Archive for September, 2014

The Holy Donut Algorithm

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

holydonutHoly Donut owner Leigh Kellis has an evolving set of rules that help her determine just how many doughnuts to make on any given day so there are just enough without having any left unsold at closing time.

Check out this article in today’s Press Herald to read more about it.

So Kellis took careful notes on the constellation of factors that seemed to impact doughnut demand…In some cases, demand varied, inexplicably from week to week. Sales dropped by 20 percent the week after Labor Day, for instance. The next week, they jumped by 10 percent.

But other, unique buying patterns also started to emerge.

Awards: Food & Wine, Indie Biz & SEDCO

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Awards season is here:

  • Indie Biz Awards – Portland Buy Local has kicked off the voting for the 2014 Indie Biz Awards. Food businesses are contenders in nearly every category. Visit the Buy Local website to cast your vote.
  • F & W Best New Bartoday is the last day to cast your vote in the F & W People’s Best New Bar competition in support of the hometown favorite, the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club.
  • SEDCO – the Scarborough Economic Development Corporation has recognized El Rayo as their 2014 Outstanding Project of the Year and Broadturn Farm as their 2014 Outstanding Hidden Gem.

Sur Lie Now Open (Updated)

Monday, September 29th, 2014

surlieSur Lie (facebook) is now open. They’re located at 11 Free Street.

Sur Lie serves a small plate menu divided into three main categories: Crisp, Pleasant and Bold along with some cheeses, charcuterie and other smaller starters. Chef Emil Rivera moved to Maine from DC where he worked for several years as part of the ThinkFoodGroup—a family of 15 restaurants founded by chef/restaurateur Jose Andres.

Update: For a look at the restaurant take a look at these photos by Ryan Brownewell.

Under Construction: 409 Cumberland Ave

Monday, September 29th, 2014


Plans for the new building currently under construction at 409 Cumberland Avenue include a rooftop greenhouse for growing vegetables and a teaching kitchen where residents can learn about turning produce into healthy meals. The greenhouse and kitchen are part of a collaboration between Avesta and Cultivating Community.

This Week’s Events: Vinland Flanagan’s Table, Cowspiracy, Flea Bites

Monday, September 29th, 2014

fleabitesMonday — David Levi from Vinland is the featured chef at this month’s Maine Farmland Trust dinner at Flanagan’s Table, and Rob Tod will be at Old Port Spirits for an Allagash beer tasting.

Wednesday — Black Tie is serving a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — the Signature Chef’s Auction is being hosted at DiMillo’s, and there will be screening of Cowspiracy at Cinemagic.

Friday — a group of food trucks will be in Bayside at the Portland Flea-for-All for Flea Bites, and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli.

SaturdayLeRoux Kitchen is holding a wine tasting, The Farm Stand is having a grand opening, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

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.

5 Stars for Fore Street

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Fore Street.

[Fore Street] remains Maine’s signature five-star restaurant. The ever-changing menu reflects top-notch foraging and sourcing from farms around the state and beyond, with favorites from the wood-grilled oven and turnspit including mussels, quail, black bass and pork belly, as well as fine salads, house-made pastas, unique desserts and well-paired wine list.

An Editor’s Note indicates that this was interim reviewer Melissa Coleman’s last review and that the sunday review will “go on a short hiatus and return with a new critic soon”.

Interview with Kathleen Pratt

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Knack Factory has published an interview with Kathleen Pratt, co-owner of Tandem.

What I find fascinating about Tandem is that—outside of the coffee, which is great—you have sort have built a micro-culture around this place. I heard about Tandem before I even knew about your coffee. It was a place to go, to be. Was it a conscious decision to develop that?
We definitely had an environment that we wanted to create. In opening a cafe, I remember sitting down and asking, “What is it that we want to make here?” We want people to feel like they are stepping into our home, to create an intimate setting where people can meet each other. The whole reason I was drawn to coffee in the first place was my first cafe job. There, I had found a sense of community. But this place took on its own thing completely.

