Review of Petite Jacqueline

Petite Jacqueline received 4 stars from today’s review in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

At Petite Jacqueline, tables are close, portions are reasonable, service is casual and attentive, and food is consistently excellent. The traditional French fare may be regular sustenance to those across the Atlantic, but in Maine, cassoulet, foie gras, coq au vin and steak tartare expertly prepared in-house and served in a lively bistro atmosphere has added another welcome dimension to the city’s dining choices.

Immigrant Kitchens: Panamanian Arroz con Pollo

In the latest entry on Immigrant Kitchens Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Panamanian Arroz con Pollo from Gina Barria (read the recipe and see the photos).

“Panama,” she said, breaking into a smile. Her answer was particularly thrilling to me because a dish from Panama was a missing puzzle piece on my world culinary tour. The prospect of what might unfold from here gave me the butterflies. Learning my first dish from a country, even if I never step foot out of Maine, feels like a major geographic feat, a country traveled, a grand vista earned. So…would she teach me to cook her favorite dish from home?


The Maine Foodie Tours blog has posted a article about Vervacious.

I was most intrigued by her Basque Piri-Piri Table sauce and Harissa spice blends.  Piri-Piri and Harissa are both blends of spices that can vary widely depending on the region of the world.  Vervacious’ Piri-Piri is spicy, but light, a well-balanced blend of vinegar and chilies.

Barber Foods Acquired

According to The Forecaster, AdvancePierre, an Ohio firm, has bought Barber Foods.

The acquisition is expected to significantly increase AdvancePierre’s retail business along the East Coast and in Canada, while maintaining the Barber Foods brand and local operations.

Bill Toler, AdvancePierre Foods chief executive officer, said in a written statement that the acquisition is part of the company’s strategy of buying high-quality companies that compliment AdvanceFoods’s mission.

For additional reporting see the Press Herald and the Portland Daily Sun.

First Date Dining

Natalie Ladd at the Portland Daily Sun has offered some advice on The Art of Dining on a First Date.

No matter how well planned or thought out they may be, first dates can be painful. They can be excruciating to actually be part of, and after the fact often require a giggle-hiding, sympathetic ear from a close friend who is listening to the train wreck of a recantation. Occasionally, it is just as painful to be an unwilling party to the real-life event as it unfolds by serving the first date couple in a restaurant or bar setting.

Locally Grown Package Foods

The front page of today’s Press Herald Food & Dining section reports on efforts by Marada and Leah Cook to start up Northern Girl. The new firm will process and package Maine-grown vegetables into convenient formats such as baby carrots and frozen broccoli. The article also looks at the state of food packaging in Maine in general.

“How many of us have had a rutabaga in the fridge forever?” Marada asked. “But a bag of peeled, cut root vegetables wouldn’t last more than a week in the fridge.”

The desire to make the bounty of Maine’s vegetable farms more accessible is one of the motivations for this endeavor.