Under Construction: Fishermen’s Grill

March 28th, 2017

Fishermen’s Grill has announced plans to move to 650 Main Street in Westbrook where they’ll move into the space formerly occupied by Rosen’s Deli. Fishermen’s Grill expects to open the new Westbrook location in May.

Westbrook has seen a significant uptick in new food businesses choosing to (re)locate there over the past couple years including Brea Lu, Rosen’s, Big Fin Poke, Mast Landing Brewing and Black Dinah Chocolates.

Bubbe & Bestemor

March 28th, 2017

The Forecaster has published an article about Bubbe & Bestemor, a new bakery founded by Audrey Farber that weaves together Jewish and Nordic baking traditions.

An Ashkenazic Jew is one whose ancestors came from eastern Europe. Farber is also of Nordic descent and said mixing the two baking traditions seemed to make perfect sense.

“As I began to work on recipes and researching the baking and culinary traditions of both communities, a lot of similarities started to unfold,” she said, including the “ubiquity of rye, rolled and filled sweet breads for holidays and special occasions, heavy use of almonds and lots of other things.”

Visit bubbeandbestemor.com for more information about the bakery.

This Week’s Events: Maycrest Dinner, Craft Beer Summit, Gasharoo, Chocolate Lover’s Flings, USBG Conference

March 27th, 2017

Monday – it’s the last day to vote in the Portland Phoenix readership poll. There are dozens of food and drink categories, and Portland Food Map is a finalist in the Best Blog category.

Tuesday – Victor Abascal, co-owner of Vines on the Maycrest in Paso Robles, will be at Lolita for a 4-course wine dinner, and the Maine Restaurant Association is holding their annual awards banquet.

WednesdayGrace is holding dinner inspired by the idea of Lincoln’s inaugural dinner, tickets go on sale for the Flanagan’s Table Full Plate Full Potential fundraiser with Rob Evans, Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti, the Portland House of Music is hosting the Beer Bracket Championship Happy Hour, and the Restaurant and Lodging Expo is being held at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Thursday – The Great Lost Bear will be featuring beer from Norway Brewing.

Friday – the New England Craft Beer Summit is taking place, Slab is hosting a Stoneface Brewing tap takeover, there will be a wine tasting at the east end Rosemont, and Black Tie is holding a Winter Graze Dinner in Yarmouth.

Saturday – Novare Res will have 32+ Allagash beers on tap for their annual Gasharoo event, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday –the 31st Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fling is taking place, and it’s the first day of the US Bartenders Guild Northeast Regional Conference.

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.

Brew Bus Acquires Maine Beer Tours

March 26th, 2017

The Maine Brew Bus has announced their acquisition of  Maine Beer Tours.

According to the press release,

The purchase will allow The Maine Brew Bus increased passenger capacity and expansion of tour concepts, as well as provide new itineraries for the millions of people that visit Southern Maine. Adding a bus to the existing fleet will also allow The Maine Brew Bus to have new transportation options for their thirsty guests.

It also explains that “The Maine Brew Bus will add at least five new employees as a result of the acquisition.”

Reviews: Baharat, Izakaya Minato, Escobar

March 26th, 2017

The Golden Dish has posted the first review of Baharat,

A great addition to Portland dining, this take on Middle Eastern street food is already a hit with the city’s dining cognoscenti in the up and coming East Bayside neighborhood with all of its breweries, coffee houses, farmer’s market and industrial holdovers.

Portland Magazine has reviewed Izakaya Minato, and

Starting Off, we choose the Kinoko Salad ($8). Tender sautéed mushrooms and roasted vegetables rest on a bed of spinach, artfully drizzled with a creamy ponzu dressing. Next up is Okonomiyaki ($10), a cabbage pancake that comes with either mushroom or bacon, depending on your conscience. Filling and rich, this is exotic comfort food. Equally irresistible is the Sakana Misoyaki ($7), broiled seasonal fish marinated in miso.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Taco Escobarr.

It took some time, but I finished the burrito and settled my tab which came to somewhere around $25 bucks prior to tip. Taco Escobarr is a fun place to go. While their happy hour specials aren’t anything to write home about, it’s the drinks and the atmosphere that make it a worth while place to stay for a spell. And though I had a slight issue with the temperature of my food, it was really solid otherwise.

Edible Maine Launches This Summer

March 24th, 2017

Chris Ellis and Dylan Jacobs, residents of Boston and Greenwood Maine, have licensed the Maine region from the Edible organization that links a network of more than 90 regional food magazines in the US and Canada. Ellis and Jacobs have hired Michael Sanders to serve as the magazine’s editor.

The magazine’s mission statement provides a  sense of the range of topics they plan to address:

There is a movement that has been gaining ground all across the land, a movement of people who desire a connection with their food once again. Here at Edible Maine, we intend to nurture that connection very deeply and fully, in the hopes of cultivating a healthy and well-informed public, a diverse and safe environment and a thriving local economy.

The first issue of Edible Maine is due out in Summer and will be a quarterly publication of about 50 pages.

Follow Edible Maine on facebook, twitter and instagram to keep updated as they work on launching their first issue of the magazine.

Cafe Crepe Opening Friday

March 23rd, 2017

Cafe Crepe plans to open their new location in the Public Market House this Friday. Cafe Crepe has taken over the space formerly occupied  by K. Horton’s Specialty Foods.

