Portland’s Food Carts and Trucks

July 22nd, 2014

The latest issue of Portland Magazine includes an article on Portland’s food trucks and carts.

Mentioned in the article are: Mark’s, Little Jamaica, Taco Trio, Small Axe, Urban Sugar, CN Shawarma, El Corazon, Wicked Good, Fishin’ Ships, Mainely Meatballs, Love Cupcakes.

The Huffington Post has interviewed Valerie Sandes, co-owner of the Urban Sugar food truck,

How did you choose donuts? How did you decide what donuts to make?
I grew up on these little bite-sized donuts at the race tracks (motorsport tracks in SoCal) my dad brought me to every weekend for his 1/4 midget racing addiction. They were just the traditional sugar donuts but I was instantly hooked from the first melt in my mouth bite. I was a donut lover from that point on, cakes, yeasties, round or square I don’t care…I love ‘em all! I decided to go with the cake variety for the truck because that is what made the most sense logistically with the self imposed space restriction of the vehicle.


Interview with Karl Deuben

July 21st, 2014

Knack Factory hasposted an interview with Karl Deuben from Small Axe.

Without being precious, your food is perhaps more sophisticated than one might expect to get from a truck. How did you decide to go that route?
It is food that we like to cook in a style we thought was accessible for people who would be coming to a food truck. We wanted to put into our business everything we had learned at Hugo’s and Miyake. Bill had been in New York and I was in Chicago, and we wanted to utilize the techniques and philosophies behind cooking food that we had picked up over time. You have to have pride in what you are doing. This isn’t necessarily the optimal business model, but we are very proud of the food that we execute.

Reviews: Lolita, Blue Rooster

July 21st, 2014

Portland Magazine has reviewed Lolita,

On to “Large” ($24), as we share the evening’s asado–grilled hanger steak on a bed of zesty salsa verde surrounded by very good roasted vegetables which we request in lieu of fingerlings. Lolita is flexible–you can get what you want here.

and Chubby Werewolf has continued his Blue Rooster chef hot dog review series.

I’m usually wary of fruit—in any of its forms—as a condiment, but I found that I really liked the contrast the sweet cherry jam against the hot dog’s more savory ingredients, so much so that I’ll consider trying the Apocalypse Now burger the next time I’m at Nosh. And what a neat visual: that smear of very-dark purple jam almost resembles caviar. (Less aware was I of the foie gras mayo but, on this edible ode-to-excess, I can’t tell you that I missed it for a second.)

This Week’s Events: Oxbow/Del Ducato Dinner, Allagash at Pai Men, Goose Island Migration, Beer Camp Preview

July 21st, 2014

Monday — Piccolo is hosting a 6-course beer dinner featuring Oxbow and Del Ducato Birrifico.

WednesdayBier Cellar is holding a Goose Island Migration Week tasting, Pai Men is having an Allagash tap takeover with special food pairings, food book author Kate McCarty will be speaking at the Maine Historical Society, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

ThursdayThe Great Lost Bear is previewing beers from Sierra Nevada Beer Camp.

Saturday — Novare Res will be having a Beer Camp preview, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

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.

Review of Bresca and the Honey Bee

July 20th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Bresca and the Honey Bee, Krista Kern Desjarlais’ snack shack in New Gloucester.

The review also shares that “[Desjarlais] tells us she has a location lined up in Lewiston-Auburn, but needs to decide if she’s ready to get back into the scene”. Should she decide to go ahead I imagine there a lot of Bresca fans, myself included, who will be making regular treks to Lewiston-Auburn this Fall.

Food & Wine: Zimmern’s 10 Plates in Portland

July 19th, 2014

fandwaug2014For the August issue of Food & Wine magazine Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern has assembled a list of 10 of his favorite dishes from Portland restaurants.

In my childhood, I passed through Portland every year on my way to Camp Moosehead. Since then it has become one of America’s great restaurant cities. My parents retired here years ago, and I’m hard pressed to think of a small town with as large of an impact on the country’s food scene. I am here often, baseball cap on my head, enjoying a great meal.

