Archive for March, 2010

Blue Fin & Baked Beans

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Today’s Press Herald includes a Maine at Work article filed from the B&M Bean plant in Portland,

I mean, he was taking me through the B&M Baked Beans factory on the edge of Casco Bay in Portland. How dangerous could baking beans be?

But within minutes, I saw a 900-pound bean pot, full of freshly baked beans, flying toward me. Literally.

and a front page article about the bluefin tuna fishery.

Reviews: Local 188 & Evangeline

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Edible Obsessions has published a review of Evangeline, the last stop in her 5 restaurant eating campaign,

Food: Consistent as always without a single misstep in the courses. Again, I would have liked to have seen more than the RW menu offered but, perhaps it was for the best. The food fog weighed on my head (and, my god, my poor heart) by the time the last forkful was taken.

and Local 188 received a B+ in a review from the USM Free Press.

Prices aside, when the ramen noodles just aren’t cutting it anymore, consider Local 188 for a change of pace. Often they provide live, local, music during their late dinner hours, so if you are looking for a place for a date, or just a place to relax, listen to music, and enjoy a real meal, Local 188 will not disappoint.

Jewel of India Review

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Portland Eats has published a review of Jewel of India.

Finally, I can say that Portland has crave-able Indian food. I’m talking about food that you are still thinking about the day after you eat it; food that forces you to incorporate Indian cuisine into your regular rotation. Bukhara Indian Bistro was that restaurant for me in Boston. Here in Portland, it’s Jewel of India.

Under Construction: Tampa, Cranberry & Others

Monday, March 15th, 2010

There are a number of Under Construction details to report:

  • Taste of Tampa Latin Cafe is under construction at 621 Forest Ave. Taste of Tampa shares the same name and is presumably owned by the same people who run the Cuban restaurant in Biddeford.
  • The Restaurant for Lease sign at the former location of Katahdin has come down. There aren’t any details yet on what’s going to open there.
  • The lease for Trader Joe’s at 87 Marginal Way needs to go through a public comment phase before being finalized. You can voice your support on this Federal Trade Commission form.
  • Whoppie pie baker, Cranberry Island Kitchen has moved their bakery to 52 Danforth Street and plans to open a retail shop there as well.

This Week’s Events

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Monday — Stephen Lanzalotta is teaching a Piatto per Tutti cooking class.

Wednesday — Brian Boru is holding their annual St Patrick’s Day breakfast starting at 6 am.

Thursday — Kitchen & Cork and Leavitt & Sons are both holding wine tastings, the 3rd Annual Whole Hog Dinner is taking place at Vignola, and The Great Lost Bear will be featuring the beers of the Pugsley Signature Series.

Saturday — the indoor Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place and Port Clyde Fresh Catch is dropping off deliveries for their Maine shrimp CSF.

Sunday — five wine distributors are teaming up with Old Port Wine Merchants for a Spanish wine tasting at The Salt Exchange.

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.

First Review of JP’s Bistro

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

JP’s Bistro received 3 stars from the Taste & Tell review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Mussels ($9) served in a salty, buttery and of course garlicky broth studded with cherry tomatoes were small and fresh, and irresistible in that presentation. An arugula salad ($9) founded its success on the freshness of its small arugula leaves.

Review of The Salt Exchange

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Where is Jenner’s Mind has published a review of The Salt Exchange.

overall it was a great meal and i will definitely be going back to the salt exchange. but due to its moderately high price point, it is one of the many restaurants in portland that needs to be reserved for a special treat, at least until i make that billion dollars.

Maine Watch Episode on Portland Food

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Yesterday’s episode of Maine Watch took a look at the origins, nature and sustainability of the Portland food scene. Host Jennifer Rooks talks with Maine Foodie Tours, Dean’s Sweets and Harbor Fish Market before having a chat with Meredith Goad and Sam Hayward in the studio.

Portland Cook Interviews Maine Food Trader Founder

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Portland Cooks has posted an interview reordered earlier this year with Randy Lutz, the founder of Maine Food Trader. The site connects local food vendors and buyers together online.

Another Review of Five Fifty-Five

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Portland Eats has published a review of Five Fifty-Five.

But it was the “organic baby carrot-vanilla emulsion” that made the dish.  I had read about scallop dishes incorporating vanilla, but had never tried this combination.  It works.  I didn’t realize that vanilla was in the dish, but upon tasting the emulsion, I detected a familiar but difficult to describe flavor (particularly in the context).  Sure enough, that was the vanilla, adding an exotic note to the carrot emulsion and nicely complementing the scallops.

Review of David’s 388

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Appetite Portland has published a review of David’s 388.

Mushroom Dusted Haddock: The night’s BIG standout. Moist, meaty haddock encased in an earthy mushroom essence draped over a bed of savory risotto. Spinach, first steamed in vegetable stock, then braised to perfection by the artistic pour of a sizzling ragout, added a bright, fresh zip.

Review of Bar Lola

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Edible Obsessions has published a review of Bar Lola.

The food was wonderful. The plates were consistent and well presented. What I like most about the menu is that it feels very grounded, like a collection of dishes you’d try to make yourself at home. In fact, that reminds me… I need to see if [chef] Guy [Hernandez] will part w/that Spicy Slaw recipe.

