Archive for March, 2010

Lunch Review of Miyake

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Portland Eats has published a review of lunch at Miyake.

Don’t overlook lunch at Miyake.  No longer must you wait until dinner for your Japanese food fix.  Get up from your desk and out of the office for some of the best food the city has to offer.

Browne Trading Profile

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Find.Eat.Drink has published a profile of Browne Trading penned by Erik Desjarlais, chef/owner of Evangeline.

Beyond the local catch, caviars and shellfish, Browne imports seafood from the Pacific and European waters as well. Mediterranean fish of all sorts have passed through my doors and in to my bouillabaisse pot. Dover sole, turbot, loup de mer, mullet, scorpion fish and John Dory have all been roasted and carved table-side here at Evangeline.

Revised Wine Legistlation Signed into Law

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Governor Baldacci has signed  a revision to the 2009 law that regulates wine tastings.

The law had required that wine stores run tastings “in a manner that precludes the possibility of observation by children”. The revised law strikes that provision; shops now just have to “post prominently at the entrance to the store a sign that announces the date and time of the event”.

The revised law also enables shops to conduct up to 3 tastings per month and no more than 24  per year.

For additional reporting see: Chow Maine.

Moved, Expanding, and Leasing

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

A few additional under construction updates:

  • Cakes Extraordinaire has moved across the street from their location on Brighton Ave into the Pine Tree Mall across the parking lot from Lowes.
  • MaineBiz reports that the developer of 188 Middle Street has recast the space as the Shops at 188 which will consist of a “a restaurant and include a clothing store, a jewelry store and a home furnishings gallery store.” Last year 188 Middle Street had been slated to be the home of Luna Rossa.
  • According to a post on Chowhound, David’s 388 has “bought the building next door and will be expanding”.

Battle of the Butter

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The Boston Globe test kitchen compared several butters including Kate’s Homemade from Maine. While the testers found it the “Least buttery” of the bunch they appreciated the “creamy and smooth” texture.

Review of Sonny’s

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Sonny’s.

A palomilla style skirt steak was pounded flat and marinated in spices, rum, and orange rather than the more traditional lemon and garlic. The result was a pleasant sweetness in which it was hard to tell whether you were smelling the rum and tasting the orange, or vice versa. A peppery spice lingered on the tongue. The steak itself had a good chew without being tough.

Whole Hog & Spelt Right

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a detailed look at the growing interest by chefs and acceptance by diners of whole hog cooking,

At Fore Street, the cooks go through a whole Yorkshire pig, a heritage breed they purchase from a farmer in South Berwick, every month or two. During their busy season, they might buy one every two weeks.

The loin is used for chops, the back legs are brined, and the head, skin and ears are used in a head cheese. The fatback, skin and scrap meat find other uses. The trotters are deboned, braised and stuffed with fois gras, herbs and spices.

and a look at the history and success of Spelt Right Bakery.

“We’re very ingredient-conscious,” George said. “And we pay for that, but you have to stick to your principles.”

Her dedication to quality and health translates into a growing business. Last week, the bakery learned that Whole Foods Markets in the New York region would be picking up the company’s signature bagels. On a much smaller scale, the employee store at Maine Medical Center recently added them as well.

Thai-o-rama: Kon Asian Bistro

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

For the third round of the Thai-o-rama (Round 1, Round 2) collaborative food writing project, we did a group meal at Kon Asian Bistro. As the name implies, Kon is a pan-Asian restaurant; it has a strong emphasis on Chinese and Japanese cuisine with some Thai options and a smattering of items from elsewhere.

Appetite Portland’s summation sets the theme for all four reviews, “Kon really is more Asian Fusion than Thai, and its Thai offerings seem to be its weakest link…For me, the Chinese dishes were stellar – and well worth repeat visits.”

Portland Food Coma is quite succinct in his dislike for the Thai food at Kon, but confirms that “there is great food to be had, you just need to stick to the Chinese offerings”, and specifically recommends the rock shrimp and the Peking duck wrappers which “have both been outstanding on each visit, and I would gladly go back for more.”

The Blueberry Files gives Kon an overall grade of B+. She was a big fan of the rock shrimp that Portland Food Coma recommends, “#$*&! delicious”, but wasn’t especially impressed with the her appetizer of entree.

Where is Jenner’s Mind gushes about the mimi peking duck, “oh mini beijing duck! i dream of you often with your sweet plumy sauce and crispy fatty skin and your fresh cucumbers and scallions and your light fluffy rice flour bun”, but as for her Thai Red Snapper entree writes that it “was good, but not great”.

I’d echo the opinion of the rest of the gang. The items I enjoyed the most weren’t from the Thai section of the menu. The taste of Seth’s Szechuan Crispy Dried Shredded Beef was good enough to bring me back the next day for lunch, but the Thai food, while not bad, wasn’t memorable.

To sum up, here’s a quote from last year’s review from Type A Diversions, “With excellent choices for Japanese and Thai in Portland, I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat at Kon for either. But if I’m in the mood for Chinese this is my new go to spot.”

For more insight on the food at Kon Asian Bistro see earlier reviews by:

Independent Restaurant Supply

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Today’s issue of the Portland Daily Sun reports on a visit to Independent Restaurant Supply.

“Ninety-five percent of the people who come through the doors are not restaurant people, but 95 percent of the money spent here is for restaurants,” said Dan Bornstein. “A lot of regular people come in because they want to buy stuff, restaurant people come in because they have to buy stuff,” he smiled.

St Patrick’s Day Food & Drink

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Portland Taps has put together a list of Portland establishments that have Saint Patrick’s Day specials planned for tomorrow which includes an Irish beer dinner tonight a t Gritty’s and early morning breakfast at Brian Boru, Ri-Ra and Bull Feeney’s tomorrow morning.

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.