Featured in the article are the following:

  1. Meat Coma Platter at Salvage BBQ “best sliced brisket in recent memory”
  2. Seared Foie Gras at Central Provisions “the foie gras is superb”
  3. Crab Salad at Vinland “the Scandi-style fits the natural landscape of Maine perfectly”
  4. Steamed Lobster Roll at Eventide“the kitchen is jamming on all cylinders”
  5. Lobster Dumplings at Empire “This place is mobbed, even in winter, when other places aren’t”
  6. Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog at Blue Rooster “awesome sandwiches”
  7. Cheeseburger with Gochujang at Small Axe “from the playful minds of chefs Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy”
  8. Poutine at Duckfat “the menu is loaded with winners”
  9. Mussels with Almond and Garlic at Fore Street “the mussels…are legendary”
  10. Grilled Swordfish Belly at Miyake “the wait is worth it”

The article isn’t yet online but you can pick-up a copy at your local newsstand.

Under Construction: Ebb & Flow, Golden Lotus

July 19th, 2014

The liquor license application for a pair of new restaurants are scheduled for Monday’s City Council meeting:

  • Ebb & Flow (facebook, twitter) is a Mediterranean seafood restaurant under construction at 100 Commercial Street—former home of Spread, Gaucho’s, Oolong. As reported last month, the restaurant is a collaboration between Nova Seafood owner Angelo Ciocca and chef William D’Auvray. An extensive draft menu for Ebb & Flow was supplied with the application (starts on page 31).
  • Golden Lotus is a new Asian restaurant that will be taking over the spot at 511 Congress Street which currently is the home of Shanghai Tokyo. Chef/owner Joe Tang has 30 years of restaurant experience, mostly in NH. For several years he was part of the staff at Wok Inn before joining the kitchen staff at Empire Chinese Kitchen. A hand-written draft menu (page 69) was supplied with the application.

Review of Becky’s

July 19th, 2014

Living, Eating and Aging has reviewed Becky’s.

…For food, your basic breakfast is as good as any basic breakfast in town, better than many.  The menu contains all the essentials – eggs, bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit, etc. and not one word on the page is in French. I’m sure many respected foodies might now question my foodie bona fides but I’m gonna just throw it out there: it’s 6:30AM and I’m hungry, I’m going to Becky’s.

Review of Scarborough El Rayo

July 18th, 2014

The Golden Dish has published a review of the Scarborough El Rayo.

The salsa was made from fire-roasted tomatoes, giving it a rich burnished taste.  The chips were made  from Tortilleria Pachanga tortillas, the local artisanal provider from Bayside.  Also impressive was the restaurant’s listing on the back of the menu of local purveyors, something that you don’t often see on the typical Mexican menu here.

Maps Cafe Opening Today

July 17th, 2014

maps_logoMaps Cafe (facebook) is scheduled to open today at 2 pm. They’re located at 64A Market Street, just down the road from the Salt Cellar.

Maps Cafe is aiming for a “European feel whilst focusing on local Maine produce in a relaxed environment”. They’ll be serving beer, wine, coffee, tea, sandwiches, snacks and sweets.

Marshall Wharf Seaweed Brew

July 17th, 2014

NPR has aired a report on Marshall Wharf’s brewing of Sea Belt, a beer that uses Maine sugar kelp as one of its key ingredients.

At Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. on the Belfast, Maine, waterfront, new beers begin their journey into draft lines and pint glasses inside two large tanks. Marshall Wharf has a reputation for making some unconventional beers — a stout with locally sourced oysters, for example, and a wheat-infused kolsch with jalapeno and habanero peppers. A few years ago, David Carlson, the brewing company’s owner, discovered a beer from Scotland, called Kelpie, made with seaweed.

“If there’s seaweed in Maine and it’s a good product,” he says, “why not try putting it in the beer?”

Mainely Burgers on Eat Street

July 17th, 2014

Urban Eye reports that the upcoming episode of Eat Street featuring Mainely Burgers will air on July 31.

But 10 hours of filming has paid off. The trucks, one parked at Scarborough Beach, will be featured July 31st at 8 p.m. on season five of the Cooking Channel’s street-eats-centric show.

Tasting Table: Portland City Guide

July 16th, 2014

tastingtableTasting Table has assembled an eating and drinking guide to Portland.

