Arcadia Opening Today

September 5th, 2014

arcadia_logoArcadia National Bar (website, facebook, twitter) held a preview last night to help “get some kinks worked out” and plans on opening today at 4pm. Arcadia is hybrid bar/arcade.

Owners Dave Aceto and Ben Culver ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for Arcadia earlier this year that raised nearly $26,000. Arcadia is located at 24 Preble Street in the location formerly occupied by Slainte.

Bard Coffee’s New Roastery

September 5th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has published an article on the new Bard Coffee/Wicked Joe roastery in Topsham.

In July, the 10-year-old company moved its headquarters from a cramped space in Brunswick to a commissary-turned-leading-edge coffee roasting facility across the Androscoggin River. Located near a defunct recruitment center and shuttered fire station in the former U.S. Navy Annex in Topsham, it is an unlikely location for a rising coffee bean business. But the blank slate — a 37,000-square-foot building — was ripe for renewal.

Review of Blue Spoon

September 5th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Blue Spoon.

A main course of pan-fried flounder was perfectly cooked–flakey, fresh and well-seasoned.  What drew me to the dish, however, was the accompanying side of caramelized green beans. These, however, were merely sautéed and remained al dente but not glazed whatsoever.  The fish had a further garnish of crispy fingerlings and olive oil poached sun gold tomatoes with basil—a pleasing Mediterranean touch, though overall too much oil on the dish.

Review of Lolita

September 4th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Lolita.

The medium dishes are the most intriguing on the page, and they deliver on it. In one dish, black trumpets brought out the earthy side of mackerel filet. Lentils, served with just pickled beets, could not have been more perfectly tender or expertly seasoned. Torchino pasta enlivens a simple creamy tomato sauce with the spice and texture of crumbled nduja sausage and the pop of fresh peas.

Innovative Women in Food: Chellie Pingree

September 4th, 2014

Fortune and Food & Wine magazines have included Maine Congresswoman and farmer Chellie Pingree in their list of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink.

Under Construction: Shangri-la

September 4th, 2014

A new Chinese restaurant called Shangri-la is under construction on upper Exchange Street. Shangri-la is taking over the space at 90 Exchange Street that for the last 8 months has been occupied by Thai 9.

Shangri-la is being launched by Yarmouth resident Qi Shen. Shen plans on serving a menu of Sichuan style Chinese food. A draft menu (page 42) was supplied as part of the restaurant’s liquor license application. Here’s an excerpt,


Rudolph Ferrante, 91

September 4th, 2014

Rudolph Ferrante passed away last week at the age of 91.

In the 1950s, he co-owned restaurants including the Forest Gardens and Espans Quick Lunch in Portland. In the mid 1960s, he opened Rudy’s Lunch on Middle Street in Portland. He also owned Harbor Lunch on Commercial Street. Most recently, he owned and operated the iconic Rudy’s Diner on Main Street in South Portland. He retired in 1992, after running the diner for 17 years.

Union Station Publyk House

September 3rd, 2014

It’s been nearly a year since Ted Arcand, owner of Dogfish Bar & Grille, sold the Dogfish Cafe on Congress Street to 2 of his longtime employees. Now the new cafe owners are getting ready change the name.

No big changes are planned, but the Cafe’s new name will be Union Station Publyk – a reference to the Union Train Station that once stood across the street.

Liquid M2

September 3rd, 2014

Urban Eye reports that Liquid M2 has gone out of business.

It seems Liquid M2 on Fore Street is the latest casualty in the green drink economy to go belly up this year. This “farm to bar” lounge has been locked for weeks, their telephone number is disconnected and the owner is MIA. Who would take a vacation in Vacationland during prime time? They have not sent out a social media signal since August 9th.

Review of Slab

September 2nd, 2014

Portland Magazine has reviewed Slab.

Craving more of that insanely delicious bread–which is nothing like pizza dough–we’re captivated by the Sausage Raab Shoe Bianca ($9) served with a side of “slab gravy.” Crumbled, tender sausage meat is mixed with lots of quality cheeses and tasty, bright green broccoli raab, all tucked into that dreamy pillow of luna lusciousness.

Review of El Corazon, Taco Trio, Hella Good

September 2nd, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed El Corazon/Taco Trio/Hella Good.

With relief I instead got the Corazon burrito (on Spring St. near downtown) for half the price. It was great—the tortilla grilled but still spongy, the carne ground up, juicy and infused with spices. The tacos ($2.50) are also quite good. The pork is almost bellyish in its fatty tenderness. The fish has a great tart sauce and just-bitter cabbage crunch. The pulled chicken was tender and herbaceous. The truck itself is a red beauty.

Review of Tandem Bakery

September 1st, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed the new Tandem Bakery.

The custard of the chess pie was flawless, thick and rich with the tang of citrus and buttermilk.  The bottom crust wasn’t soggy, either, though the overall shell was a bit unusual.  It’s an all butter crust, but I’d like to know what Holt is doing to it?  It’s not flakey but crisp instead.

