Under Construction: Roots Cafe

A new gluten-free cafe is under construction in Westbrook. Roots Cafe (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is located across from the fire station at 20 School Street.

Owners Aimee Fortier, Lorraine Fagela, and Faye Wilson plan to serve a menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and crepes. The building features a childcare area run by Green Tree Ministries where kids can play while adults meet up in the cafe. There’s a large roof top deck as well as an outdoor patio on the ground floor.

Roots Cafe is working with Farm House Coffee Roasters in Winterport on a line of house-labeled fair trade organic coffee. The cafe is scheduled to open in early September.

Black Boxes Arrived

The custom shipping containers that will be the future homes of The Cheese Shop of Portland (instagramfacebook) and All Those Who Wander(websitefacebookinstagram) were installed on Washington Ave earlier today.

The Cheese Shop is planning to open in early September, and ATWW hopes to open in late August/early September.

For more info see these earlier announcements on the two businesses:

This Week’s Events: Big Night, Bourbon Certification Class, Flea Bites

Tuesday – the Roma is holding a Big Night themed dinner.

Wednesday – the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Lone Pine Brewing.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont on Brighton.

Saturday – a Bourbon certification class, a Black Dinah pop-up at LeRoux Kitchen, the grand opening of Forage Market, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market are taking place.

Sunday – the August edition of Flea Bites will be gathering food trucks in Congress Square Park.

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.

Forage Market Now Open

Forage Market (websitefacebookinstagramtwitter) opened their new Portland location at 123 Washington Ave yesterday and sold out before the day’s end. They are open for a second soft opening day on Sunday with a grand opening slated for Saturday.

Forage is perhaps best know for the bagels which Saveur tipped for the best in the country. In addition, Smith and his team lead by Portland store manager Laura Posiak also plans to serve breakfast sandwiches and hand-made pastries in the morning and European-style market sandwiches along with soups and salads for lunch

Reviews: Lio, Solo Italiano, Drifters Wife

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Lio,

Not to be missed at Lio, either, are the house-made pastas and thoughtfully constructed desserts. A dish of pappardelle with duck confit, artichoke, tarragon, Kalamata panko and lemon would make an excellent solo dinner. Follow it up with a dessert of Moscato Zabaglione — an Italian take on the French sabayon with poached peach, blueberry basil sorbet and elderflower — and you’ll be hard-pressed to find something to complain about.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Solo Italiano, and

I was quite impressed every step of the way. You can’t go wrong with the pesto, so I highly recommend that, but I enjoyed everything we ordered. Solo Italiano is definitely worthy of a visit and I recommend trying as many items as you can handle, or maybe even more.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Drifters Wife.

We snacked on a bowl of pickles, which was the best dish; but I like anything sweet, and these pickles would win first prize at a county fair. Another dish of mushrooms was splendid as was an entrée of scallops in a tomato broth and a half chicken with buttery braised cabbage and plums. The leg and breast were so big it might have come from a condor. But it was earthy and tasty, a bit dry perhaps and the plums should have added more sweetness.

Under Construction: Dizzy Bird, Time & Tide

Two new businesses are under development in Biddeford:

Dizzy Birds Rotisserie (facebook, instagram) has leased 2,500 sq ft of space at 59 and 65 Main Street where owners Tom and Barb Peacock plan to open 50-seat counter service restaurant in October. Dizzy Bird will serve, ” ‘honest to goodness’ elevated scratch comfort foods [prepared] in small batches all day long. There will be a live carvery featuring rotisserie beef, lamb, pork, turkey and anything else that is delicious off the spit…and hot and cold sides complementing the daily menus. Hand-crafted rotisserie sandwiches, entrees, tossed salads, soups and freshly baked goods will be available daily.” Dizzy Bird also plans to sell prepared food to take-out or finish up at home (e.g. frozen individual and family-sized pot pies).

A new coffee shop and roastery, Time & Tide (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is under construction on lower Maine Street. Co-owners Briana and Campbell and Jon Phillips hope to open sometime in October. Phillips formerly worked as the Director of Specialty Coffee for Dallis Brothers Coffee.  Phillips and Campbell plan to focus on single origin and blended specialty coffee with a focus on making the coffee and coffee house experience more accessible.

Allen’s Coffee Brandy

The Daily Beast has posted an article about Maine’s abiding love for Allen’s Coffee Brandy.

As it turns out, Fireball is actually made in Maine—at a Lewiston facility that the Sazerac Co. acquired a few years ago. Allen’s Coffee Brandy is made in Massachusetts, the state to the south that many Maine residents consider loathsome. Offering a potential future challenge, Sazerac Co. has stepped up its production of Mr. Boston Coffee Flavored Brandy, using coffee extract made in nearby Portland and touting “Made in Maine” on the label. (Sales of Mr. Boston coffee brandy to date remain less than one-tenth of Allen’s.)

Outdoor Dining in Westbrook

Legends Rest is launching their outdoor seating area tonight along River Walk in Westbrook at 4 pm.

What makes this notable is that there outdoor dining option takes advantage of a new state law that allows restaurants to serve alcohol outdoors even when the dining area isn’t immediately adjacent to the restaurant. Legends Rest may in fact be the first  restaurant in the state to make use of the new provision.