Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

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.

Wannawaf Needs Help to Waffle On

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Wannawaf has sent out an appeal asking for help to recapitalize their business. According to the message, the effort to launch 2nd store in Portland impacted the financially viability of the enterprise.

So here it is, Wannawaf in Boothbay harbor is going to go out of business because of my mistakes in Portland. I bled our consistently profitable Boothbay store in order keep Portland going a little bit longer, and as a result I do not have the capital to reopen this year.

If you want to help Wannawaf out go to their page on Go Fund Me.

Restaurant Roads to Success

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The USM Free Press has published a report on the challenges of launching and running a successful restaurant.

According to Professor Charles Colgan of public policy and management and the Muskie School of Public Service and long-time former chair of the State of Maine Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission, there’s nothing unusual about that. “Restaurants are the same pretty much everywhere. They are the business most frequently started and most frequently closed.”

Specialty Shopping

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The Golden Dish has put together a “short list of Portland shops and their specialty foods.”

For Sale: Portside Picnic

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

The Portside Picnic food truck is for sale on eBay. The asking price is $49,900 or best offer.

More Restaurant Inspectors?

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

The Maine Legislature is exploring how to expand the number of state restaurant inspectors, according to a report from the Press Herald.

According to the state Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, 96 establishments have no inspection recorded in the state database and another 1,414 establishments have gone more than two years without being inspected.

[Representative Peter] Stuckey called that backlog “unacceptable.”

Phoenix Tequila Odyssey

Friday, February 21st, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published a pair of tequila related articles. The first is a tequila pub crawl,

To prove it, I gathered a crew together on a cold, unremarkable Tuesday in February and went on a Tequila Odyssey. I’d never been on an official bar crawl before, but I imagine this was just like that, except with two rules: 1) that the evening’s destinations correspond as closely as possible to the thirteen primary episodes of Odysseus’ journey in the sequel to Homer’s Iliad, and 2) that one full tequila drink must be consumed at each of those thirteen locations.

and the second is about how tequila and about tequila flights at Zapoteca.

To decide which style you like best, head to Zapoteca for a flight of tequila. Zapoteca boasts the largest collection of tequila and mezcals in Maine (close to 80), which are managed by Sergio Ramos, who has completed the “Award T” certification course from the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico. A flight of tequila offers the three styles of tequila from one brand, giving you a chance to see how the flavors of the tequila change as it’s aged. The flights range in price from $15 to $80 and come with a palate-cleansing side of sangrita, a spicy slurry of fire-roasted tomatillos traditionally served alongside tequila to complement its acidity.

Pair of New Food Blogs

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

I recently learned of a pair of new Portland food blogs:

  • Perusing Portland – has been publishing since late November. It’s a multi-author site written by “four friends that have known each other since college”. So far they’ve published their impressions of Local 188, the East Ender, Salvage, and Nosh.
  • Eating Portland Alive – just got started earlier this month. The blogger credits a college course for getting them to stop “looking at food merely as sustenance and more of an experience.”

Crauxnuts at Little Bigs

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about the cronut tribute pastries (known as crauxnuts) being sold at Little Bigs.

Denise Rowden drove all the way from Brunswick on a recent Sunday to buy some at Little Bigs, a small bakery on Main Street in South Portland. Pamela Fitzpatrick Plunkett, who owns the bakery with her husband, James, has been making her own version of the New York Cronut since the beginning of January. She sells them only on Sundays, starting at 11 a.m, and they sell out so quickly that, unless customers pre-order, they are all gone in a half hour or so.

Coffee Series: Matt Bolinder

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The Root has posted the first installment of a series of articles on coffee. The first two articles are based on an interview with Matt Bolinder, owner of Speckled Ax.

In the Root’s newest series on coffee, we will be looking at some of the craftsmen who make up Maine’s rapidly evolving specialty coffee industry. Their coffee is the antithesis of the water-soluble instant coffee you will find in grocery stores or the over-roasted cup from the corner Starbucks.

I have the pleasure of working with Sharon Kitchens, author of The Root, on this series.

Take-out Tipping Part 3

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has published the third and final installment in their series on take-out tipping.

Q: We use a lot of gift certificates for take-out. If there’s a balance, is it OK to leave it as a tip?
A: Great question. If there’s no fine print stating otherwise, it becomes an in-house policy varying from place to place. Please ask. It would stink for you to just leave a balance that can’t be used toward a tip. No one wins but the house.

See also the first and second articles in the series.

Hannaford To-Go

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports that Hannaford is experimenting at their Yarmouth store with an online grocery ordering service.

The service, called Hannaford To Go, allows customers to browse the store’s selection from a computer or mobile device, fill an online shopping cart, and schedule a pickup time. When customers arrive, they will idle in a designated curbside area where store employees place groceries in their cars and charge their credit cards. Shoppers paying with cash or EBT will be required to park and go inside.

Restaurant Couples on V-Day

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The Press Herald has checked in with several couples who co-own and run local restaurants to learn how they celebrate Valentine’s Day.

There are lots of restaurants in Maine that are owned or managed by couples. What do they do to make their loved ones feel special on Valentine’s Day – or do they celebrate the holiday at all? I decided to ask a few how they handle the Valentine’s Day pressure, and how they romance each other with food at home.

PPH: Restaurant Inspections, ABV Law, Butter & Food Corp

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about butter and Maine’s butter producers,

If you haven’t heard of Casco Bay Butter Co., or seen its line of artisanal flavored butters on local store shelves, that may change soon. As the popularity of butter starts bouncing back, more people are searching for butters that meet that foodie trifecta of local, artisanal and organic.

an article about FoodCorps helping farm-to-school initiatives in Maine,

FoodCorps aims to teach children about healthful eating, expand school-based gardens and increase locally grown food in school cafeterias.

as well as additional reporting on restaurant inspections and the Maine law banning bars from posting the alcohol percentage of the beers they serve.

Take-out Tipping, Part 2

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has published the 2nd installment in a series take-out tipping.