Review of Maria’s

Maria’s Ristorante receives 3 stars from the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Last reviewed here in 2005 when it was awarded four stars, Maria’s remains an old-fashioned Italian eatery, with substantial portions of traditional homestyle food that’s moderately priced. Still, in that time Portland has evolved even more as a city for new and creative culinary endeavors, which makes this place, in contrast, feel dated. Great meatballs, marinara, bruschetta and desserts; the rest that we tried, albeit mostly homemade, is standard fare. Families, groups and couples who are drawn to this type of atmosphere will find it a good place to kick back with some red wine and red sauce and feel completely apart from the world outside.

Review of The Thirsty Pig

From Away has published a review of The Thirsty Pig.

Regardless of how it got there, The Thirsty Pig is a wonderful addition to Portland’s food scene; not only are there few places to get a complete lunch, including a pint of beer, for under eight bucks in this city, but the level of care and quality in that lunch sets The Thirsty Pig well beyond the reach of its competitors. This is unabashed beer-drinking food; eat a sausage, and you’ll want a pint, which will make you crave another sausage, and then another pint, until you lack the ability to get up out of the cozy booth you’re seated in. It’s a perfect way to spend a rainy weekend afternoon with nothing to do, tucked in with friends, letting the pitchers flow, and keeping the grilled sausages coming.

Next Step Forward for Food Trucks

The effort to allow food trucks to operate in Portland took another step forward yesterday. According to an article in the Press Herald a proposed set of policy recommendations were approved by the Creative Portland Corporation board by a vote of 6-1. The recommendations will now be forwarded to the City Council Health and Recreation Subcommittee for review.

If the committee likes what it sees, it will place the recommendations into an ordinance, which it will send to the City Council for final approval.

“A lot of good work has been done in a very short period of time,” said Christopher Campbell, a Creative Portland board member, before voting yes on the recommendations.

For additional reporting read the food trucks in Thursday’s Portland Daily Sun.

Review of the Museum Cafe

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of the Museum Cafe.

They do specialize in dishes that allow patrons to get a little sculptural — charcuterie and pâtés, for example, that you can assemble on toasted bread with various accoutrements. One version featured salmon two ways — smoked and as a pâté (served in a little goblet) that mixed the smoked and the poached. It was a handsome plate, and pleasant to eat. In the pâté the sweet flavor of poached fish was mellowed and deepened by the smokier notes. Bitter little sunflower sprouts were an interesting touch.

Sustainable Harvest on the Harbor

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a report on the sustainable seafood chefs will be cooking with at the Ultimate Seafood Splash during Harvest on the Harbor.

But mackerel is out of season this time of year, and it doesn’t freeze well, so redfish — also known as ocean perch — has replaced it on Hayward’s Harvest on the Harbor menu. Redfish is usually available year round, but it comes closer to shore in summer and fall, according to Grimley.

A favorite of fishermen often relegated to the baitfish bin, redfish tastes similar to cod or haddock, but is a smaller filet and a little more dense.

Review of the Miss Portland Diner

The Golden Dish has published a review of the Miss Portland Diner.

On another occasion the hamburger platter was excellent: A half-pound of Angus beef grilled just right. But it was marred by a tomato slice that came from one of those warehouse-ripened varieties. 

Breakfast, served all day, is classic stuff. All manner of eggs, decent home-fries, excellent corned beef hash, and respectable pancakes and French toast are well made.

This Week’s Events: El Bulli Industry Night, Syrah/Shiraz, Open Creamery Day

Monday — an industry night showing of El Bulli: Cooking in Progress at the Museum of Art.

Wednesday — Wine Wise is leading a class on the styles of Syrah/Shiraz and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — the South Portland Farmers Market is taking place in the afternoon, and The Great Lost Bear will be showcasing pumpkin ales.

Friday — there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli.

Saturday — the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — cheesemakers across the state are participating in Open Creamery Day.

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.