Pizza by Fire, BP’s Shuck Shack

March 22nd, 2017

There’s news from two mobile food  vendors:

BP’s Shuck Shack
BP’s Shuck Shack, which has operated a food cart for the past two years in Portland, has leased a gas station in Newcastle where they’re launching a distribution center and retail shop, and where, reading between the lines, they’ll be opening an oyster bar. BP’s will be the 10th mobile food vendor operating in Portland converting to or adding a brick and mortar capacity.

Pizza by Fire
Pizza by Fire has launched a new food truck.

2017 Business Leaders of the Year

March 21st, 2017

Congratulations to Bob and Carmen Garver, owners of Bard Coffee and Wicked Joe, on being named 2017 Business Leaders of the Year by Mainebiz.

The Garvers have come a long way since starting in a cramped space in Brunswick. Not only does Wicked Joe have a loyal following in Maine, it is also now distributed in 48 states, and expects to be in 50 states by the end of 2017. Distributors include Hannaford Brothers Co. and Shaw’s Supermarkets, as well as two of the largest natural and organic food distributors in the country, KeHE Distributors LLC of Naperville, Ill., and United Natural Foods Inc., which is based in Providence, R.I.

Beer Industry Economic Impact Study

March 21st, 2017

The Maine Brewers Guild and the University of Maine have released a report that studies the economic impact of the Maine brewery industry.

Both the Press Herald and Bangor Daily News have published articles about the study.
Here’s a link to the full text of the study.

Bowling for a Cause

March 20th, 2017

Full Plate Full Potential is collaborating with local restaurants on Bowling for a Cause to raise money to fight child hunger in Maine. You can make a donation online to help your favorite restaurant from the list below reach their fundraising goal.

To make a donation visit fullplates.org/events/bowl, select a restaurant from the list and complete the donation form.

Participating restaurants: Aurora Provisions, Bao Bao, Bayside Bowl, Big J’s Chicken Shack, Duckfat, Eventide, Evo, Honey Paw, Hugo’s, Nosh, Piccolo, Rhum, Shipyard, Slab, Sur Lie, Tao Yuan, Tandem Coffee

The 2nd Annual Restaurant Charity Bowling Tournament is scheduled to take place April 9th at Bayside Bowl. Tickets are on sale at fullplates.org/events/bowl. The tournament will pair up restaurant staff with professional bowlers.

This Week’s Events: Food Studies Launch, Maine Maple Sunday

March 20th, 2017

Tuesday – the USM Food Studies program is launching, and there will be a lecture at the Maine Historical Society entitled, “Landscapes of Self-Sufficiency: Food, Security, and the Idea of the New England Farm in the 1930’s”.

WednesdayGrace is holding dinner inspired by the idea of Rasputin’s last meal, and Union will be serving a meal at the James Beard House in New York.

Thursday – there will be a wine tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday – there will be a Jack’s Abby tasting at the Bier Cellar.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place, and Fork Food Lab is holding a brunch event.

Sunday – it’s Maine Maple Sunday, dozens of sugar shacks from Wells to Eagle Lake will be holding a statewide Maple open house.

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.

Reviews: Huong’s, BRGR Bar, Sur Lie, The King’s Head, Trattoria Fanny, Foulmouthed Brewing

March 19th, 2017

Maine Sunday Telegram has published the first review of Huong’s,

But in the end, pho is Huong’s signature dish. It’s pretty much impossible to go wrong with any of the herby, beef broth-based noodle soups, like the rare beef and meatball, or white meat chicken pho ($7.95). The service at Huong’s Vietnamese Restaurant also deserves praise – Huong Le’s daughters run the show in the front of the house, and they are unfailingly kind and knowledgeable, often dashing to the kitchen to make special requests that the kitchen goes out of its way to accommodate.

The Blueberry Files and Steffy Amondi have reviewed Sur Lie,

The potatoes and the bolognese were the winners in my book—the fried haddock suffered from a soft, rather than crispy, battered coating, and its flavors were too mild to stand up to the other dishes on the table. The bolognese was my favorite, with a tangy sauce and lots of orange zest.

The Press Herald has reviewed The King’s Head,

But it was the specials that caught my interest that day — first, the cream of chicken soup ($5 for a cup) and, second, the tacos. I had a chicken taco for $2 and a beef one for $3. Both were generous in size and entirely tasty. And the price sure was right. The soup also hit the spot, and for an even 10 bucks for all three of these things, it felt like more than enough food to satisfy even this bottomless pit.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has published the first review of BRGR Bar, and has reviewed Trattoria Fanny and Foulmouthed Brewing.

Foulmouthed Brewing appears to be doing pretty well and it’s with good reason. The beers they create have great flavor and they have a decent selection of cocktails too. But what makes them a go-to brewery is their food which is outstanding and pairs really well with their beverages. I’m going back soon for another brew and more grilled cheese. The sandwich might seem a little pricey at $13, but it’s so unbelievably good that I’ll ask them to take my money for it without hesitation.

Portland Hunt and Alpine Book

March 17th, 2017

Portland Hunt and Alpine Club owners, Andrew and Briana Volk, have signed a book deal with Voyageur Press for a Hunt and Alpine Club food and cocktail book. The couple is already working on a 35,000 word manuscript and the book is expected to be published in 2018.

2017 Beard Award Nominees

March 15th, 2017

The James Beard Foundation awards released the list of 2017 award nominees today.

Of the 12 Maine semifinalist announce in February, 2 have advanced through the process to become final nominees:

  • Best Chef: Northeast – Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide Oyster Co.
  • Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional – Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.

The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony which will take place on May 1st in Chicago.

Related information: