Review of Ruski’s, Fool’s Gold, Red Tide

Ruski’s received 4 stars from the Eat & Run review in today’s Press Herald.

The other marvelous thing about Ruski’s is the brunch menu, which is available all day. From eggs and hash to waffles and omelets, they’ve got the bases covered. With a friendly staff, the Red Sox game on mute and some good old-fashioned staples, I dare say I may soon become a Ruski’s regular.

Today’s paper also includes an article about the low levels of red tide in Maine this year,

Maine and the rest of New England have had a second straight year of mild red tide outbreaks, bringing relief to the clamming industry after two consecutive years of widespread clam flat closures because of red tide.

and the latest installment of the What Ales You column.

Fool’s Gold is Sebago’s version of a California common ale, the most common of which is Anchor Steam Beer out of San Francisco. Although it’s made with lager yeast, it’s fermented at room temperature instead of the cooler temperatures usually used for a lager.

Portland Trails Recipe Contest & the Center for African Heritage

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a report on the winner of the Portland Trails recipe contest,

As a mother of two, a grandmother of four and a former sixth-grade teacher, Vesta Rand knows how to get kids excited about food. As an avid walker, she also knows what it takes to create portable eats.

So it’s hardly a surprise that her entry for Portland Trails’ first Trail Gourmet contest took top honors.

and an article about the gardening program at the Center for African Heritage in Falmouth,

Boulis Kodi treads lightly through a thriving garden patch, showing off a summer’s worth of hard work by Nuba Mountain refugees from Sudan.

“This is the sweet corn, and this is the tomatoes over here,” said Kodi, who is the farm manager for the Center for African Heritage garden project at Tidewater Farm, just down the road from the University of Maine Regional Learning Center.


Comparative Cupcake Tasting II

Back last November Appetite Portland and The Blueberry Files joined Edible Obsessions for a comparative tasting of cupcakes from 7 local bakeries, but that was just a down payment on a complete survey of Portland area cupcake culture. Recently the original three bloggers plus Maine Foodie Finds, Vrai-lean-uh and From Away convened for the second and final round:

Appetite Portland

Overall: While I enjoyed a frosting here and a cake consistency there, I left the event rather saddened. Perhaps it was the humidity. Perhaps the nostalgia had worn off after the first throwdown last November. Or, perhaps I simply expected too much. Whatever the cause, a scan through my notes revealed the phrases “simply flavorless,” “pasty, plastic film,” and “like a stale devil dog.” read the full article

Edible Obsessions

While the food media has seemingly turned its back on cupcakes and declared them ‘over,’ this experiment has definitely shown me (or, perhaps, just reminded) that the cupcake is a classic and too deeply imbedded in our food memory hard wiring to be at the mercy of trends. And we are in the company of some damn skilled bakers who are eager to prove just that. read the full article

From Away

The European Bakery is an Old World type tea room with thick carpeting and pirouetting cakes on display. Their carrot cupcakes were so much better than I expected, with gooey cake studded with walnuts and a not too sharp cream cheese frosting. With so many cutesy, etsy, DIY-ish, delivered by a dirty hipster on a bicycle-type places running rampant these days – in a good way – I was surely surprised by how much I enjoyed these, from a plain old bakery manned by teenagers (teened by managers?!) on RT. 1 in Falmouth. My favorite. read the full article

The Blueberry Files

Another of my favories was the chocolate with chocolate ganache from Sugar Hill Bakery. I’m not a huge chocolate dessert fan, and this one really wowed me. It was a light chocolate ganache, not a thick, heavy fondant-like layer. read the full article


In every person’s life, there are events that cause us to re-evaluate how we think of ourselves. I never imagined I would be the kind of person who would be all, “Oh woe is me, there are just too many cupcakes. I cannot eat another bite. This is terribly sugary bla bla bla.” read the full article

The post from Maine Foodie Findshas been delayed. I’ll add it to this summary as soon as it become available.

Review of Gingko Blue

Portland Bar Guide has posted a review of Gingko Blue,

When evening finally rolled around, all I wanted was a cocktail that would quench my thirst and keep the heat at bay. I described my dilemma to the bartender, and before me appeared the perfect remedy in the form of a Sassy Southern Peach Tea made from Sweet Carolina Peach Vodka, house-infused habanero vodka, peach puree, unsweetened iced tea and Sparkelle Peach ($12). The spicy kick of habanero, coupled with the fresh, punchy crispness of perfectly ripe peaches, was a delightful antidote to my day.

Otto’s in Food Network Magazine Top 50

Otto’s mashed potato, bacon and scallion pizza has made it into the Food Network Magazine’s list of the 50 best pizza’s in the nation. (via the Press Herald)

For much of the year, Maine weather demands serious comfort food, and Otto Pizza’s co-owners, Mike Keon and Anthony Allen, were determined to deliver it: They created a pizza topped with mashed potatoes, meatloaf and gravy. Customers didn’t go for it, but when the two edited the toppings to this perfect combo — buttery mashed potatoes, bacon and scallions — it became an instant best-seller.

This Week’s Events: Roguepalooza, St Peter’s Bazaar, Green Tea Class

Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — the South Portland Farmers Market is taking place in the afternoon.

Friday — it’s the opening day of the 4th Annual Roguepalooza at Novare Res and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli.

Saturday — it’s the opening day of 86th Annual St Peter’s Italian Bazaar, there will be an Italian wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place. It’s the last day of the Roguepalooza at Novare Res.

Sunday — Dobra is teaching a class on green tea and it’s the last day of 86th Annual St Peter’s Italian Bazaar.

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.