Archive for June, 2017

Rabelais Books Video

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

The good folks at Knack Factory has produced a wonderful video about Rabelais Books and its owner, resident bibliomaniac and culinary historian, Don Lindgren.

Inner Washington Block Party

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

The businesses along the in-town stretch of Washington Ave are having a block party this Saturday.

Participating food vendors include: Oxbow, Maine Mead Works, Hardshore Distilling, Terlingua, Izikaya Minato, Silly’s, Cong Tu Bot, Coffee by Design , Flying Fox, A&C Grocery, Portland Pottery.

Under Construction: Speckled Ax Coffee Truck

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Speckled Ax is working on launching a coffee truck.

So, there’s a Speckled Ax Truck in the works. Phases one and two–drive train and outside cosmetics–took a lot longer than expected, but are pretty much done. On to phase three. Here’s the “before” of the inside, after we pulled out lots of horrible vinyl and fake wood. More details to come.

This Week’s Events: Yes Brewing Launch, Hugo’s Chef Dinner, Brother Cleve, Craft Brew Race, Champagne Dinner

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Tuesday – influential Boston bartender Brother Cleve will be guest mixing tiki cocktails at the Hunt and Alpine Club, 5-7 pm.

WednesdayHugo’s is holding a dinner featuring food and wine from southern France, there will be wine tastings at Browne Trading and the Old Port Wine Merchants, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – there will be a Champagne wine dinner at Petite Jacqueline.

FridayYes Brewing is scheduled to open at 3:30. They’re located at 609 Main Street behind Mister Bagel.

Saturday –the 2017 Craft Brew Race and Festival and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market are 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.

Scott DeSimon and Long Grain

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Nancy Harmon Jenkins about Long Grain in Camden,

If I told you that one of the most captivating Asian restaurants in the country is a hole-in-the-wall in a pretty little town on the coast of Maine, would you believe me? Forget lobster rolls, I tell skeptics; you’re going to love the kao klug kapi. And the always come away from Long Grain, in Camden, with a one-word reaction: “Wow.”

and the Lewiston Sun Journal has published an interview with A-list food writer and editor, and Maine native Scott DeSimon. He will be a judge at the Down East lobster roll competition in early July.

It’s your first time judging a lobster roll competition. What will make the winner stand out? For me, the ideal roll is all about the perfect mix of mayo to perfectly cooked meat, with very little in the way of other ingredients or seasonings. And the bun needs to be hot and buttery, with a touch of crispness from the flat top. Simple, but so many people screw it up. Of course, if someone does some brilliant take on a lobster banh mi, I could be swayed.

Blended Burger Project: Spore Uproar

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Liquid Riot is participating in this year’s edition of the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project. The program challenges restaurants to develop burgers that include at least 25% fresh mushrooms, and to have it on the menu through July 31. During that time diners can participate by trying it out and voting for their favorite online. The program an effort by the Foundation to encourage sustainability and healthier food options.

Liquid Riot’s blended burger is called the Spore Uproar. It uses a mix of “Hen of the Wood, Pink Oyster and Lion’s Main mushrooms and beef on a buttered and grilled brioche bun, topped with Vermont Creamery fresh goat cheese, a green tomato and poblano relish, and Liquid Riot Bierschnaps mushroom pate, red-veined sorrel and pickled red onion.”

Under Construction: Island Creek Oysters

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Painter Tessa Greene O’Brien hard at work on the signage for the new Island Creek Oyster market and bar at Washington Ave. Island Creek will be located at 123 Washington Ave in the same building that Maine Craft Distilling.

I had the chance to talk with ICO founder Skip Bennett back in February. His plans for the space are three-fold: as a retail market for the Maine oyster brands they sell, cold storage for their distribution network and there will be a casual oyster and beer bar.

Bennett plans to hold events at the bar that connect oyster lovers with producers. All told the space is around 2,000 sq ft, in addition they’ve added a deck to the front of the building.

Under Construction: Jack’s Thai

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

A new restaurant called Jack’s Thai is under construction on Main Street in Westbrook. It’s a few doors down from Big Fin Poke and about a half mile away from where Veranda Thai has their own Westbrook outpost in development.

$500k in Funding for Food Start-ups

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Mainebiz has a report on a $500,000 fund to help new food start-ups.

Hall said of the total $500,000, the average loan size will be $25,000 to $150,000, which would cover six to eight companies a year. But those wanting a larger amount should still approach the group, Hall said, as they might be able to make introductions to other groups with deeper pockets to participate.

Interview with Chad Conley

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Urban Eye has posted the video of an interview with Chad Conley. Conley is the co-owner of Palace Diner and is in the process of launching Rose Foods.

Down East: Best of Maine

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Down East has released the results of the Best of Maine readership survey.

Portland people and places on the list include: Mister Bagel, The Holy Donut, Novare Res, Allagash, Hunt and Alpine, Harbor Fish, Amato’s, Ilma Lopez.

Maine Food Sovereignty Law

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Maine has enacted a new law that gives towns more control over regulating food businesses within their borders, reports the Press Herald.

Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill into law that affirms the rights of cities and towns to regulate local food production, making Maine the second state in the nation to allow consumers to buy directly from farmers and food producers regardless of the state and federal licensing and inspections that would otherwise apply.

Interview with Gillian and Jim Britt

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The Press Herald has published an interview with the owners of gBritt, a firm that specializes in providing public relations support to restaurants.

Q:Still, it’s 2016. Why can’t I tweet/Instagram/website and market my restaurant myself?

JB: Our clients tend to be chef-driven restaurants. There is no marketing person in place. They are trying to do payroll, meet the delivery truck out back, fix that ice maker that stopped working.

Then in the very back of their mind, they are thinking, “We haven’t posted on Instagram in a week,” or “We haven’t updated our Facebook.” Then there is the storytelling. They might have a great story to tell, but they just don’t have the contacts with professional media or the time.

Under Construction: Little Giant

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Boston Magazine has published an article about Little Giant, the new restaurant the owners of Hunt & Alpine are opening on Danforth Street.

To achieve that balance at Little Giant, the Volks brought on a Boston ex-pat to lead the kitchen. Rian Wyllie, opening chef at Deep Ellum and both Lone Star Taco Bars, left that group after 10 years to relocate to Maine. Wyllie, an Arlington native, and his wife were considering a move when mutual friends introduced them to the Volks. It’s a perfect fit, both parties agree.

New England Regional 38

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Eater’s roving food editor, Bill Addison, has issued his list of the 38 essential restaurants in New England.

Included on the list are 10 restaurants from Maine: Drifters Wife, Eventide, Long Grain, Maine Diner, Mcloons Lobster, Palace Diner, Primo, Tandem Bakery, The Lost Kitchen, Tao Yuan.

Even five years ago, this list would have looked very different — or certainly less geographically broad. (As it is, Boston nabs a whopping 10 spots, but hey, it’s a metro area of nearly 5 million people.) Thanks to game-changers like Eventide in Portland, Maine, and Oberlin in Providence, Rhode Island, there’s now a breadth to the selections that shows off an upsurge in creativity. With its mosaic of risk-taking chefs and guardians of traditional foods, New England has never been a more varied or exciting culinary destination.

I had the pleasure of working with Bill on the list and wrote a few of the entries for Southern Maine in the article.