The Salt: Brewers Gone Wild

January 25th, 2015

NPR’s blog The Salt has posted an article about Allagash and wild fermented beers.

The team at Allagash has been experimenting with Brett and other “nontraditional brewing microbes” (for making wild and sour beers) for about a dozen years. The first time the brewers discovered that an ambient strain of local, wild Brett had contaminated a barrel of beer, “we panicked!” Perkins recalls. “We learned quickly that the character was very unique.” So they isolated it, cultured it and created a small but ambitious wild beer program that puts Brett on center stage.

Review of Ebb & Flow

January 25th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Ebb & Flow.

If looks could kill, Ebb & Flow would be slaying customers in the Old Port. The dining room is attractive, the presentation colorful and the tableware sparkling and elegant. But three months after opening, the Mediterranean-inspired cooking here remains uneven. Play to the kitchen’s strengths and order a selection of mezze (small dishes) served with the outstanding house-made pita. Or go for dessert and share a plate of sugary galaktoboureko, the chef’s lighter version of a traditional custard-and-phyllo confection that tastes like food for the (Greek) gods.

First Review of Tiqa

January 24th, 2015

The Golden Dish has published a first look review of Tiqa.

Expansive space, beautiful design, and a bit of exotica coming from its pan-Mediterranean-inspired kitchen add up to Tiqa being one of the most unique establishments to grace the city in recent memory.

Photos of Empire

January 23rd, 2015

The Angela Adams blog Sea Fantasy has published a set of images of Empire Chinese Kitchen.

We all love the Empire Chinese Kitchen!

Portland was in dire need of a dim sum restaurant and Empire has aced it. Whether you sit at the bar or in a cozy booth, the experience is always a treat. I never go without getting the green beans. Nicole’s recent visit included some new items that are calling me back. Don’t wait. Go now! Then go back again! We will likely be there eating tasty pockets of goodness.

East Ender @ Central Provisions

January 22nd, 2015

Central Provisions has announced that the Small Axe founders and now owners of East Ender, Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy will be the guest chefs at Central Provisions for CP’s 1-year anniversary on February 4th.

Whiskey and the Old Fashioned

January 22nd, 2015

2015-01-22_6-27-22Andrew Volk, co-owner of the Hunt and Alpine Club, appeared on WCSH’s show 207 earlier this week along with Jim Britt from Eat Drink Lucky to demonstrate how to make an Old Fashioned and talk about the increasing popularity of whiskey.

Under Construction: Isa

January 21st, 2015

Eater Maine has posted an interview with Suzie St. Pierre, who along with her husband are opening Isa (facebook) on Portland Street.

What makes you eager to open it in Portland, which is packed with places to eat?
We love Maine and we love Portland and we’re encouraged by the city’s passion for good food. Every city has competition and, of course, Portland doesn’t lack it. But the residents and visitors support this industry better than almost any other city in the nation, which makes us think there’s always room for another good restaurant with a different experience to offer.

Tiqa Opening Today

January 21st, 2015


Tiqa (facebook, twitter) is scheduled to open today. The pan-Mediterranean restaurant is the creation of husband and wife team Deen Haleem and Carol Mitchell with chef Bryan Dame heading up the kitchen staff and Patrick Morang as the bar manager.

Tiqa is located at 321 Commercial Street in the ground floor of the new Marriott hotel.

Full Belly Deli Has Closed

January 20th, 2015

The Press Herald has confirmed that the Full Belly Deli has gone out of business.

After 28 years of serving overstuffed pastrami sandwiches, lokshen kugel and hot brisket dinners, Full Belly Deli, Portland’s only Jewish delicatessen, has closed its doors.

Owner David Rosen said the Brighton Avenue deli was a victim of the economy, rising food prices, and competition from the chain restaurants that have proliferated nearby as that part of the city, on the border of Westbrook, has developed in recent years.

Under Construction: Otherside Delicatessen

January 20th, 2015

The Forecaster has posted an update on the Otherside Delicatessen.

Quattrucci’s Variety at 164 Veranda St. was a neighborhood staple for more than three decades. The store closed without fanfare late last year, but the building won’t be empty very long.

Peter Sueltenfuss leased the building on Jan. 1 for the Otherside Delicatessen, which will open around Jan. 26, he said – as long as telephone and Internet connections are done.

New Spirits from MCD

January 20th, 2015

Sprigge-Tashtego-(600x800)Maine Craft Distilling has announced the upcoming launch of two new products:

  • Sprigge is a version of Alchemy gin aged in MCD’s whiskey and rum oak barrels. “The combination of used whiskey barrel and Alchemy Gin creates a hearty, full flavored spirit combining hints of juniper with the barrel richness of vanilla.”
  • Tashtego is a pot distilled white rum named for a harpooner in the Melville’s Moby Dick.

Both will available for sale starting this Saturday at Maine Craft Distilling’s tasting room on Fox Street and in Freeport.

This Week’s Events: Growing Local, Ice Bar, Emotional Honey, Honey Dinner, Bean Suppah

January 19th, 2015

Tuesday — Local Sprouts is hosting the Local Foods Networking Breakfast.

Wednesday — Space Gallery is screening Growing Local followed by a discussion with the director, Baxter Brewing owner Luke Livingston will be speaking at Peleton LabsThe Corner Room is holding a  wine dinner and Black Tie is teaching a cooking class.

Thursday — it’s the first night of the 2015 Ice Bar, the Thirsty Pig is hosting a rlease party for episode 4 of Local Brew TV, and GMRI is hosting a talk on How Climate Change is Affecting Fish and People by scientist Andy Pershing and Kathy Mills.

