Archive for September, 2012

NPR: Maine Mead Works

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The Salt food blog from NPR has published an article about Maine Mead Works.

“Mead has the quintessential terroir,” says Alexander, 36, who began developing his mead in 2007 after becoming fascinated with its history as the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world. “You can get good honey anywhere, and it always has this sense of time and place.”

That idea resonates especially well in Maine, which has one of the strongest locavore movements in the U.S. Spend a little time in Portland, and you get the sense that every new food product on the market better be made with native Maine ingredients or no one’s buying.

Rum Diaries

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The October issue of Portland Magazine includes a feature article on the history of the rum industry in Maine.

The rough and rowdy history of Maine rum turned violent in the 1850s, as under the growing temperance movement spearheaded by mayor Neal Dow, ‘the Napoleon of Temperance,’ alcohol production and sale of liquor was prohibited. However, it was discovered four years after the passage of the law that Dow himself was keeping large stocks of brandy set aside for ‘medicinal’ purposes–necessary to maintain the temperaments of solid, respectable citizens, of course. But for the working population of the city, alcohol was often their only escape, and many of the rioters decried Dow’s attack on what they viewed as their culture.

Ned Wight from New England Distilling in Portland was interviewed for the article.

Ned Wight, whose Eight Bells Rum hit shelves in September, agrees that it’s not all about the sea. Much of the rum produced in Maine was likely produced in stills in the back of public houses, produced not for bottling and off-site consumption but to be drunk on the premises by the patrons. “To me, that’s the real essence of Maine’s connection to rum, less than sailing or piracy.

Fried Green Savannah

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Fried Green Savannah bloggers Nathan and Kenda Williams visited Portland this Summer and they have posted a number of photos from their eating tour. Becky’s, the Farmers Market, Portland Pie, Two Fat Cats, Sonny’s, The Great Lost Bear, MDI Ice Cream, Gritty’s, Duckfat were all represented.


First Review of Zen Chinese Bistro

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Portland Magazine has published the first review of Zen Chinese Bistro.

But the Peking Duck ($25), plenty enough for a satisfying dinner for two, is what knocks us out. A half duck deftly sliced comes on a gorgeous platter with fresh moo shu pancakes, delicious plum sauce, sliced cucumbers, and scallions. Theatrically, one of the servers shows up at our table and carefully creates the wraps for us–a welcome touch!

Wall Street Journal: Saigon’s Pho

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

The Wall Street Journal has published an article by Portland author Kate Christensen about the Pho at Saigon on Forest Ave.

But now, I just got out my laptop and Googled. I found a Vietnamese place called Saigon that delivered, and on the menu was beef pho. I gasped with joy. Within a half-hour the paper bag arrived, containing two huge plastic containers of broth, piping hot and smelling incredible. We squeezed in lime juice and added cooked rice noodles, then thin slices of raw sirloin, which cooked instantly in the steaming soup, then slivers of onion and chili, crunchy mung bean sprouts and fresh basil and cilantro. We fell on it with chopsticks and spoons, too impatient to wait for it to cool. The broth was rich and beefy and very clear, full of the delicate flavors of cinnamon, black pepper and a familiar yet mysterious mix of other spices I’d come to associate with this warming soup.

the article includes Saigon’s recipe for Pho.

Pocket Brunch Interview with Joel Beauchamp

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Bangor Daily News blogger Alex Steed has published an interview with Joel Beauchamp about Pocket Brunch.

What is the significance of not revealing the menu ahead of time?
This was a huge decision for us. On our end, Pocket Brunch is about being creative as possible without someone standing over us and telling us not to do this or that. We didn’t want to attract people who had limitations to what they were interested in eating. We wanted people to know about us by word of mouth about the quality of what we are doing. We do some weird stuff, which is fun. When else do you get to do that? Josh doesn’t get to do weird stuff over at 158.

Maine Lobster Competition Preview

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Today’s Press Herald provides a preview of the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition. The cook-off will take place later this month at Harvest on the Harbor.

Bouchard, the executive chef at DiMillo’s on the Water, is coming back for seconds in the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition, after her maple butter-poached lobster tail failed to claw its way to the top in the 2009 contest.

“This is our year,” said a determined Bouchard, who will join forces with another DiMillo’s chef, Cliff Pickett. Pickett competed for the title in 2010 with a steamed Maine lobster and sweet corn tamale.

