Falafel Time on Forest Ave

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about the new Forest Ave restaurant Falafel Time and its owner Qutaiba Hassoon and the growing restaurant community along Forest Ave.

To observe the operations at Falafel Time feels like a trip into their family’s kitchen. Hassoon’s mother, Anaam Jabbir, helps run the operation with Hassoon and Saeed. Other family members are among the employees, and they speak mainly in Arabic, working quickly to fill orders.

“I’m proud of him,” Saeed said of his son moments after tossing a pizza in the oven. “He’s always worked under someone and now he’s in charge. Owning a restaurant is hard work, but he’s good at customer service and wants to take care of the customers.”

The Portland Board Launching Thursday

The Portland Board (websitefacebookinstagram) is planning to launch this Thursday. Portland’s newest food truck—a 1979 Volkswagon bus—will be located in the parking lot at Root Wild Kombucha weekly Thursday through Sunday, noon to 7 or 8 pm.

Owner Graham Young will be serving a opening week menu with three options: a traditional board, a spicy version and a vegan board.

The boards include a mix of charcuterie meats and cheeses along with bread, crackers, savory spreads, jams, pickled veggies, dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit, fresh veggies. The vegan board include items like cashew ricotta, mushroom pate, cashew hard cheese and beet hummus in place of the meats and cheeses.

Fork Food Lab Moving To South Portland

Today’s Press Herald includes an update on Fork Food Labs’ plans to move to new larger quarters in South Portland.

If the deal goes through, Fork Food Lab would occupy about 18,000 to 25,000 square feet of the property, with plenty of room to spare for other food producers who might want to relocate there, creating a kind of “food hub,” Seretta said. He said he’s been talking with several businesses about the idea, but declined to name them.

Norimoto Open on Stevens Ave

Atsuko Fujimoto opened the new location for Norimoto Bakery (website, instagram) this past Saturday. The bakery is located 469 Stevens Ave in Deering Center.

For the time being she’s keeping to a schedule of taking online pre-orders on Friday for pick-up on Saturdays with some extra baked goods for walk-in sales. As soon as some additional construction is completed Fujimoto anticipates being open Thursday through Saturday for walk-in sales.

Coquette Opening in Public Market House

A new cafe and bakery called Coquette (website, facebook, instagram) is under construction on the 2nd floor of the Public Market House. Serving a menu of cakes, pies,  pastries, charcuterie boards, and coffee.

Owner Caitlin Olsen originally founded Coquette in Montauk, New York and has moved it to Portland by way of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Coquette is a business mindful of the sustainable practices necessary to maintain the delicate balance between industry growth & environmental harmony. Coquette is a female-led enterprise seeking to raise up, honor & collaborate with women…Coquette looks forward to building upon the knowledge gained from valuable lessons learned over the past 2+ years in operation. Portland, Maine, has vigorously welcomed Coquette to her lovely shores steeped in history & surrounded by natural beauty. Coquette is motivated by the current challenge of designing a menu for the new cafe which honors our origins in Montauk, NY while symbiotically infusing the highlights of an expansive recent 1.5 years spreading our wings in the high mountain desert of Santa Fe, NM with a steady eye on our new horizon line radiating outward from vibrant Portland, ME.

Coquette will open on November 1st at 10am with a Dia de Los Muertos celebration with a menu that will include Santa Fe Biscochito sugar cookies, Orxata cream, and Kakawa chocolate truffles.

Upcoming Events: Pop-ups, Dinners, Halloween, Autumn Party, Pasilla, Coquette

WednesdayMr. Tuna is kicking off their Izakaya Night Market series, and Via Vecchia is holding a Truffles & Nebbiolo wine dinner.

ThursdayDuckfat is serving a (soldout) 5-course duck dinner, Maine & Loire are holding a Meiklang wine tasting, and Ironclad Eats and Bellflower Brewing are collaborating on Hellflower Night in East Bayside.

Saturday – 25+ food and drink establishments and other businesses are working together to hold East Bayside Halloween Fest. The event is raising funds for Maine Needs; S & P is holding a plant-based Autumn Party.

Sunday – it’s Halloween!

