Mr. Chasse had dreamed of operating The Worcester Lunch Car Company No. 818 since he was a boy growing up in Portland. His father was a well-known sausage maker and the two would drive past the diner often. He bought Miss Portland Diner around 1980 and served breakfast and lunch seven days a week to a loyal following.
The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Finest Kind Tea Concentrate and its founder Jay Lombard.
Moving to Portland in January, the environment was right to launch Finest Kind Tea Concentrate. He made his first batch in June and now offers two flavors — wild Maine blueberry white tea and half and half, which is black tea and lemonade concentrate, also known as the Arnold Palmer.
Sold in 16-ounce glass apothecary bottles for $6.99, the strong tea blends can be fizzed up, iced down, heated or blended with tap water. Lombard also recommends mixologists add rum or gin for an easy cocktail.
Finest Kind is a competitor in The Next Big Food Thing contest being run by online grocery service Fresh Direct.
Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed David’s Opus Ten.
You should go to David’s Opus Ten soon. Get ready for some great food and be adventurous. It’s worth it for the experience. Pick a special occasion, make a reservation, and try something new. You can thank me later.
The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a food-oriented gift buying guide,
When it comes to shopping local for the holidays, especially when you’re on the hunt for food-related gifts, those of us who live in Maine are luckier than a hungry elf trapped in a gingerbread factory.
and some recommendations on where to source gluten-free or vegan prepared foods for the holidays.
If you’re looking for prepared Christmas food that is gluten-free or vegan or meets other dietary needs, you’re in luck. It’s never been easier to find these eats in Greater Portland. But for the people running the food businesses, it can be hard to keep up with demand.
The Press Herald has published an article about a Kentucky man who’s traveling the country handing out $500 tips in memory of his brother.
An organization was founded, Aaron’s Last Wish, and about $50,000 was raised to keep the tips flowing. Collins said his goal is to leave at least one $500 tip in every state in the country by the end of January, and he still has about 10 Eastern states to go.
Update: Also see this article from the Bangor Daily News.
Both Instant Portland and The Golden Dish have published reports from Saturday’s winter farmers market. The market kicked off this past weekend at a new location, the Urban Farm Fermentory in East Bayside.
The new space is big improvement. Large windows bring in the winter light, and the combination of the existing businesses and the temporary visitors make for a good mix. The space was bustling, but hardly ever seemed really crowded, even though it was clear there were a LOT of people there.
This Week’s Events: Fisheries Tourism Workshop, Farm to City Craft Fair, Caviar Tasting, New Year’s EveDecember 9th, 2013
Tuesday — Piccolo and Devenish Wines are collaborating on a dinner.
Friday — a Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Tourism Workshop will teach aquaculture operators and fishermen how to diversify their operations by adding tourism.
Saturday — Piccolo and Dandelion Spring Farms are collaborating on a Farm to City craft fair; Piccolo will be serving pastries and hot chocolate. A champagne and caviar tasting is taking place at Browne Trading, and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Urban Farm Fermenntory on Anderson Street.
New Year’s Eve
Restaurants are beginning to announce their plans for New Year’s Eve. Here’s a list of ones I have details for so far. I’ll be expanding the list as more information becomes public. For reference, here’s a link to the list from 2012. (Restaurant owners: please send details to email@example.com or post a comment below.)
- Back Bay Grill, 4-course dinner for $96 per person
- Boone’s is throwing a party with a band, cocktail luges, ice sculptures and balloon drop. 5-course prixe fixe dinner is $85 per person with optional pairings available. More info.
- Eventide, will be throwing a party, a $25 ticket will get you “$1 oysters and a steady supply of your favorite menu items for snacking (lobster rolls and oyster buns included)”
- Five Fifty-Five, 5-course dinner in the restaurant for $100 per person
- Grace will be serving their regular dinner menu. A cover charge of $10 (which funds the Good Shepherd Food Bank) will get you into the late night party which comes with complementary champagne toast at midnight.
- Hugo’s, 5-course dinner, $120 with optional wine pairings for $75
- Miyake, will be serving a special 5-course omakase in addition to their usual menu
- Oscar’s New American, 4-course dinner for $75 per person with optional wine pairings for $45
- Outliers Eatery, 7-course dinner
- Pai Men Miyake will be “tapping a couple of special kegs and have an extensive specials selection in addition to the regular menu”
- Petite Jacqueline, 3-course dinner for $65 per person, there are also optional wine and champagne pairings
- Piccolo, 5-course dinner with a glass of sparkling wine, $85 per person
- Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea, 4-course menu, $85 per person with optional wine pairing for $30
- Spread, will be open, details still TBD
- The Good Table, will be serving a special New Year’s Eve menu
- Vignola will be serving a speecial NYE menu, $55 per person
- Vinland, details TBD
- Zackery’s, room and dinner package starting at $119 plus tax
- Zapoteca, 5-course preview of dinner the chef will serve at the James Beard House, $50 per person with optional wine/tequila pairings for $25.
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.
The Old Pine Tree has published a review of Caiola’s.
It’s dangerous in this town to make a sweeping statement about something or some place being the best. It’s a sure fire way to create an uproar. But whatever. I’m going to take that risk.
Coffee by Design recently moved their roasting operation to a spacious new facility in East Bayside. A new cafe will be opening in the neihborhood in early January. These photos were taken during a party held last night to celebrate the expansion of the business.
