Under Construction: Tandem West End

June 26th, 2014

tandemwestendHere’s a little look inside the construction site of the new Tandem Coffee in the West End. There’s a long counter for displaying baked goods and coffee pick-up. There’s also a separate seating area with a big communal table. Click on the photo to see in an enlarged view.

Interview with Bite into Maine

June 26th, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with Sarah and Karl Sutton, owners of the Bite into Maine lobster roll food truck.

Q. Is there a lot of heated competition among food trucks and between food trucks and restaurants?
A.
It’s not as adversarial as the media makes it out to be between food trucks and restaurants. Food trucks are a good way for a restaurant to expand, like if they want to do more catering. And a lot of food truck owners end up opening brick-and-mortar restaurants. We want to be at Fort Williams forever, but we eventually want to have our own brick-and-mortar takeout place. And food trucks work together well. I don’t think of other food trucks as my competition…

Portland Pancake Day

June 25th, 2014

Space Gallery is holding Portland Pancake Day this Sunday, 9 – noon.

Pancakes: they’re flat, they’re round, they’re soft, they’re delicious… and they’re bringing the people of this town together for one morning-long breakfast celebration in Congress Square Park.

I double dare you to not smile as you read the following two words: FREE PANCAKES. Free pancakes!

Review of DiMillo’s

June 25th, 2014

Haddockquest has reviewed the fish sandwich at DiMillo’s.

There’s no getting around the heavy level of kitsch associated with DiMillo’s, but you don’t show up rolling your eyes. Instead, you walk through the power-operated doors into the ship’s gaudy lobby and finally its dimly-lit bar, put on a small buzz (scotch seems appropriate) and revel in the sheer joy shared by those old ladies picking through their lobster rolls. Then, you bite into a haddock sandwich and smile — even if you’re just a little bit confused as to why.

HuffPo: The Hop Yard

June 25th, 2014

The Huffington Post has published an article about The Hop Yard in Gorham.

Enter three young men in their thirties with farming in their blood and a passion for great beer — hop farmers Ryan Houghton, Geoff Keating, and Peter Busque. The founders of The Hop Yard, these guys grew up in Maine and are committed to seeing the state become a major producer of high quality hops.

Rowan Jacobsen: Apples of Uncommon Character

June 24th, 2014

applesRenowned food writer Rowan Jacobsen will be in Portland this September 22, 6pm for a talk, apple tasting and book signing at Space Gallery for his new work, Apples of Uncommon Character.

Here’s some info on the book (due out in September),

Packed with photographs as delightful as their subjects, Apples of Uncommon Character shows us the fruit in all its glory. Rowan Jacobsen collected specimens both common and rare from all over North America, selecting 123 to feature, including the best varieties for eating, baking, and hard-cider making. By capturing the nature of each apple, including its flavor, origins, and sometimes surprising ties to American history, Apples of Uncommon Character celebrates our romance of the rural landscape. It’s a must-have for every foodie.

 Jacobsen is the author of several books including A Geography of Oysters, American Terroir, and The Living Shore. His book Fruitless Fall is responsible for inspiring me and countless other people to take up beekeeping.

 

Review of Slab

June 24th, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published a first look review of Slab.

The salumi comes with slices of Sicilian summer sausage, an herbed soft cheese spread, muffuletta relish (spicy olives, cauliflower, peppers, and carrots), and addictive crispy slices of Luna bread. Other starters include an orange sage hummus, served with Luna bread wedges and Focaccia with olives and oil.

Miyake Partners Splitting (Updated)

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.

Family Feast at The Well

June 23rd, 2014

Family Feast on The Farm

Family Feast will be serving an Indonesian prix fixe dinner at The Well on Monday June 30.

They’re still planning the details but so far this what the menu looks like:

  • Crab and head cheese bao with hackelback caviar
  • Chilled cucumber nasturtium soup with coconut and smoked mussels, black lime vinaigrette
  • Large format beef tongue salad  “Garggouillou” with farm veg, pickled, raw, fermented, shoots and flowers with a cumin lime honey vin, rhubarb mustard, peanuts, beef tongue, black sesame miso puree, sesame bagel croutons, yogurt, farm greens
  • Whole duck egg ravioli over a ragu of duck hearts and gizzards, liver, peas, chocolate mint, tofu
  • Baba guling, balinese pork presenation
    -smoked shoulder in a yellow curry with squid and clams, eggpant, zuchini
    -charred blood and pork sausage wheel with chili glaze over seared bitter greens
    -rolled stuffed roasted belly with aromatic rice and wok fried broccoli raab in oyster sauce and garlic
    -fried bits, ears, skin, intestine with herbs and shallots in nuoc chom
  • Dessert will be stone fruit buckle with whipped farm cream, and then small corn cookie and ice cream sandwiches with jackfruit and tamarind

Tickets are $100 per person. Sign-up online at Eventbrite.

