Archive for April, 2015

Under Construction: Milly’s Skillet

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Molly Ritzo has leased the Wicked Good Street Kitchen food truck on Peaks Island to launch Milly’s Skillet(website, facebook) next month. Ritzo has made some improvements to the truck and plans to serve a menu of “small breakfast menu and gourmet picnic-style sandwiches”.

Ritzo is blogging about her experience in launching the business on her website She plans to hold a grand opening for the truck on May 15th and 16th.

Visit the PFM Under Construction page for the most complete list of food businesses under development.

Review of The Local Press

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed The Local Press.

The Local Press is known for serving Boar’s Head meats and for its bowls of “Rundown,” a spicy Caribbean chowder made with coconut milk, curry and root vegetables. The chowder is a huge draw; a bowl of Rundown and a panini certainly make for a complete and filling meal. The menu also always includes a soup of the day, such as sweet potato bisque.

Where to Eat Now

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

This week’s Press Herald Food & Dining section highlights the restaurants to eat at now—before the tourists show up and tables become scarce.

Bayside/Bintliff’s Boone’s, Cafe, Central Provisions, Duckfat, East Ender, Eventide, Flatbread, Fore Street, Hot Suppa, J’s Oyster Bar, Lolita, M.C. Union, Pai Men Miyake, The Honey Pot were all mentioned in the article.

All too often, the act of simply making it to a restaurant table in Maine during the summer months sucks so much of the joy out of dining that we slink away until the leaves of autumn start to fall and it feels safe to return. So, before the Fourth of July hordes descend upon our fair city, here are our suggestions for places we suggest you visit during the next two months, before it’s too late. Take a deep breath – or two – and actually enjoy yourself.

Also, the paper’s Bite draws attention to the open-faced sunflower butter and lingonberry jam sandwich at Ten Ten Pié.

Upcoming Openings: Lois’ Natural Market, Figgy’s, Bite into Maine

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Lois’ Natural Marketplace has announced they’ll be opening their new store in Portland on May 19th.

Figgy’s Takeout is expecting to open their shop on Walker Street by the end of May.

Bite into Maine has announced they’re opening their food truck in Fort Williams Park for season on May 9th.

Launchpad: Casco Bay Butter, Green Bee Soda

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Casco Bay Butter and Green Bee Soda are semi-finalists in the Gorham Savings Bank Launchpad competition. The five finalists will pitch their business ideas on June 18th and the winner will receive $30,000.

Visit the Launchpad website to read their business plans and vote on your favorite.

Growing Local Grain Industry

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Maine’s growing local grain industry.

In Portland, baker Alison Pray, owner of Standard Baking Co., still has a hard time believing her bakery is using grain from Maine. Pray is offering a half dozen breads, including two German ryes, made with local grain. The dense, seeded breads are growing in popularity.

When she started her bakery two decades ago, she recalls, this opportunity “wasn’t even on the horizon.”

“We are thrilled. We are so excited. This is what inspires all of our innovation and excitement about developing new breads and pastries,” said Pray. “It opens a lot of doors for us.”

A Few Changes: Wing Lee, Tawakal Halal, Arabian Days, Discount Halal (Updated)

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Wing Lee II has opened on Saint John Street in the space formerly occupied by Jan Mae. The original Wing Lee is located in Scarborough.

Tawakal Halal and the Arabian Days coffee shop have cleared out of 3 Deering Ave in Bramhall Square freeing up some retail space in an increasingly popular stretch of Congress Street.

Earlier this month Discount Halal closed their shop on Washington Ave. The space is now for rent.

Taqueria Tequila has gone out of business. The space at 249 Saint John Street is for rent.

Under Construction: Mami

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Eating Portland Alive reports that chef Austin Miller plans on launching his Japanese food truck, Mami, by the end of May. The izakaya truck will be located in Congress Square Park.

This Week’s Events: Wine/Beer Dinners, Belgian Biere Fest, Latte Art, Bourbon Walk, Rum Riot Tickets

Monday, April 27th, 2015

piercingthepickleTuesday — there will be a wine tasting at Maine & Loire, and an Alsatian wine dinner at Petite Jacqueline.

WednesdaySur Lie is serving a 6-course beer dinner in collaboration with Maine Beer Company, GMRI is hold a Seafood Celebration, Black Tie is teaching a cooking class, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdaySur Lie is serving a 5-course wine dinner featuring Gloria Ferrer Winery, there will be a wine tastings at Aurora Provisions and Rosemont on Commercial, and Tandem Bakery is hosting a Latte Art Competition.

Friday — it’s the first night of the 7th Annual Belgian Biere Fest at Novare Res, and for First Friday The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box is hosting a gallery showing of contemporary condiment utensils and jewelry.

Saturday — Wine Wise is leading a Bourbon Walk, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — there will be a screening on In Organic We Trust at USM.

rumriots_logoRum Riots — tickets for this year’s Rum Riot events are now on sale. The four day event runs from May 30 to June 2, and includes a class on bar technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a lecture on the history of cocktail books by Don Lindgren & John Myers and a chartresuse dinner at Piccolo. Visit to buy tickets and to see the full schedule.

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.

Tandem Liquor License

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Tandem Bakery has submitted an application for a liquor license. Once approved at Monday night’s City Council meeting, Tandem will be joining the ranks of Gorgeous Gelato and Vena’s Fizz House—businesses that were formerly ethanol-free but now have the option to incorporate it into their menu.

Pure Pops Mobile

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

mobilepurepopsNatural popsicle maker Pure Pops is launching a food cart this year.

Mayor Brennan’s Food Initiative

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram reports on Mayor Brennan’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System.

Those are some of the more visible projects being worked on by a wide-ranging group of Portlanders who have joined the Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System. Mayor Michael Brennan formed the initiative in 2012 after participants in a casual community food forum expressed a desire for a council that could work on the city’s food policy and on increasing residents’ access to local foods.

For more info on the Initiative visit the HSFSI website.

Review of Tiqa

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Tiqa.

Bright, attractive and busy, Tiqa is a large “pan-Mediterranean” restaurant on the western edge of the Old Port. With dishes and recipes inspired by the foods of southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, there’s a broad range of lunch and dinner options, from flatbreads and skewered meats – the chicken merguez kefta is excellent – to pan-seared Egyptian-style fish and memorable braised oxtail from Sicily. Avoid the fried food: fried broccolini (fritto misto) and chickpea fritters (falafel) here both fall flat. And take advantage of the free valet parking (after 5 p.m.), the opportunity to sample wines before ordering and the superb fruit sorbets made daily. Those sorbets blend silky texture with intense flavor for a deeply satisfying finish to a meal.

Under Construction: Lively

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

A new “small cafe & retail chocolate shop” called Lively is under construction at 54 Washington Ave; the space is adjacent to Terlingua and was formerly occupied by Falmouth Flowers and Gifts.

For the past 5 years owner Paul Olaf Lively has been the chef/owner of Chef Paul’s Truffles & Catering in Brewster, MA. He won the Best Truffle award earlier this month at the 29th Annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fling.

Lively plans to serve soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch (draft menu on page 178) in the evening they also plan to serve “desserts and lighter fare”. The 31-seat cafe will also be selling truffles and prepared food to go. They hopes to open the cafe sometime in early June.


Visit the PFM Under Construction page for the most complete list of food businesses under development.

City Defines Sidewalk Dining Rules

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

The City has detailed rules governing restaurant sidewalk dining spaces.

The permit application that restaurants must submit to apply for outdoor seating spells out clear measurements for how much sidewalk space their tables and chairs can take up, and how many feet of pedestrian space must be maintained.

For restaurants without sidewalks wide enough to support outdoor dining, businesses can request to use a parking space, or appeal to planners for an exemption.