Update: Maine a la Carte has published a report and photos from Sunday night’s CBD party.
The Portsmouth Herald has published an interview with chef Shannon Bard.
Bard grew up in Oklahoma on the Texas border. She and her family sat together and enjoyed large meals prepared by her grandmother and mother. She joined them in the kitchen and spent hours making vibrantly flavored meals prepared from scratch. Meanwhile, her father and grandfather, both small farmers, imparted lessons on seasonal produce and the hard work and dedication farmers put into each and every crop.
“My grandmother had a Mexican restaurant before I was even born and I met my husband in San Diego, where there was a lot of Mexican food. It was my passion,” Bard says.
Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic John Golden has reviewed Empire Chinese Kitchen.
In a thoroughly lively venue for authentic Cantonese cooking (many dishes are old family recipes of the dim-sum and stir-fry chefs), don’t miss the pastrami egg rolls, Peking duck buns, steamed pork buns, honey-walnut shrimp and a menu of eight to 10 dim-sum preparations. Standout large plates include lobster longevity noodles, Spicy wok-fried jalapeno shrimp, sizzling teriyaki chicken, marinated fish fillet and nightly specials. Service is first-rate, and the wait staff is fluent in everything the kitchen produces.
A Falmouth couple, Susan Tremblay and Donald Miller, has written a letter to the editor in defense of Oscar’s New American (scroll to bottom of page) after the restaurant received 3 stars from the MST last week.
Today’s paper includes a Q&A with Nancy Jo Polito on the book she recently published about her father Armand Polito.
Armando Polito sailed to the United States in 1920, when he was 10 years old, with his mother and siblings. His father, Giovanni Polito, had been in America for eight years, successfully running the Napoli restaurants in Maine.
Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Sangillo’s,
When you’re looking for a small, no frills, down and dirty bar, Sangillo’s is your place. Billed as “Portland’s Friendliest Neighborhood Bar” Sangillo’s is a place for locals and others to meet and share a drink and a tune on the jukebox.
The crawdaddy puffs were a delicious blend of crawfish, chile and cheddar stuffed into flour tortillas and fried. Served with a relish of avocado, corn and bacon, this was a winning dish.
Gingko Blue recently invited me to stop by and try out their New Orleans menu and I agree with TGD, the crawfish rolls are a real standout dish.
Booze, Fish & Coffee has reviewed Taco Trio.
THIS is the real deal. When you’re looking for authentic Mexican eats in Maine, this is the place: house-made corn tortillas, unbelievable salsas, and slow-cooked flavors like you wouldn’t believe. Our favorites were the pastor (pork in pineapple adobo sauce) and carnitas (seared pork). A close second: carne asada. Honorable mention: goat barbecue. Don’t forget to hit the salsa table.
MPBN has interviewed chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley about the cancellation of this year’s Maine shrimp season.
Wiley says shrimp have been scarce the last couple of years, but to have to take them off the menu this winter is disappointing.
“It means one less exciting local product to work with,” Wiley says. “That’s certainly a bit of a drag, but we’d like to see Maine shrimp on menus 10 years from now more than we need to have it on the menu this upcoming year.”
Hilltop Coffee (facebook) is moving from it’s present location next to Rosemont Market on Munjoy Hill to 100 Congress Street, the former home of Bar Lola. This will be the 2nd move for Hilltop. It was originally located at 99 Congress, the current home of Willa Wirth.
Hilltop is owned by Guy and Stella Hernandez. The pair recently shutdown Bar Lola and are working on a new restaurant project that will open next year.
In additional coffee news, the Coffee by Design building on Washington Ave is available for lease. CBD has moved their roasting operation from that building to East Bayside and will soon be opening a coffee shop in that neighborhood as well.
This week’s Portland Phoenix provides advice on making oysters part of your holiday party,
To successfully shuck your own oysters, you’ll need an oyster knife ($10), available at the seafood market where you purchase your oysters. Above all, be careful. Shucking oysters is supposed to add to a holiday party, not interrupt it with an emergency-room visit. Wash your oysters well to remove the grit on the shells. Use the tip of the oyster knife to pry open the two shells of the oyster at the hinge using leverage, not brute strength. Watch a few videos online to get the basics, and practice your technique until you’re shucking with ease.
and an article about the new East Bayside location for the winter farmers market.
This winter, the Portland Farmers’ Market will be in a new location in a neighborhood known for its food and beverage businesses. It won’t be the first time the farmers’ market has moved to complement the growth of an area. In 1990, the Wednesday market moved from Federal Street to Monument Square to counteract the loss of the Porteous department store (where the Maine College of Art is now). It makes sense now that the winter farmers’ market is moving to East Bayside, Portland’s most up-and-coming neighborhood.
Both articles are by Blueberry Files author Kate McCarty.
Update: for additional reporting on the winter market see this article in the Bangor Daily News.
Mainely Wraps (website, facebook) will open their Portland cafe at 339 Fore Street in Boothby Square today. This will be the 3rd location for Mainely Wraps which also has shops in Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough. Mainely Wraps was founded by Rich & Naphtali Maynard.
In separate news, Bangor Daily News reporter Kathleen Pierce has tweeted that Daily Greens, will also be opening today in the Public Market House. Presumably this is the much improved name of Azure, the new salad booth that’s been under construction since late August at the Public Market House.