Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

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.

Miyake Partners Splitting (Updated)

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The Miyake organization sent out a press release this morning. In it they announced that longtime partners Masa Miyake and Will Garfield are ending their business relationship. The practical impact on the Portland dining scene is that Miyake Diner will be closing and Garfield will be using the space to launch a new venture.

The split is an amicable one, here are their thoughts on the 8-year relationship,

Of the company’s recent changes, Masa Miyake said, “ This is a very positive change for both of us. Will was my first employee when I opened Food Factory Miyake in 2007, and was only eighteen years old at the time. Since then, we have worked together to establish the Miyake name as a pillar in the ever-competitive Portland dining scene. It will be an adjustment for our staff and patrons, but I know that it is time for Will to move on to a project that is his own.”

William Garfield reiterated the same sentiment by stating that, “ Masa has been an amazing mentor throughout the past eight years, but we both agree that it’s time for me to move on to different projects outside of the Miyake name. I am glad that we have been able to bring new and inspiring culinary concepts into Portland over the past few years, and I wish the best to Masa and the Miyake staff moving forward.”

Update: for additional information see this article in the Press Herald.

Summer Eats and More

Friday, June 20th, 2014

The new issue of the Portland Phoenix includes some recommendations for summer eats,

Summer in Maine brings a long-awaited flurry of activity. While it’s tempting to recoil into a “locals only” routine to avoid the crowds, dining in Portland is at its finest when it’s warm out. Be strategic about your opportunities for great food within this short season of relative abundance. Here are 10 must-eats for Summer 2014.

and an article about collaborations and foraged foods in Portland restaurants.

The old joke goes, if you want to know what’s going to be popular in Portland in five years, look at what’s happening right now in New York. But what’s closer to the truth is that Portland has been forming — dare we say setting — its own trends all along. Sure, gimmicky things happening here, like putting bacon in a Bloody Mary, were probably done in some Brooklyn bar years ago. But serving farm fresh, local food has always been popular in Maine.

Portland Local Food Manufacturing

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Boston Globe has written about Portland’s recent designation by the federal government as a manufacturing center.

Famous for lobster, fresh fish, and an abundance of restaurants, the Portland area is hoping to use the designation — and the economic development grants that are expected to follow — to revive a food-processing industry fallen on hard times, expanding it to take advantage of a passionate local-food movement.

BYO: A Customer Don’t

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

In her latest column Natalie Ladd talks about the frustration of dealing with customers who bring their own food to the restaurant.

Despite my less than tactful comments on the subject, people continue to bring their own food and drinks into the restaurant where I sell food and drinks to make money. According to my industry friends, that weirdness is on the rise and, as one veteran pointed out, the practice may be a seasonal offense. Not unlike fruit flies.


Maine Tea Time

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald Food & Dining section includes a feature article on the small but growing number of specialty tea stores in Maine.

Scratch’s 10-year Anniversary

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, Scratch Baking has posted some photos from the original construction of the space they now occupy.

Food Trucks/Carts to be in City Parks

Friday, June 13th, 2014

After an RFP process the city awarded 6 food trucks and food carts the access to operate in specific Portland parks:

  • Urban Sugar will be joining Small Axe in Congress Square Park
  • Wicked Good Truck will be in Back Cove
  • Perry’s Sidewalk Café will be at the East End Beach
  • Ana’s Mobile Gourmet will be Deering Oaks
  • Taco Trio will be in Lincoln Park and on the Western Prom

Restaurant Impossible: Uncle Andy’s

Friday, June 13th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has published a report on the Restaurant Impossible makeover of Uncle Andy’s Diner.

The end product was a shocker: Their previously open kitchen is partially sealed off, with a brown window panel separating food prep from customers. But it looks like Dennis Fogg will still be able to make his specialty animal pancakes in front of an audience.

The old booths were replaced with sleek tables and chairs. Muted chartreuse paint and a simple tile frame reading “ANDY’S” replaced the diner’s outdated wall decor.

Roll Call’s Taste of America Contest

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Urban Eye reports that the lobster roll has made it to the finals of Congressional Roll Call’s Taste of America contest.

This celebrity sandwich is not only killing it on menus this season, the roll is quashing other state’s edible claims and taking names. Maine’s royal roll made the final round of Congressional Quarterly Roll Call’s Taste of America contest this week and (watch your back cherry cobbler of Utah) has the most votes right now.

To cast your vote visit

Maine Coffee Prices

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has reported on an uptick in coffee prices at some Maine shops.

The cause is threefold: A coffee leaf fungus called roya is killing crops in Central America, on top of a lengthy drought in Brazil. In addition, increasing transportation costs are making delivery of green coffee beans more costly.

Outdoor Seating Issues

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The Press Herald reports on issues arising from the expansion of outdoor seating at the city’s restaurants.

For Bud Buzzell, a 72-year-old sight-impaired resident, the familiar sidewalks near his Congress Square home are increasingly a frustrating and dangerous maze caused by restaurants he contends are not providing the required 4 feet of pedestrian space.

“One is more or less copying the other and I’m very upset about it,” Buzzell said of the restaurants expanding into the sidewalks of his neighborhood. “And I know a lot of blind or visually impaired or disabled people who are very upset.”

South Portland Food Trucks

Monday, June 9th, 2014

South Portland has begun working on an ordinance that would allow food trucks in the city. You can see the factors under consideration on the South Portland website.

Sentry has also posted an article about the prospect of food trucks in South Portland.

Small Axe and Congress Square Park

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News looks at the impact Small Axe is having on Congress Square Park.

“There are not a lot of places in the city to get outside and have lunch,” said Deuben, a chef who’s worked for Masa Miyake and at Hugo’s. “This gives people the opportunity to see what the park can be with a little effort. Just as we put a lot of thought and effort into our food.”

Vinland Ice Cream Service

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Urban Eye has a report on the new Vinland backdoor ice cream service which is slated to start next week.

To coax the timid to his locavore lair, Levi is using the back door in his kitchen (accessible from Congress Square Park) to hawk cones and homemade popsicles in flavors like cranberry and blueberry yogurt all summer long.

Restaurant Impossible: Uncle Andy’s

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Maine a la Carte has information on how to be part of the Restaurant Impossible remake of Uncle Andy’s.

“Restaurant Impossible” airs on Wednesday nights and the episode featuring Uncle Andy’s will air sometime this summer. We can’t report on the transformation because that would spoil the TV surprise, but YOU can participate.

There are two ways to be involved: As a member of the volunteer crew or as a customer for the grand re-opening on Wednesday, June 11 at 7 p.m.

Down East: Portland Dining Guide

Friday, May 30th, 2014

de201406Stop by your local newsstand and pick-up a copy of Down East to read the Portland summer dining guide I authored June issue. The article maps out 6-day schedule that will take you to 35+ restaurants, bars, bakeries, markets and coffee shops across the city.

The article should be making its way online in the next week or so.

WSJ: A New England Focus on Local Foods

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Chefs at Vinland and Hugo’s/Eventide are featured in this Wall Street Journal article about the New England local food movement,

Griddled until golden but still tender at the center, it arrived nestled up against crescents of delicata squash, in a pool of sage-scented melted goat cheese that evoked the world’s most rarified Welsh rarebit. A tousle of tiny arugula stems and sunshiny tatsoi blossoms topped it all off. The dish was simultaneously surprising and comforting. It tasted of place and possibility. And like everything else on the menu at Vinland, chef David Levi’s fledgling experiment in Down East cuisine, not one morsel of it had started life more than a few dozen miles from my mouth.