Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Middle Street: Pepperclub Closing & Sangillo’s Appeal

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports that the Pepperclub/Good Egg will be going out of business this month,

After a slow, dwindling summer, Portland’s once-favored dining institution the Pepperclub and its breakfast outpost The Good Egg Cafe will serve its last meals this month.

The 25-year-old business was looking to relocate in the city, but owner Melissa Sawyer, reached by phone Tuesday, has called off the search.

In a separate article, the BDN reports that the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages will be holding a hearing in October to hear Sangillo’s liquor license appeal.

The hearing will be conducted by staff from the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations. Laurence Sanborn, who manages the agency’s Liquor Licensing and Enforcement Division, said in June that public comment will be accepted at the hearing, which will consider anew the evidence heard by city councilors on March 17.

Update: the Press Herald has now also published an article about the Pepperclub.

Food’s Economic Impact

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on food and agriculture’s economic impact.

Food has an economic impact as well, he said. On the one hand, foodies contribute to Maine’s tourism industry by heading to Portland, which has become known as a place to find innovative restaurants. Many restaurant menus mention the farms where they buy their products, which Lapping applauds as contributing to the health of those farms. Even those who aren’t into the latest food trend come to the state at least in part for the food, because for many, no trip to the state is complete without a lobster dinner.

Bard Coffee’s New Roastery

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has published an article on the new Bard Coffee/Wicked Joe roastery in Topsham.

In July, the 10-year-old company moved its headquarters from a cramped space in Brunswick to a commissary-turned-leading-edge coffee roasting facility across the Androscoggin River. Located near a defunct recruitment center and shuttered fire station in the former U.S. Navy Annex in Topsham, it is an unlikely location for a rising coffee bean business. But the blank slate — a 37,000-square-foot building — was ripe for renewal.

Maine Foodie Tours

Friday, August 29th, 2014

The Casual Travelist has posted a report on her recent experience on a Maine Foodie Tours guided tour. The tour visited Vervacious, Sweetgrass Distillery, Vena’s Fizz House, Harbor Fish, and Eve’s at the Garden.

Uncle Andy’s Restaurant Impossible

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Just in time for tonight’s 10pm airing of the Uncle Andy’s episode of Restaurant Impossible, the Press Herald has interviewed the family about the experience and checked out whats changed at the South Portland eatery.

Irvine’s team gave the diner new tables and chairs, a fresh coat of apple green paint, flat-screen televisions, a new alarm system, different light fixtures, and enlarged, framed photos showcasing scenes from the 60-year-old diner’s past. The restaurant kept its horseshoe-shaped counters, with updated stools. The menu had its own makeover as Irvine added dishes such as a lobster omelette and grilled Dijon chicken.

Otto Pizza Hacked

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Otto Pizza put out a statement on Friday that shared details on a point-of-sale data breach that may have compromised credit/debit card numbers at up to 900 customers at 2 Portland locations.

For additional reporting see these articles in the Bangor Daily News and Press Herald.

SUV Crashes into Bruno’s Restaurant

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The Press Herald reports that a driver crashed into Bruno’s on Thursday.

A motorist’s efforts to avoid being hit by a train on Allen Avenue ended with her SUV crashing into Bruno’s Restaurant and Tavern on Thursday.

Bon Appetit Best New Restaurants: Central Provisions, Palace Diner

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Two Maine restaurants, Central Provisions and Palace Diner in Biddeford, are among the 50 restaurants across the country selected by Bon Appetit as final nominees for their annual Best New Restaurant competition.

Last year, thousands of restaurants opened across America—and after visiting a surprisingly large percentage of them, the Foodist, Andrew Knowlton, has selected 50 as his favorites. (For the full slideshow glory, click here.) They range from oyster bars and diners to a Mekong-Mississippi mashup and a Texas-style brasserie, but the one thing they have in common is this: flat-out, ambitious deliciousness. Which of these 50 nominees will make the Hot 10 list of the absolute best? Check back August 19 to find out.

Maine Bakeries Using Locally Grown Grain

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald features a story on how Maine bakers like Standard are increasingly using locally grown grain into their products.

At Standard Baking, the staff makes breads with local wheat, including a round miche loaf made with 100 percent Maine flour. Standard also sells a scone made with local buckwheat. On the drawing board is a Danish that will contain some Maine wheat, enough to add back some of the nutrition taken out of conventional white flour. Ultimately, Pray would like to switch to Maine-milled flour in 80 percent of her pastries.

Foley’s Bakery Sold (Again)

Friday, August 1st, 2014

The Press Herald reports that Ed and Molly Foley have sold their bakery to longtime friend and colleague Andrea Swanson.

So instead of dropping their aprons and walking away, the Foleys are doing their best to reassure customers that nothing will change at Foley’s Bakery. Swanson is an old friend who worked with Ed Foley 20 years ago at the legendary Port Bakehouse on Saint John Street, and she knows all of his recipes “inside and out.”

The Foley’s had founded their bakery in the late 90’s and sold it once before in 2002 to spend time with their children.

