Edible Maine Launches This Summer

March 24th, 2017

Chris Ellis and Dylan Jacobs, residents of Boston and Greenwood Maine, have licensed the Maine region from the Edible organization that links a network of more than 90 regional food magazines in the US and Canada. Ellis and Jacobs have hired Michael Sanders to serve as the magazine’s editor.

The magazine’s mission statement provides a  sense of the range of topics they plan to address:

There is a movement that has been gaining ground all across the land, a movement of people who desire a connection with their food once again. Here at Edible Maine, we intend to nurture that connection very deeply and fully, in the hopes of cultivating a healthy and well-informed public, a diverse and safe environment and a thriving local economy.

The first issue of Edible Maine is due out in Summer and will be a quarterly publication of about 50 pages.

Follow Edible Maine on facebook, twitter and instagram to keep updated as they work on launching their first issue of the magazine.

Cafe Crepe Opening Friday

March 23rd, 2017

Cafe Crepe plans to open their new location in the Public Market House this Friday. Cafe Crepe has taken over the space formerly occupied  by K. Horton’s Specialty Foods.

Pizza by Fire, BP’s Shuck Shack

March 22nd, 2017

There’s news from two mobile food  vendors:

BP’s Shuck Shack
BP’s Shuck Shack, which has operated a food cart for the past two years in Portland, has leased a gas station in Newcastle where they’re launching a distribution center and retail shop, and where, reading between the lines, they’ll be opening an oyster bar. BP’s will be the 10th mobile food vendor operating in Portland converting to or adding a brick and mortar capacity.

Pizza by Fire
Pizza by Fire has launched a new food truck.

2017 Business Leaders of the Year

March 21st, 2017

Congratulations to Bob and Carmen Garver, owners of Bard Coffee and Wicked Joe, on being named 2017 Business Leaders of the Year by Mainebiz.

The Garvers have come a long way since starting in a cramped space in Brunswick. Not only does Wicked Joe have a loyal following in Maine, it is also now distributed in 48 states, and expects to be in 50 states by the end of 2017. Distributors include Hannaford Brothers Co. and Shaw’s Supermarkets, as well as two of the largest natural and organic food distributors in the country, KeHE Distributors LLC of Naperville, Ill., and United Natural Foods Inc., which is based in Providence, R.I.

Beer Industry Economic Impact Study

March 21st, 2017

The Maine Brewers Guild and the University of Maine have released a report that studies the economic impact of the Maine brewery industry.

Both the Press Herald and Bangor Daily News have published articles about the study.
Here’s a link to the full text of the study.

Bowling for a Cause

March 20th, 2017

Full Plate Full Potential is collaborating with local restaurants on Bowling for a Cause to raise money to fight child hunger in Maine. You can make a donation online to help your favorite restaurant from the list below reach their fundraising goal.

To make a donation visit fullplates.org/events/bowl, select a restaurant from the list and complete the donation form.

Participating restaurants: Aurora Provisions, Bao Bao, Bayside Bowl, Big J’s Chicken Shack, Duckfat, Eventide, Evo, Honey Paw, Hugo’s, Nosh, Piccolo, Rhum, Shipyard, Slab, Sur Lie, Tao Yuan, Tandem Coffee

The 2nd Annual Restaurant Charity Bowling Tournament is scheduled to take place April 9th at Bayside Bowl. Tickets are on sale at fullplates.org/events/bowl. The tournament will pair up restaurant staff with professional bowlers.

This Week’s Events: Food Studies Launch, Maine Maple Sunday

March 20th, 2017

Tuesday – the USM Food Studies program is launching, and there will be a lecture at the Maine Historical Society entitled, “Landscapes of Self-Sufficiency: Food, Security, and the Idea of the New England Farm in the 1930’s”.

WednesdayGrace is holding dinner inspired by the idea of Rasputin’s last meal, and Union will be serving a meal at the James Beard House in New York.

Thursday – there will be a wine tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday – there will be a Jack’s Abby tasting at the Bier Cellar.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place, and Fork Food Lab is holding a brunch event.

Sunday – it’s Maine Maple Sunday, dozens of sugar shacks from Wells to Eagle Lake will be holding a statewide Maple open house.

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.

Reviews: Huong’s, BRGR Bar, Sur Lie, The King’s Head, Trattoria Fanny, Foulmouthed Brewing

March 19th, 2017

Maine Sunday Telegram has published the first review of Huong’s,

But in the end, pho is Huong’s signature dish. It’s pretty much impossible to go wrong with any of the herby, beef broth-based noodle soups, like the rare beef and meatball, or white meat chicken pho ($7.95). The service at Huong’s Vietnamese Restaurant also deserves praise – Huong Le’s daughters run the show in the front of the house, and they are unfailingly kind and knowledgeable, often dashing to the kitchen to make special requests that the kitchen goes out of its way to accommodate.