Tickets for the competition are on sale at the Harvest on the Harbor website.

NYT: Common Ground Fair

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The New York Times has published an article about last weekend’s Common Ground Fair in Unity Maine.

Organic food may not be feeding the world yet, but it was feeding thousands of people at the Common Ground Country Fair last weekend.

They lined up at 10 a.m. to pay $4 for Steve’s Organic French Fries, made with organic potatoes fried in cold-pressed safflower oil for the vegetarian crowd. Although “beef tallow is better,” said Steve Aucoin, 61, who has been selling fries here since the first fair, in 1977.

Porthole Reapproval Process Examined

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Today’s Press Herald examines the City’s approval for The Porthole to reopen just 2 days after it had been closed for critical health violations.

A string of emails shows that city officials scrambled to reopen three waterfront businesses soon after they were closed this month for health code violations, including a “serious rat infestation.”

The emails show that the city’s health inspector originally estimated it would take a week or two for the Porthole restaurant, the Comedy Connection nightclub and the Harbour’s Edge banquet hall to come into compliance.

They were cleared to reopen within two days.

Phantom Gourmet at The Holy Donut

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The Phantom Gourmet TV show will be filming at The Holy Donut Friday morning 7:30 – 11.

First Review of Kushiya Benkay

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Eat Maine has published a review of Kushiya Benkay.

Equally satisfying is the panko encrusted Kushikatsu, because, honestly, what is better than delicious fried chicken on a skewer? These, as well as the fried pork with onions, are made even more delicious when dipped in the creamy, pungent wasabi mayo served as an accompaniment. As with the yakitori, there are many, many options of meat to choose from here.

Kushiya Benkay opened August 23 in Longfellow Square. As you might have guessed from the name, it’s the sibling of Benkay on India Street.

Standout Cheese Shop: The Cheese Iron

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

From Away recommended The Cheese Iron for inclusion in Gourmet Live’s list of Standout Cheese Shops.

The Cheese Iron has exposed beams, a farmhouse table, and all the good things in life: wine, salami, pasta, tomato sauces, pressed oils, baked goods, and, of course, cheese. While you may come for the cheese, you won’t want to miss the Cuban sandwich, which layers smoky ham, thick slices of Taleggio, sweet chutney, and fresh basil atop a crusty baguette that’s grilled until golden.

BSA Popcorn Cooking Competition

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, Chefs from Nosh, Zapoteca, Sea Dog Brewing, Frog & Turtle and Hot Suppa were in Monument Square yesterday for a popcorn cooking contest.

Five of the city’s most popular eateries sent teams to Monument Square on Wednesday afternoon to put gourmet spins on Boy Scout popcorn in an effort to help raise the profile of the organization’s signature fundraising snack. Judges for the light-hearted first Popcorn Bowl were Gonneville, the Pine Tree Council’s top popcorn seller for 2011, WMTW TV news anchor Erin Ovalle, Southern Maine Community College culinary arts program chairman and chef Wil Beriau, and Portland Press Herald food writer Meredith Goad.

Visit Maine a la Carte for all the details on each restaurant’s entry in the competition.

James Tranchemontagne brought his son as his sous chef, and made a Creole popcorn with ground ancho, filo, onion and garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper, cayenne and smoked paprika.

Bar Review of The Great Lost Bear

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The Great Lost Bear.

I don’t remember how many beers were on the list at the time, but now The Great Lost Bear boasts a total of 69 taps featuring mostly craft beers from the Northeast and 15 Maine microbreweries.

At some point, a list of beers that long can make it hard to choose what brew you’d like to sip. However, with such a long list, you are sure to find something you like.

Food Sciences, Wine Storage and MOO Milk Documentary

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Today’s Press Herald includes a front page article on the Food Science program at the University of Maine,

At a time when enrollment at UMaine is down overall, a record number of students is enrolling in the university’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

advice on how to best  store your growing home wine collection,

How should you store the wine you keep at home for dinner parties or your own drinking pleasure? Do you really need one of those wine refrigerators that are so popular these days? And when should you take the leap to a real wine cellar?

and an article about a documentary on MOO Milk.

In a film that is at turns humorous, heart-wrenching and very humane, Pingree and Mann follow three farm families in Aroostook County and Downeast Maine as they and seven other farms strike out on their own to create Maine’s Own Organic Milk Co., better known as MOO Milk.