Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Crowdfunding Food Ventures in Maine

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Meredith Goad has written an article for today’s Press Herald Food & Dining section that looks at how food industry businesses in Maine are using crowdfunding to raise money to launch or support their businesses.

Jarrod Spangler wants to open an Italian-style butcher shop in Kittery. Lisa Laurita and Tom Sigler want to spiff up their Camden restaurant. Gloria Pearse dreams of selling Indian food on the streets of Portland. Arvid Brown and his best friend plan to peddle fish and chips from their Portland food truck this summer. And Anya Heyl just wants to save her waffle business.

Sangillo’s: Council Votes to Deny Liquor License

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The Council voted last night in a 5-4 decision to deny Sangillo’s application for a liquor license renewal, according to reports from the Bangor Daily News and Press Herald.

The Portland City Council on Monday night voted 5-4 to deny a liquor license for the embattled Sangillo’s Tavern, a neighborhood bar on Hampshire Street which police have labeled as dangerous in the aftermath of a late January shooting nearby.

The vote is expected to force Sangillo’s to close down after more than a half century of business in the city’s India Street neighborhood, unless bar managers can get a reprieve from the state.

Also read these articles in the Portland Daily Sun and Portland Phoenix.

Phoenix Best of Portland Readership Poll

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

PhoenixBest_logoThe nominees have been announced and voting has begun in the Portland Phoenix 2014 Best of Portland Readership Poll.

Portland Food Map is a nominee this year in the Best Food Blog category along with The Blueberry Files, Food Coma, From Away and Mister Meatball.

Visit the Phoenix website to vote for your favorites in one or more of the categories.

MECA Offering Culinary Classes

Friday, March 28th, 2014

meca-logoThe Maine College of Art is offering a set of Culinary Arts classes this Summer as part of their continuing education program. Here’s the list of the Summer options:

  • The Art and Craft of Food Writing taught by Susan Axelrod from the Press Herald
  • Pastry Perfection taught by Tara Smith from Standard Baking
  • Farm to Fork Workshop taught by chef David Levi, owner of Vinland
  • All About Cheese taught by Sarah Wiederkehr from Winter Hill Farm
  • Microbrewing taught by Chresten Sorensen from Bunker Brewing

According to the release:

To help orchestrate this new realm of programming, MECA has engaged the expertise of Culinary Consultant and former Executive Vice President of The International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute), Christopher Papagni, Ph.D. According to Papagni, “Some of the best of Portland’s culinary scene has been selected for this first round of MECA classes. Keeping up with new food trends and the rapid growth of artisan talent in Maine, will insure dynamic programming for a long time to come.”

Papagni is now working to recruit instructors for the Fall semester at MECA.

Petty Table Larceny

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Today’s Portland Daily Sun reports on restaurant patrons who clear a table of items they can pocket for later use at home.

The elderly couple sitting at table 12 were either siblings or close cousins who had not connected in quite some time. They were sharing childhood stories and laughing about events that had obviously taken place well over 50 years ago. Also, they were swiping stuff off the table with no shame.

Launchpad: Holy Donut, Bixby, Litl’ Squirts

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

The Holy Donut, Litl’ Squirts and Bixby  Bars are in  contention to win $30,000 from Gorham Savings Bank as part of their Launchpad competition. The top five winners of the popular vote will get the chance to pitch their ideas to the judges.

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

If they win The Holy Donut plans to open a new store outside of Maine.

Food & Wine: People’s Best New Chef

Monday, March 24th, 2014

pbnc2014Three Maine chefs are contenders in this year’s Food & Wine Best New Chef Competition:

  • Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley from Hugo’s/Eventide
  • Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan in Brunswick

You can see the full list on candidates and vote for the hometown favorites online.

More on Sangillo’s

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Here are a couple more Sangillo’s items:

Little Big’s Cronuts (Updated)

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The Forecaster has published an article about Little Bigs and their Sunday sales of cronuts.

Updated: The Press Herald has also published an article on this topic.

2014 Best of Portland Nominations

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has kicked-off their 2014 Best of Portland readership poll. The Phoenix readership poll is a 2 step process:

  • Step 1 which just started, nominate candidates you think are an especially good fit in any or all of the categories
  • Step 2, next month the Phoenix will publish a ballot summarizing the top nominees from each category for us all to vote on

There are a plethora of food and drink categories (Bagels, Bars, Barbecue, Beer Selection, Brewpubs, Brunch, etc) to make nominations in there’s even one for food blogs. A list of the 2013 winners is available online as a reference.

If the 2014 polls follows the same schedule as past years then the final results will be made public in April at a live event at the Port City Music Hall.

Food Truck Rules

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has a report on last night’s City Council subcommittee review of proposed changes to rules regulation food trucks.

The Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday supported policy initiatives that would amend the request for proposals process used for the city’s parks to allow food trucks to cluster and use the space and fix a requirement that proscribes what types of food can be served; amend the ordinance related to Compass Park that bars food service in that area; and recommend the city dedicate four spaces on Congress Street adjacent to Lincoln Park for trucks.

The changes no go before the full City Council for final approval.

Sangillo’s Decision Delayed

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

After several hours of presentations from the bar, the police and the public last night, the City Council decided to delay a final vote on Sangillo’s liquor license until the April 7th meeting.

For more information on last night’s meeting see articles in today’s Bangor Daily News, Press Herald and Portland Daily Sun.