It might not have the cachet of a New York or Chicago, but Portland, Maine has quietly emerged as one of the country’s most progressive dining cities. Farm-to-table is a given here; chefs in this oceanside town savor access to regionally caught fish as well as sustainably raised meat and local produce. Wrestling for attention is the area’s vibrant drinking scene, which spotlights equally local beers and spirits. And it almost goes without saying, but bears repeating: Portland’s lobster rolls simply cannot be beat.

Highlighted are: Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Empire, Eventide, Fore Street, Great Lost Bear, Hugo’s, Hunt & Alpine, In’finiti, K. Horton’s, Local 188, Lolita, Novare Res, Portland Lobster Company, Salt Cellar, Slab, Standard Baking, Street & Company, Sweetgrass, Vervacious.

Review of The Thirsty Pig

July 16th, 2014

Fill the Steins has reviewed The Thirsty Pig.

Also just right? The Pig’s commitment to fresh, local brews and housemade sausage. Two handfuls of taps pour out some of the best beer Maine has to offer, from Bunker to Maine Beer Co. and more. Because, what goes better with sausage than beer?

Nothing. The answer is nothing.

Single Item Store Viability

July 16th, 2014

In the wake of the high profile bankruptcy of the Crumb cupcake chain in NYC, the Press Herald takes a look at the risks and opportunities associated with running a business focused on a single product type.

“I quit my job, opened a jerky store and people told me I was out of my mind,” DiBenedetto recalled in a phone interview from his business in North Conway, N.H.

But his North Conway House of Jerky store did so well that, five weeks ago, he and some business partners opened a new shop on Exchange Street called the Old Port House of Jerky.

Saveur: Maine’s Stay on the Landers

July 15th, 2014

Saveur has published a feature about the 2nd generation farmers of the Back to the Land movement in Maine.

As the rest of us get a taste for the benefits of eating local and organic, and small-scale farms start to become more viable, some of the sons and daughters of Maine’s Back to the Landers are staying put—literally on the land where they grew up—and dedicating themselves to small-scale farming with renewed vigor, despite the hardships they witnessed growing up, as many of their parents had to give up farming to make ends meet. “Stay on the Landers,” they sometimes call themselves—these kids, like Ben, who are following through on their parents’ dormant dreams, doing tough, rich work that doesn’t make a lot of money.

Sangillo’s Appeal

July 15th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports that an appeal hearing date has been set for Sangillo’s.

The owner of Sangillo’s Tavern will get a chance to argue why he shouldn’t lose his liquor license in an appeal hearing scheduled Sept. 11 in Council Chambers at City Hall.

The bar at 18 Hampshire St. lost its license after a 5-4 city council vote April 7. It has remained open while owner Dana Sangillo appealed the decision to the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations.

Cultivating Community Urban Twilight Dinner

July 15th, 2014

Cultivating Community and Rosemont are teaming up to run an Urban Twilight Dinner this Thursday at the Urban Farm Fermentory in East Bayside.

This Twilight Dinner consists of a tapas-style meal prepared with seasonal ingredients from local farms, by Rosemont Market’s Brad Messier.

While you are here, explore the Fermentory and sample some of the deliciousness being brewed in-house (kombucha or hard cidah, anyone?) and learn more about Cultivating Community’s youth, farming and food programs.

Tickets are $40 per person and are available on BrownPaperTickets.com.

Boston Globe: The Holy Donut

July 15th, 2014

The Boston Globe has written a brief piece about The Holy Donut.

The Holy Donut makes from scratch and hand cuts, shapes, and glazes roughly 3,500 doughnuts a day in about 24 different flavors. The ones we tried were undisputed winners, including their two most popular sellers – a zesty lemon that pops with fresh citrus, and the dark chocolate sea salt, which is glazed hot from the fryer and practically melts in your mouth.

Weft & Warp Crowdfunding

July 14th, 2014

static.squarespace.comWeft & Warp (website, twitter, instagram) has kicked-off a campaign on the Foodie Crowd Funding site. Owner Erik Desjarlais is hoping to raise $17,000 to help expand his business.

I’m launching this campaign to push the business forward. I work efficiently enough with the tools I have, but it is not enough to keep up with the orders. I’m looking to move out of my tiny 8×10 workshop (I’m not kidding- I have stacks of leather and fabric climbing up the walls, and my kitchen is now my main workspace) in to a larger space in the area, and create a few jobs.

To learn more or to contribute to the campaign visit the Weft & Warp page.