 

Review of Thurston’s

June 23rd, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has reviewed Thurston’s Wicked Good Burgers.

As I was finishing my meal, I was pleased to see that Thurston’s was doing fairly brisk business, with plenty of folks coming in to eat for the first time, and many others inquiring about take-away menus. By the time I departed, the small’ish parking lot was filled to capacity. Provided that the meal and level-of-service I enjoyed is representative of the Thurston’s experience over the long-term, I don’t think they will have any trouble surviving and thriving in this little corner of the universe.

Hilltop Superette Opening Next Monday

June 23rd, 2014

hilltopsuprette

A sign on the front of of the Hilltop Superette indicates that the store will be opening on Monday June 30.

Today’s Press Herald has a report on what’s new at the neighborhood market.

When the Hilltop Superette opens next Monday, residents of Portland’s East End will be able to get Grey Poupon, green curry paste and fresh-cut steaks within walking distance.

But those who came to rely on the convenience store formerly known as Colucci’s for cheap beer, basics like butter or a roll of toilet paper in a pinch can rest assured the new market will carry all the staples, too.

This Week’s Events: Neddles, GLB 35th, Greek Festival, Strawbery Fest, Silverado Dinner, Taste of the Nation, Noshbow

June 23rd, 2014

Monday — Allagash is releasing Neddles, a sour brown aged in rum barrels from New England Distilling.

WednesdayBlack Tie is holding a farm dinner, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — The Great Lost Bear is celebrating their 35th Anniversary, and it’s the first day of the Greek Heritage Festival.

Friday — the Greek Heritage Festival continues.

Saturday — the 6th Annual Strawberry Festival is taking place in Cape Elizabeth, Rosemont is hosting a Silverado Wine Dinner, it’s the last day of the Greek Heritage Festival, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — the Taste of the Nation is being held in Fort Williams Park, Portland Pancake Day and Noshbow are taking place, and Wine Wise running a Loire Valley wine sail.

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.

Vinland Featured in Source

June 22nd, 2014

Vinland, and chef David Levi’s dedication to locally sourcing ingredients, is the topic this week’s front page article in the Source section in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

But if you’re trying, as Levi is at Vinland, his 100-percent Maine-sourced restaurant just down Congress Street, to build entire meals around what is freshly available in the state at this minute, it is undeniably limited. Fine dining can’t be built on salad. What Levi is looking for are vegetables with more caloric content, nutritional value and oomph on the plate. If he were the kind of person one could use the phrase “he’d just about kill for” about, which he is not, it would be fair to say he’d just about kill for the miracle of a Maine-grown onion right now.

Review of Blue Rooster/555 Hot Dog

June 22nd, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has reviewed Blue Rooster.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this hot dog is that even though the mac & cheese is one of the most elegant versions you’ll ever try…enjoying it atop a well-prepared hot dog still elicited memories of those hot dog/mac & cheese skillets so many of us devoured as children. And at $7, this hot dog is a tremendous value. Even if you’re not endeavouring to try all 13 hot dogs in the Chef Series, the Truffle Mac Dog is one that bears a special trip.

This is the fourth in CW‘s ongoing series on the guest chef hot dog series at Blue Rooster.

Review of Central Provisions

June 21st, 2014

Portland Magazine has reviewed Central Provisions.

I can’t resist the foie gras ($15/22). The intense flavors of the rich, delicate liver are brilliantly balanced with a rose-hip purée, a sprinkling of millet granola, and candied buddha’s hand–a lemony fruit. Ecstasy. Six grilled shrimp a la plancha ($12) with herb olive oil sing back-up to yet another meaty, spicy tapa.

Two Openings: Anapurna’s Thali & Thurston’s

June 21st, 2014

Two more new food business have opened:

  • Vegetarian/vegan food cart Anapurna’s Thali (facebook) last Friday.
  • Thurston’s Wicked Good Burgers (website) has opened in the old KFC location on Forest Ave (here are a couple photos on twitter: 1 and 2)

Standard Baking Open House

June 20th, 2014

Standard Baking will be holding an open house and behind the scenes tours tomorrow 11-2 as part of their participation in The Bread Bakers Guild of America’s 4th Annual International Bakery Open House.

BFC Interview with Fishin’ Ship

June 20th, 2014

A new episode of Booze, Fish and Coffee interviews Fishin’ Ships founders Arvid Brown and Sam Gorelick.

Summary: Bo grabs lunch from Fishin’ Ships, the new fish-and-chips food truck in Portland, and hears from its creators how it all began.

Vervacious Profile

June 20th, 2014

Instant Portland has published a profile of Vervacious.

Vervacious doesn’t sell food, exactly. They sell flavor. Whether you are looking for high quality pantry basics a unique rub for grilling or just a taste of something to inspire your kitchen experiments, you can find what you are looking for.

Summer Eats and More

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.