November 1 – Chef Ryan Nielsen is holding the first of his Pasilla (instagram) pop-up series. He’ll be serving a menu of tacos, tortas, tostadas, agua frescas and desserts. The pop-up will be taking place at the Mr. Tuna space in the Public Market House with takeout and limited seating. A new bakery and cafe called Coquette is scheduled to open in the Public Market House.

November 3-6Harvest on the Harbor is taking place.

November 4Launch party for MOFGA’s new book The Organic Farming Revolution, and North 43 Bistro is holding a wine dinner featuring wines from Roederer Vineyard.

November 7/8 – Chef Cara Stadler has launched a pair of event series that run through June. The Science Cafe series “feature a local aquaculture producer or two who will share their story and answer our questions” and the cooking class series will be taught the subsequent evenings focusing on the product highlighted in the previous night’s Science Cafe.

November 10Evo and Liquid Riot are collaborating on a beer dinner.

November 21 – Lorne Wine is holding a Fete du Beaujolais at Broadturn Farm.

Thanksgiving – a small but quickly growing number of vendors are starting to announce their Thanksgiving offerings. This list will be updated as new info becomes available:

  • Coquette – Details are forthcoming on October 26th on the Coquette website.
  • Lake & Co. – menu goes live October 25th; order deadline November 15th for pick-up on November 24th and 25th.
  • Other Side – is taking pre-orders for turkeys, sides and dessert.
  • Portland Co-op – is starting to take turkey pre-orders on November 1st.
  • Rosemont Market – is taking pre-orders for turkeys, sides and baked goods for pick-up on the 23rd or 24th.
  • Solo Cucina Market – is a pick-up location for turkey orders from Farmers’ Gate for pick-up on November 23rd or 24th.
  • Two Fat Cats – has a wide array of baked goods avaible for pre-order with pick-up on November 23-25th.
  • Westin – offering a 2-person ‘take and bake’ meal for $80 for pick-up on the 24th, and a 3-course dinner on Thanksgiving day at the Westin for $85 per person (reservations open on October 27th).
  • Yardie Ting – plans to offer family-style meals for parties of 4-, 6- and 12-people. Details are forthcoming.

Rathskeller on Wharf Now Open

Rathskeller on Wharf (website, facebook, instagram) opened for business on Tuesday. The Rathskeller is located at 51 Wharf Street and is being launched by Tom Minervino, his sister Meg Minervino and their business partner Mike Barton. The Minervinos and Barton also own and operate Legends Rest in Westbrook.

The Rathskeller will be open Tuesday through Thursday 3 – 11 pm, and Friday and Saturday noon – 1 am.

Here’s a look at the opening week’s menu:

Family Dinner Expanding to Portland

A new food delivery service called Family Dinner (website, facebook, instagram) is expanding to Portland. The company was founded in Boston by Erin Baumgartner and Tim Fu who have grown their Boston area service from 10 customers to 600+ in four years.

Family Dinner is in the process of putting together a Maine staff and building relationships with farms. They expect to release information on delivery areas and the farms they’ll be working with soon and hope to launch Family Dinner in Portland in November.

Follow them on  instagram for updates on which farms and food producers they’ll be partnering with.

Authentic Italian Collaboration

Forbes reports that Paolo Laboa from Solo Italiano is collaborating with chefs from 22 other Italian restaurants to serve a single authentic Italian dish as part of an initiative organized by the Italian government.

The signature dish created by Baracchi is “Stuffed Pasta Rings with Pork Ragù in a Cannellini Bean Soup,” rustic in its roots but assembled in a modern and fresh way. The dish stands as a tribute to the autumn season and Chef Baracchi’s native land of Tuscany, Italy. At the same time, the ingredients are very accessible to the United States as well. Chef Baracchi studied the preparations and composition to be able to easily be reproduced in a busy kitchen during service. 

The Stuffed Pasta Rings will be available on the Solo Italiano menu all this week, Wednesday through Sunday.

More Maine Cider

The Waterville Sentinel has written about the growing Maine cider industry,

“Maine is actually really fortunate in that we have a ton of apples, they’re everywhere — that’s why a lot of people do wild foraging,” Rochon said. “So I think that Maine, more than a lot of other places, is set up to expand. I think that a lot of places are starting to hit their ceiling on how many people can go and forage and get them from the area.”

There are 20+ cidermakers in Maine, for more information see our Guide to Maine Cider.