Archive for March, 2010

Thai Single-origin Coffee

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

The Portland Daily Sun has a report on the single-origin organic Thai coffee on tap at Yordprom Coffee Company.

“It’s unique, the coffee bean that we’re introducing to Portland, Maine,” said Yordprom Coffee Co. owner Thomas Yordprom, who opened in the old Congress Street home of Portland Magazine last Friday.

Canada is the primary market of Doi Chaang Coffee, which is sold as an exclusive single-origin, certified organic Arabica, according to Doi Chaang.

Hot Suppa! to Serve Dinner

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Hot Suppa! has applied for a Community Development Block Grant to expand the restaurant, according to a report from the Portland Daily Sun.

After narrowly missing the cut last year in a request for $75,000, [owner Moses] Sabina is back and poised to receive $66,000 to expand the breakfast-and-lunch restaurant to include dinner. Sabina, who has owned the Hot Suppa! restaurant on Congress Street with his brother since 2006, awaits a City Council vote on March 22 to confirm his selection as a CDBG recipient.

Trader Joes Leases Wild Oats Space

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

According to an article in The Forecaster, Trader Joe’s has secured a lease for the old Wild Oats space.

Documents filed with the Federal Trade Commission indicate Trader Joe’s has agreed to lease the former Wild Oats grocery store space on Marginal Way.

According to the FTC, the Monrovia, Calif.-based grocery store chain has worked out a lease agreement with Whole Foods Market.

Additional reporting on the market and Portland’s reaction to the news can be found in the March 11 Press Herald. There are  also a pair of articles in the Portland Daily Sun.

First Review of Boda

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Edible Obsessions has published a review of Boda.

The presentation on the Taro Sticks was great: simple spider cradling a decent batch of fresh taro fries. And it’s served with Sriracha. Really you need more? Ok, they were perfect. Now, fry them in duckfat and I would dub them “Grandruler of All Fries in Portland!” They would be stern, but gentle rulers.

Sebago Brewing Planning a Move

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

According to a report from the Munjoy Hill News, Sebago Brewing hopes to move out of their spot at 164 Middle Street into a building at the site of the former Jordan’s Meat plant.

Mark Woglom, president, of Opechee Construction Corp. ( N.H.) requested that the planning board put the process on a fast track at a meeting yesterday afternoon. The reason given for that request is that the lease of the restaurant expires about a year from this spring and the Sebage Brew Pub on Middle Street in the Old Port wants to be able to move right in to their complex at that time.

For further information see this article in the Press Herald and this one from The Forecaster.

Food Jeopardy

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Today’s Press Herald reports on a SMCC team that’s training to compete in the Northeast Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl.

Boardman reads the “Jeopardy”-style question Bradeen has chosen from the board: “From top to bottom, what order should duck, ground beef, salmon and strawberries be stored?”

Ding! Bradeen’s team hits the bell by the time the word “salmon” comes out of the coach’s mouth.

and a Local Foodie article on the monthly macrobiotic potluck dinner.

I loaded up my plate with a delicious assortment of barley, gingered chickpeas, steamed collard greens, azuki beans and squash, cabbage with poppy seeds, spring rolls, tofu salad, alfalfa sprouts, udon salad with sesame ginger sauce, pesto pasta, and lasagna made with tofu filling and a carrot-beet sauce.

Interview with Claire Stretch

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Tuesday’s Portland Daily Sun included an interview with Claire Stretch, bartender at The Back Bay Grill,

What’s Underrated: Bubbly, like champagne, Prosecco, brut. Maine is number 50 in sales of bubbly, at the very bottom. Fresh squeezed juice isn’t used enough either.

and article that gathered opinions from diners restaurateurs and restaurant workers on this year’s Maine Restaurant Week.

Martha Bryon, co-owner of The Salt Exchange, has been very pleased so far. “It’s absolutely amazing. About half of the people who come in are for restaurant week and they’ve been very enthusiastic about making reservations. The experience has been beautiful, particularly coming off of a very hard winter. “

USM Goes Local

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Coffee by Design won out over the competition in a coffee taste test by a “roughly two-to-one” margin among USM students.

Wicked Joe came in second and Pura Vida was last. “The overwhelming choice of our customers was Coffee By Design,” he said. “It was very clear people didn’t like Pura Vida.”

Additionally, the USM food service vendor has switched from Hood to Oakhurst.

USM’s food service provider, Aramark, decided to switch milk to Oakhurst Dairy in their effort to be more environmentally conscious. Retail locations on the Portland and Gorham campuses already sell Oakhurst Dairy products. The change USM will see is in Gorham’s residential dining hall.

MRW Review of Sonny’s

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Phoenix editor Jeff Inglis has published a Maine Restaurant Week review Sonny’s in About Town.

I had the ceviche of the day – scallops, that day – which were luscious and tender, with a good citrusy tang that was not so strong as to take over the scallop’s own flavor.

