Reviews: Poké Pop, Izakaya Minato

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Portland location of Poké Pop.

Named for chef/owner Anusat “Pop” Limsitong, the restaurant is a confusion of fusion, with cross-cultural elements intended to enliven bowls of cubed protein, vegetables and rice. By and large, these tweaks are unnecessary and involve sickly sweet sauces that make Poké Pop’s signature dish a huge letdown. If you must order poké, stick to the tofu bowl and customize your order with a squirt of the soy-based shoyu umami sauce, the least sweet of the restaurant’s offerings. But if it’s sweetness you’re after, Poké Pop has you covered. Its bing soo shaved ice, which is really a Filipino halo halo parfait made with fruit ice cream, shaved milk ice and about a thousand other ingredients, is terrific, even though it takes 15 minutes to prepare each one.

Down East magazine has reviewed Izakaya Minato.

Every dish brings a fresh set of tastes and textures: smoky bacon-wrapped rice cakes, melt-off-the-bone Korean-style barbecue short ribs, spicy kimchi fried rice. The broiled black cod, marinated in sake lees, is nearly the consistency of butter. Fried tofu squares, with jalapeño, soy sauce, and bonito, addictively marry spicy and salty — I suspect I could snack on these all day.

Marie Claire

Marie Claire has published a travel guide to Portland.

A trip to Portland, Maine, is much more than flannels and Subarus—although you’ll come across plenty of those, too. Maine’s largest city, surrounded by water, is as picturesque as they come, with quaint cobblestone passageways and Victorian dream homes. Breathe in the fresh New England air while exploring the Old Port, sift through treasures at the vintage shops, and eat your way through the city’s award-winning restaurant scene. More oysters? Don’t mind if I do.

Lunch Ladies

The Forecaster has published a report on the Lunch Ladies event taking place this weekend,

Brandi Haaf and Lonnie Stinson, owners of Crepe Elizabeth, are launching Lunch Ladies of Portland on Sunday, Oct. 21, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The event will take place from noon-5 p.m. at 219 Anderson St., and feature several woman-owned food trucks from around the area. Ten percent of all sales and 100 percent of the money from specialty items sold will go to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition.

This Week’s Events: Harvest on the Harbor, Jean-Michael Morel, Food Trucks, Allagash x Big Tree

Tuesday – it’s the first day of Harvest on the Harbor. See their website for a complete list of events.

WednesdayMaine & Loire is holding a tasting of wines from Lipari Island, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Friday – Slovenian winemaker Jean-Michel Morel of Kabaj Winery will be at the Cape Elizabeth Rosemont for a wine event, there will also be a regular wine tasting at the Rosemont on Brighton. Jean-Michel Morel is visiting the US in part to receive a Wine and Spirits Top 100 award for his orange and amphora wines.

Saturday – Maine Craft Distilling is holding a Maine Harvest Celebration, there will be a Highroller pop-up at The Shop, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – two food truck gatherings are take place: Flea Bites in Congress Square Park and Lunch Ladies of Portland on Anderson Street, Allagash and Big Tree Hospitality (Hugo’s/Eventide.Honey Paw) are holding an event at the brewery, and Bow Street is holding their monthly Sunday night wine seminar.

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.