Additional Events: Ark of Taste, Culinary Tourism and St Patrick’s Day

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Slow Food Portland co-founder David Buchanan will give a talk at 3 pm on Sunday at the Portland Flower Show on “Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste Biodiversity Committee, which identifies and protects endangered regional foods”.

Tonight’s episode of Maine Watch on MPBN TV will examine the growing impact of the food scene on Maine tourism. The show airs at 8:30 pm.

This week on Maine Watch, Maine has become a big destination for a fast-growing category of traveler – the culinary tourist. How Maine’s foodie scene happened, what it means for the economy at large and where it’s headed. We’ll talk with James Beard, award-winning chef Sam Hayward and food writer Meredith Goad.

I Love Portland Maine has a nice round-up of the St. Patrick’s Day events taking place this weekend and early next week: corned beef and cabbage dinners, parades, early morning breakfast at Brian Boru, etc.

Believe me, once you’ve had rashers and black pudding in the morning, you will never look at a Grand Slam the same way. Throughout the morning, people of all ages gather for this once-a-year Irish celebration. It is truly one spectacle not to be missed. Besides, what other time of the year can you justify a full pint of Guinness with breakfast?

IIK: Russian Herring in a Fur Coat

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Lindsay Sterling has published the details of another ethnic cooking adventure on her blog Inside Immigrant Kitchens. This time around she’s learning how to make Russian Herring in a Fur Coat from Yulia Converse and Alla Zagoruyko with ingredients sourced from Medeo in Westbrook.

Review of Evangeline

Friday, March 12th, 2010

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Evangeline.

To start, I had the Cervelles de Veau or crispy calf’s brain fritter. The brain was rather small (makes sense, since they have small heads) and was fried nicely, with a creamy, soft white interior. Not at all what I thought brain would be like. The fritter was atop cabbage, capers, brown butter, and bacon, which provided a nice salty, smoky contrast.

Bar Review of Beale Street Barbeque

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Portland Bar Guide has published a review of Beale Street Barbeque.

While the outside of this newer location seems municipal, the inside has a homier feel, with twangy music and southern decor. Featuring a pool table, some arcade games and a few televisions, this is really a place you can bring the whole family or have a simple date, while satisfying your craving for barbeque.

Review of Peanut Butter & Jelly Time

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Time has received 4 stars from the Eat & Run review in today’s Press Herald.

I realize “exquisite” is a big word in the context of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which is basically a step up from toast and perhaps the first substantial exercise in food preparation for any 5-year-old. But it’s appropriate nonetheless.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time turns a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into high art.

Review of Five Fifty-Five

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

As part of her look back at the five restaurants she visited during MRW, Edible Obsessions has published a review of Five Fifty-Five.

I didn’t know what to expect, but whatever expectations I lightly held I can easily say that they were not equaled. Our biggest problem was over seasoned, which plagued both the apps and the entrees. The desserts were odd, mine weirdly textured and hers “off” in flavor.

In the end our experience left us highly unimpressed.

North Star Appeals to Customers for Funds

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

North Star Music Cafe owner Kim Anderson sent out an email earlier this week to the cafe’s mailing list to raise funds to keep the North Star afloat. The Portland Daily Sun followed up with Anderson and filed this report,

Facing mounting financial frustrations, North Star Cafe owner Kim Anderson turned to her 1,400 email address and about that many Facebook friends. Monday morning, she posted her appeal. In 24 hours, she’d already raised $1,000 toward a $6,000 goal – and the request had, in the jargon of out times, “gone viral.”

According to the article, “Donations are also being accepted old school, in person at the cafe.”

Reviews of Bresca, Farmer’s Table, Corner Room, Conumdrum and Grill Room

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Yesterday was a banner day for restaurant reviews with reviews posted for five different restaurants.

Edible Obsessions published a review of Bresca.

There is one quote to best sum it up: “When I am eating, I know nothing. But when I am finished eating, I begin to understand. ” –Don Quioxte During the meal, we were caught up in the lushness and decadence of it all..but, later on that evening I realized that this was simply the best meal that I have ever had the privilege to eat. I can’t believe it took us so long to go back and now it seems I can’t dine there again soon enough.

Broke 207 published a double header with reviews of The Farmer’s Table,

Restaurant week should be about providing amazing food and reasonable prices in order to seduce new clientele into your establishment. but in my experience, things have felt hastily thrown together with a distinct sacrifice of quality.also, the restaurants seem overwhelmed by the volume of people, and the service suffers gravely.

and of The Corner Room.

my main course was practically the same dish as i had at the farmer’s table in conception (handmade pasta with mushrooms and cream sauce), except that it was appropriately portioned and lick your plate tasty.

Travels  with Hilary published a review of Conundrum,

The thick slab of meatloaf was dense, moist, flavorful, and seared on two sides; the potatoes were rich and smooth, with occasional small chunks of potato and a large dollop of bleu cheese on top, which melted in nicely.

and Maine Maven published a review of The Grill Room.

The warm ricotta appetizer was creamy and divine, and the Cobb salad topped with a fried egg looked phenomenal, but watching our friend eat the filet mignon sandwich put us over the edge. We can’t wait to go back for dinner.