For additional perspective on the Sangillo’s issue read this piece by Samuel’s Bar & Grill owner Sam Minervino published by Eater Maine.

Portland Coffee Guide & A Tandem Interview

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Sprudge has posted a Good Coffee Lover’s Guide to Portland,

Beautiful Portland, Maine! As discussed previously in these pages, this jewel of the Northeast is a city of food, and within these food-filled streets is a growing need for coffee. Here’s a snapshot guide to the coffees of Portland—almost entirely roasted in the city itself—bearing in mind we may have been too dizzy from frites endorphins after lunch at Duckfat to remember every single cafe.

and The Root has published the final in their series of interview with local roaster. This final piece is an interview with Will and Kathleen Pratt from Tandem.

“What drew us to wanting to do this in the first place, was we loved how cafes could create that sense of community,” said Kathleen. “Just knowing your regulars and people who come in the door, so when we were planning and building out the space we said we really want this to feel welcoming and inviting like you are walking into our home. That this is some place you can come and meet people and the Wi-Fi thing was definitely a conscience effort. We didn’t want people to be on their computers. We wanted people to talk and engage.”

PDS on Sangillo’s

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has posted an article by lobsterman Chris Shorr entitled “Why is Sangillo’s in the crosshairs?

So my question is, why would the police single out Sangillo’s? If they are so concerned with putting a stop to late night hooliganism and violence, why wouldn’t they focus on the bars in the Old Port first?

Perhaps it’s because as a police force, they recognize that they will never be able to effectively corral the after hours trouble makers in the Old Port. So they might as well feign diligence by blaming a single blue collar establishment for a struggling neighborhood’s problems.

The Save Sangillo’s campaign has set up a facebook page at

The Campaign to Save Sangillo’s

Friday, March 14th, 2014

The Save Sangillo’s campaign has launched a Facebook page to bolster support for the popular neighborhood bar. Go “like” the page to show your support for the bar.

The campaign got a boost today when Eater Maine published an impassioned pro-Sangillo’s editorial from Snug owner Margaret Lyons,

Every neighborhood needs a Sangillo’s. There is a contingent that requires a certain type of bar. Whether that continent be Donald Sussman or Timmy Noname, they need a place where they can just have a gee dee drink … for cheap. Sangillo’s is not a charity endeavor for hipsters or an outreach project. They don’t need salvation. They need the opportunists to shut the f*** up and for their neighbors to circle the wagons. For what it’s worth, The Snug has Sangillo’s back.

and an essay on the from preeminent Portland bartender John Myers on “why Sangillo’s is a great neighborhood saloon“,

Those kinds of places, with that kind of vibe, I fear, are not long for this world. Sangillo’s is one of them, though.

A great neighborhood saloon like Sangillo’s reminds me of a geologist plunging his tap into the earth and pulling up a striated sample of rocks and dirt and compacted debris. He can read history in a 2-foot plug of dirt. I’ve watched the neighborhood change over the decade or so I’ve been in Portland just by watching the people change in that bar.

USA Today: Small Food Cities

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

USA Today has posted a short list of small cities “culinary zeal”.

Hugo’s Sets a new Standard for Restaurant Coffee

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Sprudge has published an article about the coffee service at Hugo’s and the restaurant’s partnership with Tandem Coffee Roasters.

But what’s most unique here—besides being served an amuse course of a single, roe-topped french fry—is, you guessed it: the coffee. Wish to follow your meal with a seasonally paired coffee brewed for you on Chemex? Or a meticulously made syphon, theatrically prepared at the bar, thermocouple and all? Or simply a cup of delicious French press coffee? In partnership with new-kid-on-the-block Tandem Coffee (our friends and partners here at Sprudge), Hugo’s has transformed the finale of an already transformative dining experience.

Cognac Prohibition at Sangillo’s

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

An article in today’s Press Herald explores why Sangillo’s decided to stop serving Rémy Martin and Hennessy.

Are cognac drinkers troublemakers?

That would seem to be the premise behind a Portland bar’s ban on two kinds of cognac – Hennessy and Rémy Martin – as the owners try to convince city officials that they are making the place safer.

Police Trying to Shutdown Sangillo’s

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The Portland police have made a recommendation to the City Council not to renew Sangillo’s liquor license, according to a report from the Press Herald. The Council will consider the recommendation on March 17.

On March 17, the City Council will consider the department’s recommendation to deny a renewed liquor license for Sangillo’s Tavern on Hampshire Street. “We feel public safety is jeopardized by the continuing operation of this establishment,” says the department’s recommendation.

The reporter checked in with owners of Dean’s Sweets and Hugo’s as well as a local resident, none of whom expressed any concern about Sangillo’s.

Carmela Difazio of Hampshire Street has never been inside Sangillo’s but has lived two doors down from the bar her whole life.

“There’s hardly any problems, only every once in a while,” she said. “I don’t see any reason why it should have to close.”

Forbidden Crauxnuts

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The owners of Little Bigs have recently been contacted by the NYC creators of the trademark Cronuts with a cease and desist order, according to a report from Maine a la Carte.

The NYC baker who created the Cronut had the name trademarked, and according to James and Pamela Plunkett’s Little Bigs Facebook page, he’s sent the bakers a cease-and-desist order. It seems the name crauxnut is, legally speaking, just a smidge too similar to the trademarked name.