Neon Diner/Gogi

Every so often when a new restaurant at is under construction at 653 Congress Street you can catch a glimpse of the old Neon Diner sign (see this recent photo by Corey Templeton). That’s the case now as Gogi, a new Asian fusion restaurant, get’s set to install their new street sign in the old Neon Diner frame. I’ve heard that Gogi hopes to open in March. The Neon Diner was in operation 1991-1995.

Sharpening Knives

Vrai-lean-uh has posted an endorsement of Freeport Knife Company’s knife sharpening service,

I really highly, highly recommend Freeport Knife Co. They’re on Route 1 on the way to LL Bean, near Pet Pantry. I was expecting to go in and get some grief about the state of my cutlery, kind of like when the haircutter picks up and drops strands of my hair and says, “So, when was your last haircut?” But no! They were totally nice and they sharpened my knives in an hour for $2 a piece and the store is really fantastic.

City Hall Cafe Menu Changes

Today’s Press Herald reports on changes to the menu at the Clocktower Cafe which is located in City Hall.

Boynton said the cafe’s revamped menu, which features not only leaner and healthier food but also information on the number of calories in the sandwiches, soups and other food, helps her make better choices about her midday meal.

“It’s made me more calorie-conscious. It’s definitely made me more aware about what I’m eating,” said Boynton, a city lawyer.

This is a follow-up the article on the same topic published last August.

Review of Little Seoul

Appetite Portland has published a review of Little Seoul,

Korean-Style Pumpkin Soup
At first slurp, I was shocked by its sweetness – remarking to Adam, “this belongs on the dessert menu.” But subsequent spoonfuls revealed a coarse and nutty creaminess reminiscent of roasted sunchoke. Thickened with rice flour, it’s more dense porridge than soup – both richer and more toothsome than in other culinary traditions.

This Week’s Events: Mushrooms, Asian Seafood, CSA Fair

Tuesday — the Urban Farm Fermentory is offering a class on growing mushrooms and there will be a wine & cheese tasting at Blue.

Wednesday — Wine Wise is teaching a Wine 101 class.

Thursday — an Asian Seafood cooking class is taking place at Stonewall Kitchen, the Sea Glass restaurant is holding an Argentine wine dinner and Bard is hosting a Latte Art Throwdown for baristas and coffee enthusiasts.

Saturday — the Winter Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — the annual CSA Fair is taking place at locations across the state including Woodford Church on Woodford Street. This is your chance to meet the farmers in person and sign-up for a CSA.

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.

Oysters Threatened & a Stonewall Kitchen Profile

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a report the parasitic disease MSX that’s threatening the oyster industry in Maine,

It was always thought that Maine waters were too cold for the parasite to take hold — until last July. That’s when dead oysters began to show up in the holding rafts, where they are stored for a couple of weeks of de-silting after being harvested from their muddy beds farther up the river.

and profiles of Stonewall Kitchen and its two founders Jonathan King and Jim Stott,

When the partners launched Stonewall Kitchen in 1991, they just wanted to earn a few extra bucks to pay off student loans.

But the market for specialty jams, jellies and sauces, which the partners initially cooked in King’s grandparents’ summer cabin, proved bigger than they imagined. Much bigger.

Under Construction: Exchange Street Cafe

A new sandwich shop, the Exchange Street Cafe, is under construction at 7 Exchange Street. The owner plans to offer “quality food and reasonable prices.” You can see a draft menu (page 67) and floor plan (page 72) in the documents supplied as part of their liquor license application.

If that address sounds familiar it may be because last year an Italian restaurant called Canelli’s was under construction there and in 2009 a sushi bar called Wasabi was slated to open in that spot. Neither ever opened. Hopefully this new venture has better luck.

Voting Begun for the Phoenix Best of Portland Readership Poll

The Portland Phoenix has moved on to the final stage their 2011 Best of Portland readership poll:

  • Step 1, Portlanders wrote in to nominate candidates in any or all of the dozens of categories
  • Step 2, based on the input in step 1, the Phoenix has now published a list of the top nominees from each category for you to vote on

Portland Food Map is a nominee this year for Best Food Blog along with From Away, Mister Meatball, Portland Food Coma and The Spiced Plate.