Archive for March, 2011

Burger Review: Frog & Turtle

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Chubby Werewolf has posted a review of the Jalbert Burger at The Frog and Turtle.

Though the burger and poutine combination made for a filling meal, it stopped well short of being a deeply satisfying one. That said, one of the things that I really liked about my experience was that the general manager’s business card came to me stapled to my receipt. I have not seen this done on many occasions, and I really like the fact that the Frog and Turtle staff is so outgoing. The Jalbert Burger may have left me wanting, but I’ll definitely be returning to the Frog and Turtle soon, thanks to the great atmosphere, the friendliness of the wait staff and the various other temptations found on the menu.

Chocolate Lover’s Fling

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the 25th Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fling which is taking place on Sunday.

Local chocolatiers bring in their most decadent creations, vying for one of several prizes bestowed by both the public and a panel of judges. For $20 in advance ($25 at the door; free for kids with adults), chocolate lovers can wander the room and sample anything they want, happily embracing their inner 5-year-old.

Jyang-Lee’s Authentic Chinese Treats

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

The Locavore column in Wednesday’s Portland Daily Sun is about Angela Fagin and her company Angela Jyang-Lee’s Authentic Chinese Treats.

Growing up in Nanjing, Angela used to eat dumplings made with whole wheat flour. It’s what her mother could afford; “dark flour” was much cheaper and not rationed like refined white flour. Naturally when her mother came to visit her at her new home in Maine, she was astonished that the dumplings that were the core of her daughter’s successful American business were not only made of whole wheat but that they sold at a premium because of it.

Also this week from the Sun is a continuation of Natalie Ladd’s reporting on the food stands at Hadlock Field.

A man of action and few words, he is surprised that people are remotely interested in what goes on behind the rolling metal gate that separates Stand D from the general concourse where fans roam; seeing and smelling their food and beverage options. With eight short days left until the first ceremonial pitch is tossed, the three-man, in-house, professional food service team is as busy as they will be all season.

Wing Off

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

One recent Sunday The Blueberry Files had a “wing off” between Sebago Brewing and The Stadium.

My thoughts on wings: they must be crispy, saucy, hot and come with a good, creamy dressing (Ranch or Bleu cheese dressing are both fine with me). And that’s it really! Why is it so hard to find a good wing in town, then?

Top Thai Now Open

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Top Thai opened for business on Monday. Portland’s newest Thai restaurant is located at 267 Saint John Street which is the former location of the Saeng Thai House.

A Trip Down Food Memory Lane

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Pepperclub co-owner Eddie Fitzpatrick takes a walk down food memory lane for a retrospective article on the 25th anniversary of Portland magazine.

Twenty-five years ago, a new wave of restaurants in Portland dazzled diners and earned raves from The Atlantic and New England Monthly. Among them: Swan Dive, Alberta’s, L’Antibes, Brattle Street, The Vinyard, and 34 Exchange. At the time, Eddie Fitzpatrick was editor of the Maine Sunday Telegram. Today, he co-owns Pepperclub…

In the later part of the article Fitzpatrick also offers his perspective on the last few years of expansion in the restaurant industry in Portland.

A second article later in the magazine also provides another point of view on Portland restaurant past and present.

Back in the ’80’s, Portland had “just about a dozen feature restaurants,” radiating from the restored brick wharehouses of the Old Port, recalls Dick Grotton, president and CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association

The second article isn’t available online but the new issue of Portland magazine should be available at your local newsstand and you can read the article on page 84.

Vrienden at The Bear

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The release date for Allagash Vrienden isn’t officially scheduled until Tuesday, but you can try this new beer tonight at The Great Lost Bear starting at 5 pm. Vrienden was the result of a collaboration between Allagash and New Belgium Brewing. It’s brewed with dandelions and elderberry and described by Allagash as “tart, fruity, earthy”.

The Spiced Plate & Mystery of the Matzah

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Lauren Montanaro Norster and her blog The Spiced Plate were profiled in today’s Press Herald,

Her blog, which launched in January, has a very specific focus – all the recipes and dishes Norster shares on the site are vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free and ayurveda-inspired. The combination represents the way Norster and her husband, Andrew, eat every day in the spacious Portland apartment they share with cats Pepper and Basil.

also in today’s Food & Dining section is a feature story about matzah and the Mystery of the Matzah program taking place this weekend in South Portland,

Rosenberg and other members of Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland are inviting the public to learn about these rare heritage grains at a special weekend event called “The Mystery of Matzah.” It’s two days’ worth of study circles, and includes a Sunday workshop where participants will be able to actually bake some matzah made with organic flour from two ancient wheats, einkorn and emmer, in a wood-fired oven.