Food & Wine Editor in Portland

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Dana Cowin, Editor of Food & Wine, was is in Portland Friday and Saturday, posting photos and commentary on Instagram of the places she visited. She stopped by:

See this post for information on where she visited in 2012.

WSJ: Food Financials at the Westin

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

An article in the Wall Street Journal about the Westin Harborview Hotel in Portland reports that strong food/drink sales at the Top of the East and other part of the hotel for a big role in its financial success.

New Castle President Gerry Chase is projecting revenue this year from the bar at $1.2 million, which would be more than double what it was before the renovation. April brought sales of $130,000, compared with previous years when that month had revenue of $15,000 or less, he says.

The bar’s success is one reason the hotel’s food-and-beverage revenue accounts for nearly half the property’s overall revenue, Mr. Chase says.

Portland’s Food Carts and Trucks

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The latest issue of Portland Magazine includes an article on Portland’s food trucks and carts.

Mentioned in the article are: Mark’s, Little Jamaica, Taco Trio, Small Axe, Urban Sugar, CN Shawarma, El Corazon, Wicked Good, Fishin’ Ships, Mainely Meatballs, Love Cupcakes.

The Huffington Post has interviewed Valerie Sandes, co-owner of the Urban Sugar food truck,

How did you choose donuts? How did you decide what donuts to make?
I grew up on these little bite-sized donuts at the race tracks (motorsport tracks in SoCal) my dad brought me to every weekend for his 1/4 midget racing addiction. They were just the traditional sugar donuts but I was instantly hooked from the first melt in my mouth bite. I was a donut lover from that point on, cakes, yeasties, round or square I don’t care…I love ‘em all! I decided to go with the cake variety for the truck because that is what made the most sense logistically with the self imposed space restriction of the vehicle.

 

Single Item Store Viability

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

In the wake of the high profile bankruptcy of the Crumb cupcake chain in NYC, the Press Herald takes a look at the risks and opportunities associated with running a business focused on a single product type.

“I quit my job, opened a jerky store and people told me I was out of my mind,” DiBenedetto recalled in a phone interview from his business in North Conway, N.H.

But his North Conway House of Jerky store did so well that, five weeks ago, he and some business partners opened a new shop on Exchange Street called the Old Port House of Jerky.

Sangillo’s Appeal

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports that an appeal hearing date has been set for Sangillo’s.

The owner of Sangillo’s Tavern will get a chance to argue why he shouldn’t lose his liquor license in an appeal hearing scheduled Sept. 11 in Council Chambers at City Hall.

The bar at 18 Hampshire St. lost its license after a 5-4 city council vote April 7. It has remained open while owner Dana Sangillo appealed the decision to the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations.

Weft & Warp Crowdfunding

Monday, July 14th, 2014

static.squarespace.comWeft & Warp (website, twitter, instagram) has kicked-off a campaign on the Foodie Crowd Funding site. Owner Erik Desjarlais is hoping to raise $17,000 to help expand his business.

I’m launching this campaign to push the business forward. I work efficiently enough with the tools I have, but it is not enough to keep up with the orders. I’m looking to move out of my tiny 8×10 workshop (I’m not kidding- I have stacks of leather and fabric climbing up the walls, and my kitchen is now my main workspace) in to a larger space in the area, and create a few jobs.

To learn more or to contribute to the campaign visit the Weft & Warp page.

7 Portland Dining Needs

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Social Social has posted a list of “7 dining options Portland seriously needs“.

Below, you’ll find the chasms in the Portland food scene that, if filled, would go a long way to solidifying Portland’s national reputation as the dark horse food mecca of America.

But just before we begin, if you’re wondering why this post is here in the social section, I can explain. I want to harness the very power of the Internet (AKA social media) to help make Portland a foodier paradise. Hopefully this little list will get the discussion going, leading to some real, tangible and delicious changes here in Portland, Maine.

The list is assembled for Social Social by guest blogger, Bret Willis, the author of Drunch.it.

Bon Appétit Article Now Online

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The Bon Appétit article about Maine is now online, expanded to include some additional destinations as well as recommended Maine beers and recipes from restaurants.

Hilltop Superette

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The Blueberry Files has posted a report on the new Hilltop Superette which just opened on Monday.

Hilltop Superette has been remodeled, but the layout is very similar to Colucci’s. The ceilings seem higher and the deli and checkout counters are raised as well. It’s very clean and bright, with a modern retro feel. 
I was immediately impressed with the selection of dry goods on the shelves. I saw Kraft Velveeta shells and cheese next to Cascadian Farms organic cereal, Thai Kitchen curry pastes next to Shake’n’Bake. 

Film Crew at Fort Williams: Pressure Cooker

Friday, June 27th, 2014

A film crew from the Jane Street production company is scheduled to be at Fort Williams Park today shooting for an episode of a new show called Pressure Cooker.

From what I’ve heard it’s a cook-off style show with Portland being the second of three stops (Philadelphia is next). The crew will be setting up a kitchen in Fort Williams for the filming today.

Jane Street owners have produced Chopped among other shows for the Food Network.