant, after all.

The decor is unassuming upper middle classness, absolutely inoffensive and forgetable. The wait staff are well-coiffed and nicely dressed and more or less attentive but they don't really care about the beer too much beyond their basic duties as members of a wait staff.

The pizza is EXCELLENT. The best I've had in New England. They give you thick, one-pound Sicilian slices called slabs (hence the name) for a reasonable price. Best crust, sauce, and cheese blend I've had outside of a handful of places in the Midwest. Seriously amazing and reason enough to stop by here instead of one of Portland's 100 other excellent restaurants.

But this is a restaurant first and a beer bar second (or maybe even third, since they also have a really wide liquor selection). They have about a dozen good taps and a few dozen bottles. The beers are fresh and the selection is somewhat varied, but you're not going to find anything rare or highly sought after here.
Jul 18, 2016
Photo of Lonborgski
Reviewed by Lonborgski from Maine

4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Really good local draft list. Went with Foundation Prototype after reluctantly having to pass on some good looking Oxbow choices.
The food is innovative Sicillian. Many healthy options. Man can live on Hand Slabs alone, but don't. The other items are too good and too flavorful to miss. Only regret, the music was too loud for an early Thursday evening.
May 27, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by jebrew from Maine

Feb 27, 2016
Rated: 4 by Erockss from Ohio

Feb 20, 2016
Rated: 4.33 by BEERMILER12 from Maine

Dec 21, 2015
Rated: 4.19 by epyon396 from Pennsylvania

Dec 19, 2015
Photo of Beersilio
Rated by Beersilio from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5
Decent selection of beers. Something for everyone. Awesome pizza.
Aug 10, 2015
Rated: 4.35 by cherche from Washington

Jun 24, 2015
Photo of illpass78
Rated by illpass78 from Maine

5/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Top pie, terrific and diverse set of drafts.
May 16, 2015
Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
Rated by Faxmesomehalibut from New Hampshire

4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75
A slab of their pizza is enough to feed a family of 5! Plus they have a nice local draft list taboot!
Apr 22, 2015
Photo of slander
Reviewed by slander from New York

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5
It’s 10:13 in the PM, and we’ve pushed Ramen ‘til tomorrow due to the late afternoon lobster rollings; completely necessary on the heels of hard time on Allagash row today. Down one of them side streets, across the street from someone’s bastardized version of Barcade. Slab, on the corner of the old Portland Public Market moved away some time ago. Open ‘til 1, like so little else in this town...

Enter, move past the seating, and down the steps to the safe haven on the bar; hatchet shaped widening from narrow on the head wide black slab topped and panel base, with seating for 16 on squared metal stools. Barback holds a row of 20 non-descript handles on a black subway tile wall center below slat boards listing draft selections (brewery, beer, ABV, serving size, and price). Vertical shelving to both sides with glassware (goblet, stems, tulips, snifter, weisse, kolsch, chalice, shaker, tumbler, & otherwise) and some booze intermingled. More on the ends below and flats above.

White subway tile on the end and the walls in a stripped concrete. The wall at the far end of the bar is pasted with brewery & house event posters. Up atop, the walls in a deep red with a window from above, frosted now, and big paneled windows up front. Concrete floors and rafters below a plank ceiling vaulted and rounded cornerwise. It is an oddly shaped space, all in all. Single filament bulbs in drop fishbowl lighting tracing the bar seating, sunken spots over the bar and pan lamps throughout the room. Booth off the bar on the end and a pair of tables on shared benches at the other end, and seating above off the front entrance; 7 shorty tables for the push together pair and three booths.

20 taps; nearly ½ of them Maine offerings including a cider & mead (Infiniti Oatmeal Stout, Sebago Barrel Aged Barleywine, Bunker Salad Daze, Banded Horn Pepperell Pilsner & Eldir, Oxbow FPA, Gneiss Weiss, UFF Dry Cidah, Maine Mead Works Ram Island Chia Mead), and the remainder a mix of craft regional (Smuttynose Smistletoe, Pretty Things Saint Boltoph’s Town, Narragansett Lager, Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail), craft afar (Founders Centennial IPA, Upright Saison Vert, Prairie Christmas Bomb!, Nogne O/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale), and a few imports, too (Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarzbier, Hof Ten Dormaal Zure Van Tildonk, Weissenohe Altfrankisches Klosterbier). There’s also a small smattering of bottles (3 offerings from Oxbow, Upright 4, Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze, and a single each Gluten Free & N/A selection). I drank an Oxbow FPA & a Banded Horn Pepperell Pilsner.

Pizzawise, the ‘hand slab’ (a $6 Sicilian slice, if you want to call it that), is the best deal in town. It’s a 1 lb crazy tomato, mozzarella & provolone foccaccianess but it’s just soooooo goddamn light and airy. Looked like a lot but was easy eats. Ed had the Sfinch, done with a spicier casalinga sauce and was not as good as mine. Was tempted at the talk of dessert (ice cream cone cannoli, fuck!) but it was just not going to happen.

An easyish walk back over the hill and down to the hotel, as are most things we talk about in Portland. Chill house, nicely done, with a good crowd. Motown play? Let’s get it ooooon. Very good beer and a slab is pizza crack, plain and simple. When you need a breather from 3x daily lobster rolls, go get your slab on.
Apr 22, 2015
Rated: 4.51 by NHbeerguy from New Hampshire

Jan 04, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by ChrisinRI from Rhode Island

Jan 02, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Nov 19, 2014
Rated: 4.64 by CATVDK from Maine

Nov 02, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Wendi from Maine

Jul 21, 2014
Photo of millionsuns
Reviewed by millionsuns from Maine

4/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5
The main reason to go to Slab is the pizza. O holy mother, the pizza. Picture a slab of freshly baked focaccia, dusted with salt on the rim, with authentic marinara and strategically sprinkled cheese and herbs, sliced by the pound. It's even better than it sounds.

A hand slab is $6. A beer is the same, give or take, and they have 30 of them on tap. Heavy on the local flavor, with a judiciously chosen list from elsewhere. Rising Tide crafted a beer specifically for Slab, and during my visit it was joined by Sierra Nevada Knightro (something we've never seen around these parts), impossible-to-find Belgians, and niche Mainers.

Interior is Sicilian, or at least Maine's version of it. Has an outdoor area resembling a beer garden. Place is a block or two away from Nosh, which is its sister establishment. High marks for Nosh also, with a similar tap list.

Go for the pizza, stay for the beer. You could stay all night. And if you do, pizza drops to $2 per slab after 11.
Jul 09, 2014
Slab in Portland, ME
Place rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 17 ratings