The blueberry crumble-topped pie was another perfect piece of pie.  The filling wasn’t overly sweet but just right and I loved the crunchy, candylike topping.

This Week’s Events: Hunt & Alpine, Bartender’s Brunch, Flea Bites

September 1st, 2014

Wednesday — Black Tie will be serving a Graze Farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market are taking place.

Thursday — The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Dogfish Head.

Friday — the Hunt and Alpine Club is throwing a party to celebrate their 1st anniversary, the West End Deli is holding a wine tasting, and Flea Bites (a monthly gathering of food trucks in West Bayside) is taking place.

SaturdayLeRoux Kitchen is holding a wine tasting, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — Coffee By Design, Maine Beer Company, Novare Res Bier Cafe, In’finiti, Maine Pie Line and Holy Donut are working together to organize the Bartender’s Brunch to celebrate Maine Beer Company’s 5th Anniversary. MBC will release 2014, a maple imperial stout with cold pressed Ethiopian coffee, at the brunch.

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.

Top Ten for August 2014

September 1st, 2014

The 10 eateries looked up most often on Portland Food Map in August were:

  1. Slab (1)
  2. Central Provisions (10)
  3. Blue Rooster (2)
  4. The King’s Head (13)
  5. Lolita (5)
  6. The Well (>50)
  7. Bogusha’s (>50)
  8. J’s Oyster Bar (24)
  9. Timber (4)
  10. East Ender (16)

The numbers in parentheses indicates their rank last month.

Alfred Matiyabo, Farmer

August 31st, 2014

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a feature article about Alfred Matiyabo who grows produce in South Portland for the area’s African immigrant community.

…the pumpkins, the amaranth, and most of the eggplants are African varieties, the kind he remembers from his native Congo, their seeds ordered online. And these plants, cleaned, cut and packaged under his brand – Africando – in the commercial kitchen of a church in Portland, are crops specifically planted for a growing community of African refugees, Matiyabo’s customer base.

Under Construction: Skillet

August 31st, 2014


A new eatery called Skillet (facebook) is under development on Walker Street in the West End.

Owner Natalie ‘Figgy’ DiBenedetto is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Skillet will be her 3rd restaurant; the first two Mina and Another Fork in the Road were located in the Hudson Valley.

DiBenedetto plans to operate a take-out business along with a few outside tables serving,

…a nightly take home meal for 2 or 4 people as well as cast iron fried chicken, korean style chicken and all the fixins (slaw, potato, lots of seasonal vegetables etc..). Also trying to perfect a gluten free fried chicken. We’ll do some whacky ice cream sandwiches with homemade ice cream and homemade cookies and southern banana pudding (yes, with ‘nilla wafers)We’ll probably do a seasonal shrub soda and some other fun libations…

Her target customers are “working families, singles and couples in the area that want something comforting, nutritious, affordable and fun”. DiBenedetto will also use Skillet as the base of operations for a catering business that serves traditional comfort foods from her native state of Missouri: “BBQs, fried chicken picnics, fish fry, pig roasts etc”.

Skillet will be built off of the backside of the Yordprom Coffee building. She hopes to break ground for the building in the few couple months. You can see additional views of the building and a detailed floor plan in this submission to the Historic Preservation Board.

Skillet joins Tandem Bakery, Bramhall, Tawakal Halal and Salvage along with a few established businesses (Yordprom, Flores, and Bodega Latina, Hong Kong Market, etc) in expanding business develop past Longfellow through Bramhall Square and down to Saint John. This is a trend that’s likely to continue.

Under Construction: Fore River Brewing

August 30th, 2014


Fore River Brewing (twitter, facebook, instagram) has released some additional info about their plans. Founders John LeGassey, Michael Pridham and Thomas Hansen are currently identifying a location for their brewery and hope to open in 2015. They plan on brewing a wide range of beers that “reflect the owners’ varied taste and over ten years of brewing experience.”

Details on some of their prior brewing experiments can be found on Brew Toad.

Photos of Blue Spoon

August 29th, 2014

The Angela Adams blog Sea Fantasy has published a set of photos of Blue Spoon.

We always try to find great neighborhood restaurants when we travel. This probably comes from us having the luxury of living in a neighborhood with excellent eateries. Blue Spoon, Lolita and The Front Room are all at the top of Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine and are all worth a trip for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Blue Spoon has been one of our long time favorites for years. The owners and staff are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and very talented. It’s the perfect place to go with friends or on your own for a delicious meal in a cozy environment, surrounded by neighbors.…

Maine Foodie Tours

August 29th, 2014

The Casual Travelist has posted a report on her recent experience on a Maine Foodie Tours guided tour. The tour visited Vervacious, Sweetgrass Distillery, Vena’s Fizz House, Harbor Fish, and Eve’s at the Garden.

Tandem Bakery Open

August 28th, 2014

Tandem Coffee’s new location is now in  full operation serving a line of house made baked goods by Briana Holt complemented by Tandem’s fine coffee and service.

The new coffee shop/bakery is located at 742 Congress Street in the West End.