The Blueberry Files and Steffy Amondi have reviewed Sur Lie,

The potatoes and the bolognese were the winners in my book—the fried haddock suffered from a soft, rather than crispy, battered coating, and its flavors were too mild to stand up to the other dishes on the table. The bolognese was my favorite, with a tangy sauce and lots of orange zest.

The Press Herald has reviewed The King’s Head,

But it was the specials that caught my interest that day — first, the cream of chicken soup ($5 for a cup) and, second, the tacos. I had a chicken taco for $2 and a beef one for $3. Both were generous in size and entirely tasty. And the price sure was right. The soup also hit the spot, and for an even 10 bucks for all three of these things, it felt like more than enough food to satisfy even this bottomless pit.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has published the first review of BRGR Bar, and has reviewed Trattoria Fanny and Foulmouthed Brewing.

Foulmouthed Brewing appears to be doing pretty well and it’s with good reason. The beers they create have great flavor and they have a decent selection of cocktails too. But what makes them a go-to brewery is their food which is outstanding and pairs really well with their beverages. I’m going back soon for another brew and more grilled cheese. The sandwich might seem a little pricey at $13, but it’s so unbelievably good that I’ll ask them to take my money for it without hesitation.

Portland Hunt and Alpine Book

March 17th, 2017

Portland Hunt and Alpine Club owners, Andrew and Briana Volk, have signed a book deal with Voyageur Press for a Hunt and Alpine Club food and cocktail book. The couple is already working on a 35,000 word manuscript and the book is expected to be published in 2018.

2017 Beard Award Nominees

March 15th, 2017

The James Beard Foundation awards released the list of 2017 award nominees today.

Of the 12 Maine semifinalist announce in February, 2 have advanced through the process to become final nominees:

  • Best Chef: Northeast – Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide Oyster Co.
  • Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional – Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.

The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony which will take place on May 1st in Chicago.

Related information:

Under Construction: The Holy Donut

March 15th, 2017

Urban Eye has posted an update on the new Holy Donut under construction in Scarborough.

Happy are the people of Scarborough, Saco and OOB. At the end of the month, Portland’s famous Maine potato doughnut dispensary opens its largest shop to date south of the city.

“I hope this becomes the Grand Central of Scarborough,” says Leigh Kellis, standing inside her third doughnut cafe, opening at 398 U.S. Route 1 this spring. “Hopefully we can bring a little soul to this stretch of highway.”

Open for Dinner? (Updated)

March 14th, 2017

Since I eat out most meals, my kitchen is less prepared than most to throw together a dinner with ingredients on-hand. Social media is awash today in early closure announcements from bakeries, coffee shops and other eateries. However, the more important question for me is who plans to stay open?

So you and I know what our choices are tonight I’ve started putting together this list of restaurants that plan to be open for dinner.

Shout out other ones you know about and I’ll add them. Restaurants may decide to change their plans so I’d recommend calling to confirm before heading out for dinner:

Under Construction: Noble Barbecue

March 14th, 2017

Fire & Co (website, facebook, instagram) has leased the former Taco Trio space a 1706 Forest Ave where they plan to open Noble Barbecue.

The 25-seat barbecue shop will serve smoked meats, sandwiches and will have an 8 tap draft list featuring local beers. Their menu will be available either at the shop or for take-out.

Owners Richard and Ryan Carey hope to open Noble Barbecue in early June.

Fire & Company will join fellow mobile food vendors Bite Into Maine, Mami, Small Axe/East Ender, Love Kupcakes/Baristas+Bites, Hella Good Tacos, Mainely Burgers, Urban Sugar and CN Shawarma/Baharat in converting to or adding a brick and mortar capacity.

Drink Here Now: Hunt & Alpine Club

March 14th, 2017

Liquor.com has included the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club in their list of the 263 best cocktail bars around the world.

Portland’s first craft-cocktail bar continues to shine with a deep drinks list that spans from approachable to geeky. There’s the Norseman, a Scandinavian twist on the Old Fashioned that gets a kick from brown-butter-washed aquavit, and the simple Green Eyes, a gin sour sharpened to a keen edge with a healthy splash of Green Chartreuse.

Brewers Pursue Legal Changes to Support Growth

March 14th, 2017

The Press Herald reports Maine brewers testified at the Maine State House yesterday in support of legal changes to help Maine breweries continue to expand.

Among other law changes, brewers want to be able to transfer their own ales and lagers between multiple breweries and tasting rooms without fear of violating state law. Other bills before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee would allow more specialty food stores to hold occasional taste-testings and sample offerings and double the amount of beer, wine or hard alcohol a producer or distributor can provide to a retailer for samples.