Asmara To Go

Travels with Hilary has published a profile of Asmara and some brief commentary on the take-out food she picked up at the Oak Street Eritrean restaurant.

Asmara (the restaurant) serves its dishes in the traditional way, on injera, a spongy bread made from unleavened teff flour. This bread is used as an eating utensil: You break off bits and use it to grab the main dish, which is usually a tsebhi, a stew of peas, lentil, and red pepper. It’s available vegetarian style or with chicken, beef, or lamb.

Under Construction: The Cookie Jar

The Cookie Jar bakery, a well loved fixture on Shore Rd in Cape Elizabeth, is rebuilding the damage from a 2006 storm and, according to an article in today’s Press Herald, plans on opening on Memorial Day weekend.

At the Irving service station next door, Ray Clark and his employees field questions about the bakery every day. “I have heard from all the customers, ‘What’s happening with The Cookie Jar?'” Clark said. “They even come from out of state.”

Donna Piscopo said all of the old favorites will be back when The Cookie Jar reopens, as will the soup and sandwiches she had introduced before the storm. The business will likely open with 12 employees, and have more than 15 once it’s been running for awhile.

The Corry's on Vacation

Portland Phoenix reporter Leischen Stelter has published a piece on her recent vacation in Puerto Rico with the Corry family. Steve & Michelle Corry own and manage Five Fifty-Five.

During our adventures in Puerto Rico, meals were certainly milestones in the day, but I was surprised how unpretentious the Corrys were about dining out. Sure, there was discussion of acidity, steak temperatures, and atmosphere, but for the most part, it was really an opportunity to relax, take in the culture, and let someone serve them. And just so you know, they bribe their kids with french fries and chocolate cake, too.

The Corry’s on Vacation

Portland Phoenix reporter Leischen Stelter has published a piece on her recent vacation in Puerto Rico with the Corry family. Steve & Michelle Corry own and manage Five Fifty-Five.

During our adventures in Puerto Rico, meals were certainly milestones in the day, but I was surprised how unpretentious the Corrys were about dining out. Sure, there was discussion of acidity, steak temperatures, and atmosphere, but for the most part, it was really an opportunity to relax, take in the culture, and let someone serve them. And just so you know, they bribe their kids with french fries and chocolate cake, too.

Review of Merry Table

Travels with Hilary has published a review of The Merry Table.

My poireaux crepe was elegant in its simplicity and absolutely divine. The accompanying small salad of greens, dressed in the house Dijon vinaigrette, provided the perfect counterpoint. While big eaters might find the servings on the small side, I found it to be the perfect proportion.

Under Construction Local Sprouts/Bomb Diggity

The Portland Daily Sun has published a report on the upcoming openings of Local Sprouts CSK and Bomb Diggity at 645 Congress Street, the old USM Portland Hall.

Local Sprouts Cafe will be Portland’s first “community-supported cafe”, according to the its website (www.localsproutscooperative.com), and will be operated by a worker-owned business — Local Sprouts Cooperative — which acquires its food from urban gardens in Portland and local farms in Maine.

Fiddlehead Season

Today’s Food & Dining section in the Press Herald includes a trio of articles about fiddleheads, fiddlehead recipes from Maine chefs and recommendations from food safety experts how to prepare them.

“Mainers mostly have theirs with butter and a little vinegar,” said Angelo D’Ambrosio of Elliottsville Township, a fiddlehead fan who started a Facebook page where people are sharing recipes and tips on where to find the plants. “They’ll have them with some brook trout.”

At Evangeline last week, Chef Erik Desjarlais created a soupe de printemps that featured fiddleheads, carrots, fennel, celery branch and La Quercia ham swimming in a crystal-clear vegetable consomme. It tasted like spring in a bowl.

Maine Kosher Vaad

Today’s Press Herald has an article about Maine Kosher Vaad, the kosher certification organization run by the rabbis from 3 Maine synagogues.

That’s when he placed a call to Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld of Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh in Portland.

“Long story short, I talked to him and he was at my place the next morning at 6 a.m.,” Gladstone said. “He went out of his way to try and help me.”

The result is that the Caviar of Maine blueberries now have the stamp of approval from the state’s only kosher-certifying organization, known as the Maine Kosher Vaad.

Review of Paciarino

Down East has published a review of Paciarino.

If after visiting Paciarino you’re hooked by Barbiero and de Savino’s cooking — and it would be hard not to be — you can pick up some of their products to take home. (Soon, you’ll even be able to order them online.) They sell their own fresh and frozen pastas and sauces, as well as specialty items imported from Italy. “Pasta and sauce, the stuff with which we grew up, is our big love,” de Savino says. “It feels good to share it.”