Review of Bayside Bowl

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Portland Bar Guide has published a review of Bayside Bowl.

Bowling and drinking can work up quite an appetite, and Bayside Bowl has you covered. From small plates (coconut curry chicken bites, $7) to salads (grilled steak salad, $12) to dinner (“The Rachel” tempeh reuben, $11), you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a solid variety of good eats. There are always food specials on the chalk board behind the bar, so be sure to take a look. And if you need dessert to top off your evening, I have two words for you: Guinness float.

Under Construction: Dobra Tea

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The folks over at Dobra Tea received a shipping container’s worth of supplies over the weekend and are working towards opening the shop later this week. They’ve have published a number of photos of the unpacking and set-up of the tea room on Flickr.

For more info on the business visit their website,

Under Construction: River House

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Construction of the River House on York Street is well under way. The restaurant is being built at the former site of Popeye’s Ice House. The most detailed information available comes from a Mainebiz article published back in December,

At the same time, [Tod] Dana and [Alex] Fisher are teaming up with Cheryl Lewis and Noreen Kotts, El Rayo’s culinary team and the former owners of Aurora Provisions, for another venture. The four are converting what used to be Popeye’s Ice House into a new restaurant Dana describes as a “neighborhood bistro.” It’ll have 60 seats, and gets its name for its view of the Fore River. They hope to be open by late next summer.

Making Gelato & Maine Maple Sunday

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on Maine Maple Sunday,

This year’s sap is also unusually high in sugar content, consistently averaging 4 percent instead of the normal 2 percent or 3 percent. At that level, Harris said he can produce a gallon of maple syrup with only 21½ gallons of sap instead of the usual 40. Last year’s warm winter and low sugar content required an average of 47 gallons.

anda Maine at Work column where reporter Ray Routhier works with Mariagrazia Zanardi from Gorgeous Gelato,

Zanardi’s talk of the gelato’s “molecular structure” struck me. When eating ice cream, or gelato, or other similarly sweet treats, I had never thought much about molecular structure.

But Zanardi does, almost constantly. She studied gelato-making at a university in Italy, then moved to Portland and opened Gorgeous Gelato on Fore Street in December, with her husband, Donato Giovine. Giovine had a packaging business in Milan, and Zanardi had been a Spanish teacher before deciding upon gelato-making as a second career.

For some additional photos of Maine Maple Sunday go to Sweeter Salt.

Review of Flatbread

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The Spiced Plate has published a review of th gluten-free pizza at Flatbread.

When we dug in, it was still warm.  The crust was delightfully crunchy, while the rest of the dough was more moist, which allowed it to soak up the flavors of the herbs and cheese.  Most gluten free doughs at restaurants tend to be akin to the cardboard box we carried the pie home in, but this dough had the right balance of softness without being too flimsy.  I think a gluten-eating person would enjoy this pizza just as much as Andrew and I did.

This Week’s Events: Latte Art Throwdown, Cheese Making Class, Chocolate Lovers Fling, Heritage Grains Baking Class

Monday, March 28th, 2011

WednesdayBlack Tie Bistro is teaching a cooking class.

Thursday — Bard Coffee is hosting a Latte Art Throwdown, The Cheese Iron is teaching an Intro to Cheese Making class, Cinque Terre is serving a 5-course Italian dinner at The Portland Company, there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Switchback Brewing.

FridayWest End Deli is holding a wine tasting. This Friday is also First Friday Art Walk and restaurants will be busy so make your reservations early.

Saturday — Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland will be hosting Eli Rogosa from the Heritage Wheat Conservancy for a lunch and pair of discussions about grain celebrations and growing heritage grains, the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Irish Heritage Center and there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen.

Sunday — the 25th Annual Chocolate Lovers Fling will take place at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, and Eli Rogosa from the Heritage Wheat Conservancy will be teaching a baking class using Emmer and Einkorn flour.

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.

Review of Green Elephant

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Maine magazine has published a review of Green Elephant in their April issue.

Green Elephant’s style of food was developed in Thailand, where a large percentage of the population is Budhist and refrain from eating meat. Their devotion, however, doesn’t stop them from craving it, and soy-based faux-meat products have become an acceptable alternative. I personally find the texture quite pleasing, although I learned from restaurant manager Corin Ginter that my reckless use of the term “fake meat” is frowned upon (although I can’t understand why) and that “soy meat” is the preferred nomenclature.

Since it’s the magazine’s wellness issue there’s also a sidebar with a list of “healthy eating” restaurant destinations such as Homegrown Herb and Tea and Local Sprouts.

The article isn’t yet online but the magazine should be available at your local newsstand.