Archive for September, 2010

This Week’s Events

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Tuesday — David Buchanan and Eli Cayer will be teaching a class on apple selection and usage for making cider at the Urban Farm Fermentory. Many local restaurants are participating in Portland Ovations’ 15th Epicurean Auction Benefit.

Wednesday Wine Wise is teaching a class on Chardonnay at The Wine Bar.

Thursday — there will be beer tasting at the West End Deli.

Friday — To kick-off their Grand Opening weekend for the new store, Rosemont is having an Italian wine tasting. It’s the first night of the NERAX cask beer event at Novare Res (30 cask beers), and the first day of the Common Ground Fair taking place in Unity, Maine.

Saturday — The ribbon cutting for the Rosemont is taking place in the morning and there’s another wine tasting at the store that night, the 7th Annual Lakes Brew Fest is taking place in Casco, Maine, the NERAX event at Novare Res continues into its second day as does the Common Ground Fair.

Sunday — the last day of the Common Ground Fair.

Farmer’s Markets — the traditional series of Farmer’s Markets are taking place Monday (Monument Square), Wednesday (Monument Square) and Saturday (Deering Oaks Park). Cultivating Community is running their new series of markets Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at various locations around the city.

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.

The Business of Farming

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Charles Lawton’s column in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram takes a look at the business side of farming in Maine.

In 2008, the total value of crop and livestock sales, government payments and the value of products consumed on the farm by their owners amounted to approximately $750 million for all Maine farms. Deducting production expenses and declining inventory values left net income of approximately $106 million.

Of this, approximately $40 million derived from corporate farms, and the remaining $66 million from sole proprietorships and partnerships. According to Bureau of Economic Analysis data, this income supported just over 7,200 farm proprietors.

Community Gardens & Farm Stands

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

The weekend edition of the Portland Daily Sun reports on an effort to allow community gardens to run farm stands that sell to the general public.

The planning board will review a proposed draft that would allow produce sales as follows: “A single produce stand shall be permitted on the premises of a community garden for the sale of flowers, vegetables, herbs or fruit produced on the premises; provided that the stand is no more than two hundred (200) square feet in floor area, and that sales are limited to two days per week between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm during the growing season from June 15 through October 15…”

and an article about G & R DiMillo’s new Great Bite Hope challenge meal which consists of 2 1-lb meatballs and 2 pounds of spaghetti.

Those with eyes bigger than their stomachs will face no shortage of embarrassments should they fail to finish the meal. DiMillo said that the restaurant will feature a wall of shame with photos of the gastro-poseurs, who along with the shame of it all have to pay the $22.95 bill.

Unlawful Falafel

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Unlawful Falafel has been added to the PFM food cart list. Unlawful is located in Post Office Park right at the intersection of Middle and Exchange Streets.

Under Construction: District Grille

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

District Grille, the restaurant that’s long been under construction at 45 Danforth Street, has applied for their liquor license. As part of the filing they’ve included a draft menu (see page 57) and indicated that they hope to open in October. One of the partners, Anthony Mastropasqua, may be familiar to some of you as the owner of Tropa Wine Company which had operated in the West End until earlier this year.

Trader Joe’s Now Hiring

Friday, September 17th, 2010

According to a report in today’s Press Herald, Trader Joe’s is now hiring for their store in Portland. (see the job posting on the Trader Joe’s website)

Work to transform the store was in full swing Thursday, with contractors installing walls and stripping the vestiges of Wild Oats off the exterior.

Spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said the company plans to open by the end of the year.

The company declined to say how many people it hires for its stores. Mochizuki said the hiring crew in Portland has handed out about 1,000 applications, with four recruiters operating out of a small trailer and working under a pop-up tent in the parking lot.

The Deadliest Catches

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Today’s Press Herald includes a comparison of the rate of fatalities for ground fishing, scalloping and other fishing fleets.

In order to make valid comparisons, the study calculated death rates per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, or FTEs, in each segment of the industry. From 2000 to 2009, the rates were 600 deaths per 100,000 groundfishermen and 425 deaths per 100,000 scallop fishermen in the Atlantic, according to the study. That compares with a rate of 260 deaths per 100,000 in the Alaskan crab fishery.

Interview with Owner of Rising Tide Brewing

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Hop Press has published an interview with Nathan Sanborn, owner of Rising Tide Brewing Company.

…When I started brewing again after my son was born I started mulling the idea of opening a brewery. Not in any serious way, but I did a bit of research and was constantly getting pressure from people who tried my beer. Having someone try your beer and say that they like it is one thing; having someone try your beer and ask why you haven’t opened a brewery is a little different. Combining those factors eventually led me to more serious consideration of the possibility of opening a nano-brewery…

Casco Bay Lobster Bake Interview

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Portland Cooks has published a slide show and audio interview with Courtney Mac Isaac from The Maine Lobster Bake Company on what’s involved on putting together a lobster bake for 100 on Long Island.

Farewell Tourists, Hello Fall

Friday, September 17th, 2010

The Portland Phoenix bids farewell to the Summer tourists and welcomes Fall as a season for the rest of us.

Perhaps we’ll see you again on your way back from apple-picking and leaf-peeping, but for the next few weeks Maine is wide open to those of us who braved summer traffic jams and regular denials from our favorite restaurants for attempting to dine on a weekend night without a reservation. But it was well worth the aggravation, because these next few weeks promise all those things that tourists come to Maine for — and more.

North Star Ends on the 19th

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

North Star Music Cafe owner Kim Anderson announced today that the cafe will be closing their doors for the last time this Sunday at 5 pm. It’s certainly sad news for the East End and the community of people from all over the city that made North Star a regular part of their lives.

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today.  I have come to the difficult decision to close the doors of North Star.  I have so much love for this community and this city.  I am sad to say goodbye, but I am grateful for the three years you have embraced me and the North Star as family…

For additional reporting see articles in the Munjoy Hill News, Portland Daily Sun and Press Herald.

Review of Blue Burrito & Article on Maine Beer Co.

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Blue Burrito Cafe in Westbrook received 4 stars from the Eat & Run review in today’s Press Herald.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the meat in my quesadilla was tender and still lightly pink in the center. It came with caramelized poblano peppers, onions and sauteed mushrooms, with sour cream on the side. The smaller version of this dish costs $7, and is plenty for one person’s lunch. A larger version is also available for $8.50, if you’re really hungry or want leftovers.

Today’s paper also includes a What Ales You column on Maine Beer Company, makers of Spring Peeper Ale.

“Even as we speak, we are expanding to a 15-barrel brewhouse, which will speed things up dramatically,” David said.

Not only will their beers be more available when the new system comes online, probably in mid-October, the company will be able to introduce new styles and, perhaps, come closer to making some money.

Brunch Review of Havana South

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Appetite Portland has published a brunch review of Havana South.

While the benes were pretty good, the highlight of the meal was the side — little fried potato nuggets spiced with ancho chile powder, cumin, cinnamon and paprika. Crisp and full of zest, they were a delight.

Photos of the 7th Annual Harvest Dinner

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Portland Town has published a set of photos from the 7th Annual Harvest Dinner hosted by Cinque Terre and Vignola at their farm in Greene, Maine.

Pai Men Miyake Now Open

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Pai Men Miyake, Masa Miyake’s new noodle house, is now open for business in Longfellow Square.

They’ll be on a cash basis until Friday and have a slightly limited menu tonight. The pork gyoza were especially good.

Update: See Portland Food Coma for photos and details on the menu.