Here’s a look at the top stories from a decade ago in June 2008:
- The Wine Flight 5k training runs started up. These were a series of light runs that were “training” people for the 5k which took place in October 2008.
- Demolition of The Village Cafe began. The Village Cafe was run by the Reali from 1936 until 2007. The land it was on is now occupied by condos.
- PETA put out a press release claiming they were going to build a lobster empathy center in the Somerset County Jail, “Visitors to the center could voluntarily have their fingers rubber-banded together, and then they could walk into a dirty tank where they would be pressed up against other visitors to simulate conditions for lobsters in supermarket tanks.”
- Andrew Zimmern was in town filming segments with Rob Evans, Sam Hayward, Rick Tibbets, Masa Miyake, the Deathmatch crew, and Rabelais for his show Bizarre Foods.
- Prost! International Tap House opened.
- The Clown closed their wine shop on Middle Street.
- Mark’s Hot Dogs, celebrated their 25th anniversary.
Here’s a look at the top stories from May 2008:
- John and Brendan Ready won the National Young Entrepreneurs of the Year award from the Small Business Administration.
- Local 188 bartender John Myers won the B&B 70th Anniversary Master Mixologist Showcase for his cocktail The Touchable.
- Caiola’s started serving brunch.
- Captain Mowatt’s won the People’s Choice award at the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival.
- The Merry Table opened on Wharf Street.
- The Phoenix reviewed Gaucho’s Churrascaria “What would you pay to have a handsome young man wearing a sash around his hips anticipate your every need for about an hour? At Gauchos Churrascaria it goes for $30, and it comes with meat. Drinks are extra. A lot extra, actually. And drinks help.”
- Novare Res opened.
- Nabisco ceased production of the Crown Pilot crackers.
- The Grill Room opened in the space formerly occupied by Natasha’s.
Portland Maine History 1768 to the Present has posted some history on Alice Greele’s Tavern, a popular food establishments in 18th Century Portland.
The fashionable tavern of the town was kept by Dame Alice Greele, and here, during the whole Revolutionary period, the committee of public safety met, the judges held their courts, and political conventions had their sessions. It was here that the citizens in town meeting heroically voted to stand the bombardment rather than give up the guns demanded by Mowatt.
Here’s a look at the top stories from April 2008:
- Erik Desjarlais opened his new restaurant Evangeline in Longfellow Square.
- Bresca was included on the Conde Nast Traveler‘s 2008 Hot List.
- Andrew Zimmern was working on new episode of his show set in Maine.
- An article by Sam Hayward on island raised sheep in Maine was published in The Art of Eating.
- Chef et al opened on Forest Ave and Granny’s re-opened on Congress Street.
- Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham gave a lecture entitled “The Natural Cook: What Diet Does to Make us Human” at the University of New England.
Food historian Sandy Oliver, author Nancy Harmon Jenkins, culinary antiquarian bookseller Don Lindgren, and Tilly Laskey, curator of the “Maine Eats” exhibit at the Maine Historical Society were interviewed earlier this week on Maine Calling about Maine’s food heritage.
In conjunction with a new exhibit at the Maine Historical Society, we examine Maine’s food heritage, including what ingredients and dishes have come from the different cultures that have shaped our state.
Here’s a look at the top food news from 10 years ago in March 2008:
- Forbes Traveler recognized The Great Lost Bear as one of the Best American Beer Bars, “Maine is a craft-brewing mecca, and there’s no better place to sample the Northeast’s bounty than this nearly 30-year-old institution offering a mind-boggling 52 taps.”
- Mayor Suslovic welcomed to town a master distiller from Bushmills Irish Whiskey.
- Hilltop Coffee moved across the street leaving the space that’s now occupied by Willa Wirth.
- the 2nd edition of Deathmatch took place.
- Foley’s Bakery closed.
- Olive Garden was ranked 2nd in the Best Restaurant category in the Press Herald readership poll.
- Blogger Beer, Maine & Me complained that, “We have a ton of great breweries, brewing lots of great beers, representing all different styles, but no IPAs that we can really brag about in the arena of holier-than-though hoppiness.”
- Rob Evans was a nominee for the 2008 James Beard awards in the Best Chef: Northeast category.
Chronicling the food scene has amassed a lot of information. Now that PFM has passed its 10-year anniversary, I’ve launched this new monthly column looking back at what the key stories were this month a decade ago.
Here’s a look at the top stories from February 2008:
- Emilitsa opened on February 8th, bringing Greek fine dining and an all Greek wine list to Portland. Type A Divervsions wrote, “Our expectations were exceeded on the night we dined; we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, the exceptional service and the upscale decor.”
- Portland Food Map first published its list of Sunday Brunch destinations.
- The Atrium at The Cedars, a retirement community, won top honors from the judges in both the Best Chili and Best Chowder categories at the 15th annual Great Chili and Chowder Challenge.
- Una kicked-off a project to expand the cocktail bar into the space next door to them on Fore Street which had formerly been occupied by Portland Pie.
- The then anonymous writer of food blog Portland Psst was revealed to be Peter A. Smith.
- The Maine legislature considered a bill to legalize home delivery of beer and wine.
As a kid my favorite part of reading Scientific American was the 50 and 100 Years Ago section. Being able to look back and see what the hot topics in science with a century earlier was fascinating.
While I don’t (yet) have an accurate take on the food scene in Portland a century ago, Portland Food Map reached its 10-year anniversary last year. Daily chronicling the food scene has produced a lot of information to work with and this month I’m going to start a new monthly column looking back at what the key stories were a decade ago.
Here’s a look at the top stories from January 2008:
- StarEast opened in Woodfords Corner.
- News of Novare Res became public—this brought the Under Construction List up to a total of 12(!) businesses under development.
- Nancy English was the Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic, and blogs Type A Diversions and Portland Psst were very active in reviewing and reporting on what was going on.
- Otto Pizza co-owner Mike Keon changed the name of his Commercial Street restaurant from Crab Louie to One Eyed Jacks Pizza.
- Three years prior to the launch of Instagram, Portland food blogger From Way Away registered the word ‘Pastarazzi‘ into the Urban Dictionary. It was defined, “Foodie bloggers who insist on taking pictures of their meal at nice restaurants.”
- Rabelais and Slow Food Portland collaborated to hold the Slow Food Writers Night at SPACE Gallery.
- Both Bleachers and Wild Oats closed.
Today’s Press Herald includes a feature article about the memories of the old Roma Cafe and new incarnation.
The first weeks of the restaurant’s second life were filled with diners who told the staff that the Roma, closed for more than a decade, was where they’d celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, held wedding rehearsal dinners and romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations, and gotten engaged. Teenagers trying to impress each other suffered through awkward prom dates at the Roma.
See more photos of the new Roma Cafe.
Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article on the B&M Baked Bean factory in Portland.
Inside, the production line is gravity-fed, for the most part. On the top floor, empty 200-pound iron bean pots swing from a ceiling-mounted rail system. Hairnet-clad workers use brute force to roll the cauldron-like pots from one station to the next, filling them with beans, molasses, cane sugar and other ingredients.
The article includes a video interview with Thomas Coreau who has worked at the plant for nearly a third of the company’s 150 year history.