Hood Downsizing Organic Dairies

March 3rd, 2009

Today’s Press Herald published a pair of articles from the Bangor Daily News on downsizing in the organic dairy business. Hood has decided not to renew contracts with about a third of their organic dairies in Maine and asked the rest to decrease their output.

The farms being dropped by Hood are in Aroostook and Washington counties only, an area courted heavily by Hood just three years ago, when the organic boom was at its peak.

Hood ships Maine’s organic milk to New York to be processed and packaged and then returns it to Maine where it is sold as Stonyfield Farm Organic Milk.

Cajun Cookin’ Challenge Results

March 2nd, 2009

USM Free Press has a report on the competition at Cajun Cookin’ Challenge that took place last week. According to the article, Silly’s won best Cajun dish with a vegan entry.

This Week’s Events

March 2nd, 2009

RestaurantWeekME is in full swing this week. In addition to the prix fixe menus as 30+ Portland restaurants there are also special events on the schedule for RestaurantWeekME on Tuesday and Thursday. Also of special note this week are the Whole Hog Dinner taking place at Vignola on Thursday, the 2nd Annual Eco Appetito at Cinque Terre on Sunday afternoon and the first showing of the Food Film Series Sunday evening.  The biweekly Winter Farmers’ Market is scheduled for Wednesday. Piatto per Tutti is holding a cooking class on Monday and Black Tie Bistro is holding one on Wednesday. The Maine Food & Drink Institute’s cheese class starts Tueday night. Both the West End Grocery and Leroux Kitchen are holding wine tastings this week. If that all wasn’t enough to keep you busy this week, First Friday Art Walk is also taking place this week. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

February’s Stats

March 1st, 2009

The 10 restaurants looked up most often during the month of February were:

  1. Emilitsa (4)
  2. Evangeline (5)
  3. Bresca (3)
  4. Paciarino (2)
  5. Blue Spoon (15)
  6. The Grill Room (19)
  7. Five Fifty-Five (6)
  8. The Frog and Turtle (20)
  9. Caiola’s (8)
  10. Bar Lola (24)

The numbers in parentheses indicates their rank last month.

Loco Pollo Review

March 1st, 2009

Loco Pollo received 3 stars from this week’s Taste & Tell column in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

The arrival of a new menu in town is always something to be celebrated, and at Loco Pollo, the flavors of the Yucutan presented in soups and tamales are very good indeed – even if you might wish for a little more of them.

MeRA Chef of the Year

February 28th, 2009

Chef Christian Gordon from the The Inn on Peaks Island has been named 2009 Chef of the Year by the Maine Restaurant Association.

Price Fixing?

February 28th, 2009

An article in the latest issue of Working Waterfront reports on the belief by some that the recent fluctuations in lobster price are the result of price fixing.

Some fishermen think dealers and poundkeepers cheat them and have “since time immemorial,” to quote one, as a matter of course, and nothing will disabuse them of this notion. But fishermen and dealers from both sides of the border, this time, were sure someone-and by that they meant one of the big dealers or perhaps one of the big Canadian processors-must have been manipulating the price. There could be no other reason for the price to jump so high so fast.

Over Grow Organic Cafe

February 28th, 2009

Portland Psst! is reporting on a new cafe and “juice joint” called Over Grow Organic Cafe going in at 437 Congress St.

Freaky Beans Closes 2 Locations (updated)

February 28th, 2009

According to the Westbrook Diarist, two of Freaky Bean’s locations have closed. Both the store in the Cabela’s mall, and the store on Main Street in Westbrook (which houses their roasting operation) were closed “due to ‘unforeseen circumstances'”. This comes just a few months after Maine Roasters Coffee demerged from Freaky Bean and resumed operation as a separate business.

The Bollard has also published a report on the closings at Freaky Bean and confirms that the location in South Portland and Scarborough are still open.

The Grill Room Review

February 27th, 2009

The Portsmouth Herald has reviewed The Grill Room.

The Grill Room is comfort writ large. Great steaks and specialty dishes, inventive sauces, sides like grandma used to make but you know, your hip grandma, and all in a warm, inviting space that soothes.

Walter’s Review

February 26th, 2009

Down East has reviewed Walter’s.

Walter’s seafood-heavy menu hopscotches across cuisines, sometimes within one dish. The grilled fish tacos, for example, consist of haddock over shredded greens, with cheddar and pico de gallo — as well as a sriracha mango tartar sauce and a Fuji apple and jicama slaw. That’s a lot of flavor for one dish.

Coffee Shop Burglaries

February 26th, 2009

According to a report from the Portland Daily Sun, “A Portland man is charged with burglarizing one Coffee by Design store and attempting to break into another one early Wednesday”.

Pizza Villa Interview

February 26th, 2009

Co-owner of Pizza Villa, Tony Regios, was interviewed for the ShopTalk column in today’s Press Herald. Regios along with his brothers Andy and Phil run the business that was started by their father.

Jan Mee Review

February 26th, 2009

Jan Mee received 3 stars from this week’s Eat & Run column in today’s Press Herald.

If done right, a buffet lunch should be both quick and filling. The buffet lunch at Jan Mee Chinese Restaurant in Portland fits that bill. And at $6.75, it’s relatively inexpensive.

Ri-Ra Review

February 25th, 2009

The Portland Bar Guide has reviewed Ri-Ra.

Unless you’ve visited the Ri Ra website you probably didn’t know the bar is a chain with others in Arlington VA, Charlotte NC, Atlantic City, NJ, Evansville, IN, Bethesda, MD, Burlington, VT, Providence, RI and Louisville, KY. Usually, I’m turned off by chain establishments, but Ri Ra has got a killer Happy Hour and I’ve had nothing less than a memorable time when I’ve visited.