Archive for March, 2010

Review of Silly’s

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Silly’s.

The best part about this place is that it accomidates all types of eaters. Vegetarian? (C. had some fine looking falafel!) Vegan? Huge carnivore? Fried food lover? Gluten free? Check. You really can’t go wrong with Silly’s. Am I being a little over the top? Maybe, but you’ll have to check it out for yourself, and I hope you have a great experience, because I really love it there.

Review of Mousse Cafe and Bakeshop

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Mousse Cafe & Bakeshop received 4 stars from the Eat & Run review in today’s Press Herald.

One of my companions ordered a half chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread with a cup of fish chowder ($5.99). The chicken salad sandwich looked so good that I went back to the cafe earlier this week to try it. I’m very particular about chicken salad — it’s so easy for the mayo to overwhelm it — but it was great.

Winter Points in the Phoenix

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about my favorite Maine oysters, Winter Points.

Hennessey’s dad and uncle started farming and harvesting oysters in the mid-’90s as a way to help pay the taxes, and, what started as a side business has become a full-time career for Hennessey and his cousin and business partner, Ryan Curran.

Rowan Jacobson, author of A Geography of Oysters, describes Winter Points as “four-inch oysters filled with brine and brothy umami richness. So rich and firm, with a hint of sweetness on the finish” and quotes chef Daniel Boulud who called them “the Burgundy of Oysters”.

Bagel Bake-off Redux

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Appetite Portland has published the results of a bagel bake-off comparing the Everything and Sea Salt bagels from 158 Pickett Street Cafe and from Scratch Baking.

The Verdict: Scratch by a nose. But, just barely. Both establishments make truly fab bagels. And, If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that bagel preferences are extremely subjective – and very, VERY personal.

Back in 2008, Type A Diversions published the results of her own comparative tasting of the sesame, poppy seed and plain bagels from Scratch and Mister Bagel.

To accompany smoked salmon, capers, tomatoes and red onion, I would opt for Mr. Bagel’s bagels, as they would not compete with the flavors of the other ingredients. They are also a bit less chewy than Scratch’s bagels, making it easier to bite off a piece piled with fixings. For all other occasions, I’d stick with Scratch for a crisper, more flavorful bagel.

An Interview with Erik Desjarlais

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Find Eat Drink has published an interview with Erik Desjarlais, chef/owner of Evangeline.

What is your least favorite new culinary trend and why?
I dislike the fact that there are culinary trends. Food is food. I don’t think food is fashion. Fashion goes out of style, food shouldn’t. Nose to Tail cooking is not a trend. It has been going on for centuries. But since it is now mainstream to eat offal, it is a trend. I guess I’m thankful that it has become mainstream because I love to cook with offal. In 2003, very few would even consider eating pig tails, head cheese, blood sausage, tongue or brain. Or even pork belly! I was scoffed at for having them on my menu. People would come storming in to my restaurant screaming at me for having offal and extremities, saying “Who would eat brains????” My only answer was, “Well, probably your great grandmother.”

Bar Review of The Corner Room

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Portland Bar Guide has published a review of The Corner Room.

Instead, our swift server delivers hot hard cheese encrusted house focaccia with a pitcher of a lightly hued olive oil. Dizzy with joy, I realize I should’ve opted for something from the many splendored, all-Italian all-handpicked wine list (Gabbiano Chianti, Toscano for example, for $6.50 a glass) instead of the knee jerk local draft (Geary’s Winter, $5).

MRW Photos from David’s & Green Elephant

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

PortlandTown has published a set of Maine Restaurant Week photos taken last night at David’s and Green Elephant.

Photo Credit: Michael Barriault

Opinionated, Round 2

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Back in February Opinionated  About Dining published their list of the top 30 restaurants in United States and top 15 in New England. They’ve now released an extended New England list which also recognizes: Paciarino, Back Bay Grill, Five Fifty-Five, Street & Co., Caiola’s, Bar Lola, and Local 188. (via a post on Edible Obsessions)

Beer 30, Bar Lola Interviews and Food Snobs

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Today’s Portland Daily Sun includes an interview with Josh Peck and Sue Taylor, the sous chef and pastry chef at Bar Lola. Here’s Peck’s response to the question What’s missing from the Portland restaurant scene?

A butcher shop similar to the one Barbara Lynch has in Boston where you can get rillade, pate and various salamis. We could also use a good raw bar that showcases the 15 to 20 types of oysters that you can get here in Maine.

In her weekly Locavore column Margo Mallar answers the question “what do you do if you’re a third shifter and beer thirty comes at 7 in the morning?

It’s a funny co-existence, sort of like the shift change in the old Warner Brother cartoons. It seems a little odd to be drinking so early. But with an inverted circadian rhythm it’s not early at all … it only seems that way to those who get up with the bread, the bagels and the muffins freshly made by people they never see unless they start their day with a little breakfast at Ruski ‘s.

And columnist Bob Higgins admits to being a very bad restaurant customer and his own brand of food snob.

Thai-o-rama: Viet Bangkok Cuisine

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Viet Bangkok Cuisine was the focus of this second round of the Thai-o-rama collaborative food writing project. Looking across all reviews for the restaurant, the Pho is the dish nearly everyone agrees is one of VBC’s strengths. Earlier reviews in 2007 by Accidental Vegetables and the Maine Sunday Telegram also complimented the Thai entrees but that wasn’t the experience this time around.

Appetite Portland details two reasons to visit the Viet Bangkok Cuisine, “1. The authentic Pho, 2. The trippy, giant lobster mounted to the wall.” In her review she writes of her non-Pho dining “As for the rest of our meal? Mixed results.”

Edible Obsessions had an “odd and highly disappointing” meal and reports she “Probably won’t be heading back.”

The Blueberry Files went with a group of friends including blogger Strawberries in Paris. She writes that the appetizers were “good, but nothing to write home about” but it sounds like the Pho was the standout dish of the night “There were thin slices of beef, skinny rice noodles, thinly sliced onions, and floaty green onions. Deeeelicious.” with other entrees suffering from an “odd sweetness”.

Where is Jenner’s Mind describes VBC as “small clean restaurant with all the requisite kitschy south east asian decor”. She echoes The Blueberry Files assessment that their were “some weird elements” that cropped up in their dinner but sums up with “you may get some surprises in your dishes, but overall i think it will be enjoyable.”

Portland Daily Sun had this to say “The vegetables were limp, the color olive drab, something you’d find in an army surplus store rather than a farmer’s market or produce section…It must be mentioned that the Massaman Tofu was good but the flavor was identical to that which I make with canned stuff. All in all, Viet Bangkok is a place to be skipped. There are too many better alternatives in Portland to frequent a place that goes by the numbers.”

Photos of the Maine Bartenders Bash

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Tom Laslavic from Natalie’s in Camden was the winner of last night’s Maine Bartenders Bash. PortlandTown was on site with his camera and has published a set of photos from the event. There’s also a bunch of photos on the MRW Facebook page.

Visit Portland in a Snap for a recipe of Laslavic’s winning drink, the Camden Hike.

Skinny Cart BBQ Now Open

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Skinny Cart BBQ opened for business on Washington Ave yesterday. According to The Forecaster, Skinny customers have the choice of the “barbecuish, based on a beef barbecue sandwich recipe Gan’s Russian grandmother used to make, or a portobello mushroom sandwich.”

For more information on the business read the Munjoy Hill News interview with owner Ron Gan.

February 2010 Stats

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The 10 eateries looked up most often in February were:

  1. Nosh Kitchen Bar (42)
  2. Boda (-)
  3. Sonny’s (1)
  4. Bresca (4)
  5. Po’Boys & Pickles (2)
  6. Grace (15)
  7. The French Press Eatery (11)
  8. The Salt Exchange (5)
  9. Five Fifty-Five (10)
  10. Bar Lola (7)

The numbers in parentheses indicates their rank last month.

Waiting Tables & the CSA Fair

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Press Herald columnist Justin Ellis takes a look at what attracts younger workers to the restaurant industry,

The thing with restaurant work is that it stuck, and it suited a need for in-between work or, on-the-verge-of-making-new-plans work. It offers prime conditions for young workers.

”I see people of all ages,” she said. ”But I do see a lot of young people coming in.”

Today’s paper also includes a report on Sunday’s CSA Fair, “Think of it as speed dating for vegetables.”

Illustrated Best of Phoenix: Best Desserts

Monday, March 1st, 2010

PortlandTown has published a set of photos illustrating the nominees from the Best Dessert Place category in the Portland Phoenix readership poll.

Photo Credit: Michael Barriault