Lunch Review of K. Horton Specialty Foods

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Portland Eats has published a review of K. Horton Specialty Foods.

At K. Horton, the cranberries impart a tart sweetness and provide an interesting contrast to the whitefish’s smokiness.  Meanwhile the mild cheese added richness and the almonds a welcome crunch.  Not your average lunchtime sandwich…

Review of Bresca

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Bresca.

I hope between my careful consideration and these photos, you understand why Bresca is a sure thing for a nice dinner out in Portland. The food is spot on, the prices are reasonable, the wine list extensive, and the desserts excellent. You’ll feel special eating here, but comfortable enough that you can make friends with your neighboring tables and drink a lot of wine.

Bartender Bash Recipes and the SFP Writers Night Menu

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The organizers of Maine Restaurant Week have published a full set of drink recipes from the Bartender’s Bash. The recipe for the winning cocktail, Camden Hike by Tom Laslavic, is on page 5.

Figa’s menu for this week’s Slow Food Portland Writers Night is now available online.

Photos of Kaldrovich’s JBF Dinner

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Delights & Prejudices, the official blog of the James Beard Foundation, has published a set of photos from chef Mitchell Kaldrovich’s dinner at the James Beard House in February. Kaldrovich is the Executive Chef at the Sea Glass Restaurant in Cape Elizabeth.

Photos of DiMillo’s

Monday, March 8th, 2010

PortlandTown continues his MRW photo marathon with a  set of pictures taken at DiMillo’s including this one of their French Onion Soup.

Photo Credit: Michael Barriault

Bazkari Catering & Portland Eats

Monday, March 8th, 2010

There are two new additions to the Portland Food Map directory: Bazkari Catering and Portland Eats.

Bazkari runs a daily lunch delivery service and starting today are serving their Spanish cuisine from one of the day tables on the 2nd floor of the Public Market House. The owner’s cooking is inspired by the time she’s spent in Peru, Bolivia as well as the Basque and Andalusian areas of Spain.

Portland Eats is a new food blog that’s just published a MRW review of Evangeline,

I’m glad that I am writing about dinner at Evangline as one of my first posts. Having dined at many restaurants over the past two years in Portland, Evangeline is one of my favorites. It’s not just the food (which is excellent), but the service, atmosphere, decor and general vibe of the restaurant that are all spot-on.

This Week’s Events

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Monday — the 10 days of Maine Restaurant Week continues Monday through Wednesday. Also on Monday, Stephen Lanzalotta is teaching a Piatto per Tutti cooking class.

Tuesday — legendary editor Judith Jones will deliver the 2010 Bernard A. Osher Lecture at the Museum of Art.

Wednesday Winemaker Lucio Mastroberardino will be at Old Port Wine Merchants for a tasting of Terradora wines (see Chow Maine for more on Mastroberardino and his visit to Portland), RSVP is holding a wine tasting, and Slow Food Portland is holding the annual Slow Food Writers Night with readings by prominent food writers and food by chef Lee Farrington of Figa.

Thursday — there’s a Terradora wine dinner taking place at the Sea Glass Restaurant, and chef Sam Hayward is giving a talk on sustainable seafood as part of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Sea State 5.0 lecture series.

Saturday — the indoor Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place, and there will be a Terradora wine tasting at Rosemont Market on Brighton.

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.

Portland Barista to Compete at NERBC

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Bard Coffee barista Justin McEdward will be in Boston later this month to compete in the North East Regional Barista Competition (NERBC) against other coffee professionals from across New York and New England.

According to Bard co-owner (and World Barista Championship judge) Bob  Garver, competitors need to produce an espresso shot, a cappuccino and a specialty drink of their own design for each of the four sensory judges in a 15 minute time frame. In addition to being judged on quality of their drinks, the competitors will be evaluated on efficiency and other technical issues with which they are produced. (See the official rules for more details)

Winning at the NERBC will entitle McEdward to represent the North East at the national competition later this year. Justin tells me that his motivation in entering the competition is not just to represent himself and Bard Coffee, but to bring attention to Portland’s growing coffee culture.

NERBC is taking place March 19-21 in Somerville, MA.

Review of Saigon

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Saigon has received 4 stars from the weekly Taste & Tell review in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

The Vietnamese staff and owners of Saigon offer a wonderful sampling of good soups, fish and meat dishes with flavors straight from Southeast Asia.

Interview with Karl Okerholm

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

The Portland Daily Sun has published an interview with Karl Okerholm, kitchen manager at El Rayo Taqueria.

What Portland is missing: A tapas bar, similar to the Bar of Chocolate but focused on tapas and desserts, no entrees. We need more affordable places and fewer high-end restaurants.

Photos of The Back Bay Grill

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

PortlandTown has continued his photographic tour of Maine Restaurant Week with a visit to The Back Bay Grill.

Photo Credit: Michael Barriault