Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants

The Food & Dining section in today’s includes a feature article about Maine-based Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants.

The Suydams run their spice business out of their rural home, where they also raise heritage pigs, chickens and ducks. They prepare and package the spices in a commercial kitchen they’ve built in their basement, which has a six-burner gas stove, a huge mixer, large stainless sinks and other equipment. Colorful spices are everywhere, and when Rick is working on a curry blend, the fragrance wafts upstairs and fills the house.

In Portland you can buy Gryffon Ridge products at LeRoux Kitchen on Commercial Street.

Portland Food Co-op Interview

The Maine Culinary Podcast has published an interview with staff from the Portland Food Co-op on  Hampshire Street.

Welcome to Episode 11.  In this episode we had an opportunity to learn about the Portland Food Co-op.  Michelle Smith, sat down with us and explained a bit about how the group came to be and how the Co-op works.  Michelle also told us all about the suppliers and vendors that make their product available to the group. Tim, working as Vendor Coordinator, also joined us to go a bit more in depth about the building the Co-op resides in and also how he got started working with the group.

Review of Five Fifty-Five

The Golden Dish has published a review of Five Fifty-Five.

After a long overdue visit to Five Fifty-Five I’m happy to report that nothing has really changed since my last dinner there. The food is as spectacular as it was at the restaurant’s initial trail-blazing restaurant debut in 2003. In fact,Five Fifty-Five gets better with age. That wisdom of experience and expertise continue to shine upon chef and co-proprietor Steve Corry and his extremely able kitchen crew.

10 Coolest

Coffee by Design made Zagat’s list of the 10 Coolest Independent Coffee Shops Across the US.

Sixteen years ago Mary Allen Lindemann and Alan Spear opened this tiny coffee shop in Portland, Maine with the idea of building a place for the community. Over the years, the shop has grown from their original Congress Street location to three other shops and a micro roaster where they process all their beans. But despite their mini-expansion, the independent store remains homey and popular for Mainers as they continue to serve the community one cup of Fore Street coffee at a time.

Obscure Holiday Cocktails III

As in 2009 and 2010, Dawn at Appetite Portland rounded up a several Portland food bloggers for the annual Obscure Holiday Cocktails tasting party. Each one of us was challenged to come up and serve our own contribution to the party with S. from Edible Obsessions providing cheese pairing for each of the courses. This year we sipped our way through the Christmas Bellringer, Greek Airmail (my entry), Lion’s Pride, Whispers of the Frost and Tom & Jerry.

My favorite of the evening was the Lion’s Pride, a mix of St. Germain, Gin, egg whites, lime juice, Peychaud’s and finished off with black pepper and lime zest.

For details and opinion on all the drinks and cheese pairing check out these reports from Appetite Portland, Edible Obsessions, and The Blueberry Files.

This Week’s Events: Free Pizza, Feast of the 7 Fishes, Expanded New Year’s Eve List

MondayOtto Pizza is giving out free slices this afternoon at their location in the Arts District.

Tuesday — a local foods networking breakfast at Local Sprouts.

Wednesday — a wine tasting is taking place at Downeast Beverage.

ThursdayThe Great Lost Bear will be featuring 12 Christmas beers, and there will be wine tasting sat Aurora Provisions and at the Public Market House.

Friday — there will be wine tastings at Rosemont on Brighton.

SaturdayCinque Terre is holding a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve dinner, and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place.

SundayChristmas Day.

New Year’s Eve
Here’s a list of restaurants that will be open on New Year’s Eve. Many in the list are planning special prix fixe dinners and a few will be open with their standard menu. If you know of any other options, post a comment with the details and I’ll add them to the list.

Everyone and their cousin wants to go out on New Year’s Eve so reservations are essential. I’d recommend you call soon before all the good spots get booked up.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Interview with Master Beekeeper Erin Forbes

Maine Woman has published an interview with Master Beekeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes from Overland Honey in Portland.

According to MacGregor-Forbes, news about tainted honey products has increased the demand for local honey in Maine, a market that was already strong. A new, all-things-honey store, the Honey Exchange, opened up on Stevens Avenue in Portland this fall to help beekeepers get started in business, and also to educate the public about the local market.

“Most beekeepers don’t have any problem selling their honey,” she says. “In fact there’s more demand than supply right now.”

Review of Gogi

Gogi received 3½ stars from the review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

So, Gogi is meat. Or not, depending upon your preference.

Go to Gogi for the novelty of Korean tacos. The service is friendly, the vibe is casual, and the Arts District locale is ripe for conversation fodder.

Most importantly, the food is a unique and delicious “fusion” of Korean flavor and Mexican style.

Review of Pai Men

Vrai-lean-uh has posted a review of Pai Men Miyake.

I went tonight and branched out and didn’t order the brussels sprouts, which was big for me because I order them basically every time I go. When they first opened, I was iffy on the ramens, but Dave got a pork and chicken ramen tonight and it was just fantastic. FANTASTIC.