Archive for May, 2011

Markets, Markets and More Markets

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

I’ve recently been updating the PFM lists of ethnic markets and variety stores and there have been several changes and additions:

Review of Local 188

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The Spiced Plate has published a review of Local 188.

The star of the night, however, was this dish:  A squash roasted to perfection and filled with saucy garbanzo beans, spiced in a mix of Indian-style spices with Italian-style tomato flavor, served with the garnish of coconut-cilantro chutney.  I couldn’t talk while I was eating this.  Every bite I ate with concentration on the flavors and textures of the dish.  I couldn’t get over the sauce, the softness of the squash, or how the chickpeas were just so darn lovely.

Coblestones Now Open, Plus Ariel’s and Bengi’s

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Cobblestones is now open for business. They’re serving a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches from the former Henry VIII’s space in Monument Square.

Two other new additions to the Food Map are Ariel’s Hummus and Bengi’s Port City Dogs. Ariel’s makes a weekly appearance on Tuesdays at the Public Market House and Benji’s is a food cart that today is operating on Commercial Street.

Oysters & Willard Square

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Today’s Press Herald includes a profile of two Scarborough River oyster farmers,

[Nate] Perry and Abigail Carroll, another fledgling farmer, are among the first to try oyster aquaculture in the Scarborough River. The location, with its tidal currents and particular nutrients, creates oysters that they try to describe with such adjectives as briny, sweet, creamy and grassy.

“That’s what an oyster is — it’s the taste of the sea where it came from,” Perry said.

and a reprise of the recent activities in Willard Square that led to a 3-month building moratorium and two entrepreneurs reevaluating their plans to open a market in the Square.

Encouraged by the city’s planning office and zoning that calls for up to six more businesses at Willard Square, the partners envisioned a small market that would be built next to Perry’s two-story apartment house.

What they didn’t foresee was the opposition.

This Week’s Events: Cheese Class, Maine Lemonade Day, Blood into Wine

Monday, May 30th, 2011

MondayMemorial Day.

Wednesday — there will be a wine tasting at the Old Port Wine Merchants, Grace is holding their monthly wine tasting event, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

ThursdayThe Cheese Iron is teaching a class on Spring & Summer cheeses.

FridayMaine Foodie Tours is running an island progressive dinner, there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli and First Friday Art Walk is taking place so make your reservation soon.

SaturdayLocal Sprouts is celebrating their 1-year anniversary, LeRoux Kitchen is holding a wine tasting, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — it’s Maine Lemonade Day and kids across the state will be stting up their lemonade stands, Joe Ricchio is hosting Blood into Wine a wine dinner and movie screening at One Longfellow Square.

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.

Bad Behavior, 51-100

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Portland Food Coma has posted the second half of his list of the 100 Things a Customer Should Never Do.

Upon receipt of the “black” coffee you ordered, request cream and sugar. Upon receipt of the cream, insist that you wanted milk.

Outdoor Dining

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Memorial Day weekend mark’s the cultural divide between Spring and Summer. Weather permitting  it’s also the start of the outdoor dining season. I’ve been dusting off the PFM Outdoor Drinking and Dining List. Please take a look and let me know what new spots I’m missing.

Cupcake Review of Aurora Provisions

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Cupcakes! Cupcakes! Cupcakes! has published a review of Aurora Provisions.

I am so glad that my tipster let me know they had cupcakes there that day, since it really was the best basic cupcake I have had in a while. The butter cream frosting was really light and not too sweet. The flavor for the frosting was spot on to complement the chocolate cupcake. The sugar sprinkles gave it a fantastic crunch and obvious visual appeal…

Rising Food Prices

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram reports on the recent uptick in food prices.

After two years of the lowest food inflation rates since the 1960s, food prices are headed up again. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that nationally, overall food prices jumped 3.9 percent from April 2010 to last month.

Coffee prices have soared nearly 14 percent in the past year. Beef and pork prices shot up 10.4 percent. Dairy prices are up 6.3 percent, eggs up 4.8 percent and fresh vegetables up 4.5 percent.

Exchange Street Cafe Now Open

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

The Exchange Street Cafe is now open. The Petrucci family is serving a menu of economically priced sandwiches, salads and subs. They plan on adding pasta dinners and BBQ dinners to the menu soon.

DennyMike’s in Saveur

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Saveur magazine has included DennyMike’s Sweet ‘n Spicey BBQ sauce in their list of “14 Sauces We Can’t Live Without” (page 123 of the June/July issue).

The Thirsty Pig Now Open

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

After a few day’s hiatus, Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll has reopened on Exchange Street with a new name and concept. The restaurant is now known as The Thirsty Pig. There are a few carry overs from the prior menu including the eponymous lobster roll.

National Lemonade Day Prep

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The Blueberry Files has published a report on last weekend’s Lemonade Day Recipe Contest. Kate served as one of the judges for the competition.

And in the end, we were all won over by Haley and Emma’s “Lemon Love” pink lemonade.  These cute sophomores from Bowdoin and Topsham created the best tasting recipe, with fresh raspberries and slices of lemon.  Absolutely delicious, and perfect for the almost hot day we had last Saturday.

Esquire and Huffington

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Rosie’s clocked in at #76 on Esquire magazine’s 2011 list of the Best Bars in America.

And a Huffington Post food writer has published notes on a visit to Portland including commentary on Bard, Duckfat, Browne Trading, Fore Street and Five Fifty-Five.

Reviews of Paciarino and District

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Appetite Portland has posted a review of Paciarino.

Next to me, Adam’s “oh man-ing” over fat ravioli pillows stuffed with goat cheese and Vidalia onions caramelized with a touch of fresh sage. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil glistens on his fork as he stabs chunks of the tender pockets slathered in traditional Pomodoro sauce speckled with fresh ground parmigiano.

From Away has published a review of District.

In conclusion, I am once again stumped and confounded. I wanted to like District more than I did but am not making any sweeping judgments or passing pronouncements as yet. There are certainly reasons to have dinner at this neighborhood hopeful and perhaps a more narrow path to follow. Stick with the raw bar, offal and appetizers, I’m thinking. Have many cocktails at the bar. Go when it’s already dark. Be part of a large party. Laugh a lot, and loudly. There’s room there. Share food, eat off each other’s plates…