Bar Reviews: Timber & Buck’s

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Timber,

Timber has a great happy hour and can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu. We  look forward to taking advantage of the specials to explore their wine list further as well! As fall approaches, they do have a beautifully decorated interior to sip those wines in as well.

and Future Fun Stuff has reviewed Buck’s Naked BBQ.

The consensus on Buck’s is that it has a damn good Happy Hour. It lasts a long time, the drinks deals are good (so good you might want to get several drinks and get nekkid…. woohoo!), and you can get a mountain of fried food for cheap.

Rob Evans: Maine’s Best Bites

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Chef Rob Evans has assembled a list of his favorite local eateries for Serious Eats.

On his list are Boda, Eventide, Gorgeous Gelato, Green Elephant, Hunt and Alpine, Otto, Oxbow, Pai Men, Piccolo, Portland Lobster Company, Rosemont, Thanh Thanh,  The Lobster Shack, Tandem and Tu Casa.

Opening Soon: Sur Lie

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

surlieSur Lie (facebook) is in the process of holding a some friends and family services prior to opening to the public “early next week”. I was fortunate enough to get invited to the dinner last night.

The main part of chef Emil Rivera’s small plate menu (here’s a photo of the one from last night) is divided into three categories: Crisp, Pleasant and Bold along with some cheeses, charcuterie and other smaller starters. Rivera moved to Maine from DC where he worked for several years as part of the ThinkFoodGroup—a family of 15 restaurants founded by chef/restaurateur Jose Andres.

My menu recommendation: when you go be sure not to miss the Creamed Corn with Pork Belly.

Sur Lie is located at 11 Free Street.

Review of Yosaku

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Yosaku.

Ultimately, I can recommend Yosaku because of the genre it’s as good as we get in Portland.  The service is attentive, the wait staff is knowledgeable and the traditional choices well prepared.  The décor is pleasant and if my honest thoughts about this kind of cooking in general will make followers shake their heads, take it from whence it comes.   In the end, one should stick to what one knows!

Brewery Tasting Rooms

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Brew Babe writes about the recent history of brewery tasting rooms and her top 5 reasons for visiting them.

2. Information straight from the source: Do you think an employee at Hannaford is going to crack open a beer and give me a taste to see if I like it before I bring home a six pack? Do you think that guy at the sketchy 7-11 (you know the one I’m talking about) knows what kinds of hops are in a beer?

Under Construction: Bao Bao Dumpling House

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Urban Eye has posted an update on Bao Bao Dumpling House.

The delay of Bao Bao Dumpling House on Spring Street has perplexed more than fans of Portland’s revolving food scene. Owner Cecile Stadler, touring her new building, formerly West End Deli, on Wednesday, was miffed that the process has taken so long.

Bar Reviews: Sonny’s & Old Port Sea Grill

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Sonny’s,

…The drinks were great and the fries were excellent except for the lack of crisp. In truth, I haven’t been there for dinner in a while as I’ve never been super impressed with their food, but Sonny’s has had some menu changes and it does look better. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future. For now, they get two thumbs up on their drinks.

and the Press Herald has reviewed the Old Port Sea Grill.

But if you can look beyond the somewhat characterless decor, past the blue hue of the tank’s chemical-treated water, and crack open a menu, you’ll likely discover a proper eatery, in line with Portland’s creative and culinary flair.

Now Open: Dean’s Sweets & Golden Lotus

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014


Dean’s Sweets is opening their new larger Fore Street location today. They’ll be having a “tastings of their signature truffles and caramels, hot chocolate and chocolate bars”. Dean’s new store is located at 475 Fore Street, they plan to open at 10 am.

goldenlotusGolden Lotus had their grand opening yesterday. Chef/owner Joe Tang has 30 years of restaurant experience, mostly in NH. For several years he was part of the staff at Wok Inn and most recently he worked at Empire Chinese Kitchen. Golden Lotus is located at 511 Congress Street.