Friday — it’s the second night of the Ice Bar.

Saturday — Allagash is having a bottle release for Emotional Honey,  it’s the last night of the Ice Bar, the Portland On Tap beer festival is taking place as is the Winter Farmers’ Market.

Sunday — The Good Table is holding a 5-course dinner made with 5 local honeys paired with mead, wine, beer, and Rosemont Market cooking a Grange Bean Suppah.

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.

Tortilleria Pachanga Interview

January 18th, 2015

Today’s Telegram includes an interview with Tortilleria Pachanga owner Lynne Rowe.

WHAT’S IN A NAME: We figured out that a tortilleria is the place where tortillas are made, but what does “pachanga” mean? Rowe picked it up from her days in Mexico. “It can be like a drunken bash,” Rowe said. “But it doesn’t have to be like that. It can also be a rhythm or a dance. In Mexico it is sort of a fun word for a gathering.” When she worked at the Waynflete School she introduced pachanga to the school lexicon, using it to describe family gatherings.

Vinland at the James Beard House

January 18th, 2015

For the final installment in her four-part series Vinland, Mary Pols has written a report on the James Beard House dinner Vinland chef David Levi served this past week in NYC.

Levi said the foundation offered him dates in January through March, but worried whether he could pull it off when nearly everything in Maine, even the bays, tend to freeze. He relished the challenge. “If we’re going to showcase what Maine cuisine is all about, it is much more compelling to do it in the winter than the summer,” he said. “In the summer, we have many of the same things that you’d find in any part of the country.” In the winter, Maine’s famed resiliency materializes in its foods, and he was eager to put any concerns to rest.

Read the Full Series
Part 1: Bold Idea for Portland
Part 2: What’s for Dinner
Part 3: Bountiful Summer

Review of Bao Bao

January 18th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Bao Bao.

Bao Bao bills itself as a dumpling house (you can order plates of six dumplings either boiled or pan fried, and the lamb dumplings are particularly good) but other items on the menu truly shine: Asian Slaw is a crisp, refreshing salad with a delicious soy and rice wine vinaigrette; “smashed cucumbers” are served icy cold but enrobed in a fiery sriracha chili sauce; and Taiwanese beef noodle soup blends chunks of super-tender brisket with ropes of noodles and chopped greens in a salty, satisfying beef broth. Don’t miss the red bean paste buns offered upon request for dessert. They’re a fried twist on a steamed Asian classic, and sweet enough to satisfy even your strongest cravings.

Oxbow Expanding

January 17th, 2015

Oxbow Brewing has also applied for a liquor license so they can serve wine, spirits, food (draft menu, page 39) and beers from other brewers along with their own products at their tasting room on Washington Ave.

Although we have been enjoying a steady early draw of customers to our new Portland tasting room, it has quickly become apparent that the ability to provide a more complete [experience] would generate substantially more traffic to our location, and subsequently to the many small businesses that surround us. To be able to maximize the potential of our space, we would like to have the option of preparing snacks as well as serving guest beers, wines and spirits from other local artisan producers.

Under Construction: Portland Patisserie

January 17th, 2015

Steve and Michelle Corry have applied for a liquor license for Portland Patisserie, the new bakery/cafe they have under development at 46 Market Street.

The cafe will serve “classic French pastries along with crepes, sandwiches, salads and coffee” as well as pies, cakes and other French baked goods. The full draft menu can be found on pages 58-62 of the City Council agenda. Here’s a small  excerpt:


Portland Patisserie is scheduled to be open 7 days a week, 6am to 8pm. In addition to the baked goods the cafe will stock a selection of wine, beer and champagne for retails sale and will sell specialty foods such as French cheeses, charcouterie, spices and fresh-baked breads.

The Corry’s recently were issued a building permit for the space and so construction should be starting up soon. They hope to have Portland Patisserie open in the March/April time frame. The floor plan has a what looks like a central retail display area and seating for 33 at tables around the perimeter of the room.


In’finiti→Liquid Riot Bottling Co.

January 16th, 2015


Owners Eric and Julie Michaud have announced plans to rename and reconcept In’finiti as the Liquid Riot Bottling Company (facebook, instagram, twitter).

Part of the new identity of Liquid Riot is the “tasting room.” The raised dining area of In’finiti has been removed in order to open up the space and bring the room together on one level. Instead of a “restaurant” which typically has a focus on food, we now have a “tasting room” where one can focus on the taste of our cocktails made from our house-made spirits and the taste of our beer brewed on premise. To accompany these offerings we will have tasty, fresh food prepared in our kitchen. You can still get a full meal or just apps and snacks, just as you can still get an array of intoxicatingly delicious liquids. Our products are not changing, just the name, a little bit of the layout, and the idea of what that space provides.

The Michauds are just completing a renovation of the space at 250 Commercial Street and plan to re-open the business today at 3pm.

Under Construction: Unwined

January 15th, 2015

Urban Eye reports that Unwined is scheduled to open on Friday.

Located next to Speckled Axe and steps from MECA, Unwined is poised to be a causal alternative, custom made for those moments when a double espresso just won’t cut it. “Our main goal is to become a local attraction. A place you visit before you go out to dinner, or afterwards to relax,” he said.

Bar Review of Taco Trio

January 15th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Taco Trio.

Taco Trio is an authentic Mexican taqueria in South Portland that caters to families, teenagers, twenty-somethings and beyond. You’ll likely get a mixed crowd on any given night – be prepared for a line and a wait on weekend nights. There’s a solid beer selection, a few drafts, and two house cocktails (margarita and mojito). While not a bar scene in the traditional sense, it’s a good place to go to drink and eat cheaply.