Review of Cafe at Pat’s

Joe Ricchio has penned a review of the Cafe at Pat’s for the Maine magazine blog.

It is important to keep in mind that, as of this visit, the Cafe at Pat’s had only been open for about two weeks. Nothing about my experience even remotely suggested this to be the case, as each aspect was seamless and well executed. I look forward to joining the many regulars here for more ambience- and wine-induced ramblings throughout the fall and the long winter that follows.

Wine & Meatball Tasting

Mister Meatball has posted a report on the meatball and wine tasting he organized with James Beard Award-nominated sommelier Scott Tyree.

The sommelier, who had barely touched his own frosty beverage, quickly displayed a far more complex understanding of our mission. I became hip to this when he brought out a crisp pad of paper, a pen and a pair of what I would describe as handsome yet rather stern-looking reading glasses. This must have rattled me more than I was aware because as our waitress delivered my newly opened beer I instructed her to please go ahead and bring me another at her earliest convenience.


Bar Review of Gauchos

Portland Bar Guide has published a review of Gauchos.

The focal point is the curved semi-circle bar that curls into the space between the two doorways to the dining areas. About 15 unique, metal-worked chair-type stools make the bar a place where you can take a group of friends or co-workers for a quick drink and bite to eat. If you visit on your own, as I did, the outgoing staff and friendly regular patrons of Gauchos will make sure you don’t feel alone.

Iraqi Chicken and Rice

In the latest entry on Immigrant Kitchens Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Iraqi Chicken and Rice from Mona Galee (read the recipe and see the photos).

The grey spice she was putting in the rice is a combination of ground green cardamom pods, cinnamon powder, whole cumin, whole clove, and black pepper. She calls it bar timon. Then she ads turmeric to make the rice yellow. Once the chicken has cooked through in the spices and water, she takes it out of the gidduh, and then pan-fries the whole chicken in a wok. The spice-infused bird takes on a crispy texture and gorgeous golden-brown color. She mounts it on a platter on top of the yellow rice and sprinkles sautéed golden raisons and onions all around…

Alcohol at the Market

City government is considering a change that would allow alcohol to be sold at the Farms Market.

Small-scale vintners, brewers and cider-makers would be allowed to sell their products at the Portland Farmer’s Market under a proposal before the city council’s Health and Recreation subcommittee today.

As drafted, the plan would amend the city’s Farmer’s Market rules to allow sale of fermented beverages such as beer, wine and hard ciders as long as the seller held a state license and met conditions to sell at the city’s farmer’s market.

Indie Biz Award Nominees

Buy Local has published the list of nominees for the 2011 Indie Biz Awards. The nominees include: Local Sprouts, El Rayo, Local 188, Silly’s, Rosemont, Dobra Tea, the Portland Farmers Market, Sebago Brewing, Dean’s Sweets, Y-Lime Cupcakes, Coffee by Design, Allagash, The Honey Exchange, and Micucci’s.

Voting is now open, and the awards presentation is scheduled to take place October 18.

Michael Barriault, 64

Michael Barriault passed away this weekend after a fight with cancer. Barriault was well known in the Portland food community for the photos he published on PortlandTown of special events and the every day happenings of the Portland food scene. He will be missed.

Services are taking place at Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland on Sunday.

The Forecaster, where he worked as a photographer, has posted an article today about Michael,

But it was all part of what made Michael who he was: dedicated, reliable, creative, passionate and one of a kind. It was what made having him around so entertaining and rewarding for those who worked with him. He only turned assignments down when he and Toby were traveling, or doing a large local show. We relied on him and always expected the unexpected from him.

Several customers of The Salt Exchange have posted their memories of Michael on the TSE Facebook wall and there is an online guestbook on

An obituary for Michael appeared in the Press Herald and in The Forecaster,

Michael’s photos enlivened the pages of such publications as The Forecaster, Maine Magazine and Downeast as well as many restaurant websites. One of Portland’s most active food bloggers, his luscious images became an exciting addition to the local food scene through his blog: