Review of East Ender

Chubby Werewolf has published a review of East Ender.

So where does the East Ender “Eastburger” stand in the pantheon of great burgers? Well, it wasn’t a home run. At least, not for me. But it was certainly a good burger and one which I’m inclined to try again sometime soon. I do think the bacon is likely to be better the next time around, and I’d love to see the bun get a little smaller (and the caraway seeds nixed altogether).

Immigrant Kitchens: A Traditional Japanese Family Meal

In the latest entry on Immigrant Kitchens Lindsey Sterling learns how to make “A Traditional Japanese Family Meal” from Chieko Miyake (read the recipe and see the photos).

Chieko Miyake and I met in our daughters’ elementary school. I noticed she had an accent. I asked where she was from. And then, I asked if she would teach me how to cook her favorite dish. She was more surprised than others have been at the question (if that’s possible) because usually it’s her husband that everybody wants to cook with. He’s a famous chef. She joked, “But the kids like my food better.”

Updated: Petite Jacqueline Now Open

Petite Jacqueline is now open for business in Longfellow Square. The French bistro is the creation of Steve and Michelle Corry, the owners of Five Fifty-Five. Petite Jacqueline is reportedly named for Michelle Corry’s French grandmother.

On opening night they’re serving a limited 3-course Maine Restaurant Week menu with a handful of options for appetizers, entrees and desserts. (Note: a sample menu is now on the restaurant’s website)

For additional reporting see the Maine Travel Maven and The Golden Dish.

Broad Survey of Chinese Food in Greater Portland

On the heels of the survey of Chinese buffets published last week in The Bollard comes a broad-based look at 8 Chinese restaurants in the Greater Portland area by From Away. From Away has published an omnibus review of Jan Mee, Lang’s Express, Oriental Table, Panda Garden,and Valley Chinese Cuisine in Portland as well as Chia Sen in Scarborough, and both Super Great Wall Buffet and Imperial China in South Portland.

Here’s what it’s taken me eight restaurants and a little over 5,500 words to figure out: The overall Chinese food situation in Portland is not good. After testing all the restaurants that lead in popular opinion, we couldn’t find one to recommend across-the-board. Some restaurants did one or two things well, while severely botching others, and some restaurants couldn’t seem to get anything right. Our suggestions for where to go for Chinese depend entirely on what you like, and if were forced to pick favorites, among a huge batch of very, very similar food, they would go as follows…

Restaurant Etiquette

Portland Daily Sun columnist Natalie Ladd passes on a selection of diner etiquette recommendations/observations from a server at a Portland restaurant.

So many of Lydia’s restaurant-based observations are applicable to all aspects of life and while I am still sorting them into categories for future reference, here (with very little paraphrasing) are some of her most relevant thoughts:

Interrupting gets you nowhere. Saying, “excuse me” loudly while your server is attending to the table next to you is rude to the server and other table, and generally makes you look like an ass. December 12, 2007

Little Lad’s Reopened

After several months in limbo, Little Lad’s reopened last Wednesday.

Last July, a Facebook follower wondered what it would take for Little Lad’s Bakery and Cafe at 482 Congress St. to reopen.

The answer, it turns out, was Steve Jordan and Renee Keele. The couple reopened the popular vegan cafe near Monument Square last Wednesday, after months when the business sat idle while the restaurant owner paid rent on the site.

Chef’s Favorite Things & Loans for Farms

The Press Herald asked 20  Maine chefs to share their favorite, thing, idea or technique from the past year, and have compiled the results in today’s paper.

The newest technique that I have found to be very helpful in the kitchen is using my food processor in some of our charcuterie processes. Before I read about this technique, I relied solely on my meat grinder for processing meats, which works great for coarse, country-style sausages and pates. But when I want to make something a little more refined, with a smooth, delicate texture, I will grind the meat first and then use the food processor to finish the process. Doing this helps me to make beautiful mortadella, which has become a favorite on our daily charcuterie board.

— Peter Sueltenfuss, chef, District, Portland

Also in today’s paper is an article about the No Small Potatoes Investment Club which provides low interest loans to farmers.

So far, the group has made three loans. In addition to the Thirty Acre Farm loan, the club has loaned money to Heiwa Tofu in Camden and Lalibela Farm in Dresden.

“I love aligning my beliefs with my investments,” said Eleanor Kinney of Bremen, another founding club member. “This is a different model than having stock in companies that make products which I’d never feed my children.”

Reviews of Bresca and Otto

Vin et Grub has published a review of Bresca.

It goes without saying that my meal at Bresca was by far the best meal I’ve ever had.  It redefined eating and reaffirmed my passion.  I’ve always felt that my expectations are a bit lofty, but Bresca met each and everyone of them.  The only thing I can think to compare Bresca to is a Chanel Purse.  It’s classic and it’s a luxury item.  Indulging is well worth the price and the wait, especially because spots fill up two weeks in advance.  I certainly recommend taking a trip to Bresca- especially when you feel like spoiling yourself rotten and changing your perspective on the food you eat.

The Golden Dish has published a review of Otto Pizza.

The offending wedge that I got was tepid and tired. There wasn’t much bacon or scallion flavor but the lumpy addition of potatoes (which sounds like a really bad pairing anyway) stayed with me all day like a chunk stuck somewhere in my digestive tract…Maybe it’s unfair to judge Otto’s on one slice of pizza at one visit. But, like I said, that slice should have been better.