Reviews of Dobra Tea and The Porthole

Instant Portland has published a review of Dobra Tea.

I have to confess that tea is my weakness. Not just any tea, mind you, but carefully brewed tea … it is the ritual of tea, if you will, that is my weakness. The teapot. The quiet moment of waiting while the leaves steep. The sound of the water pouring into the cup. The feel of the warm steam just before you take your first sip. If this is your weakness as well, then Dobra Tea will become your new favorite place.

Eat Here. Go There. has published a brunch review of The Porthole.

While the service was slow (it took 45 minutes to get our breakfast after we ordered), I have decided to give them a free pass since it was a holiday (and that place was being overrun by early morning drunk people). The Porthole is a great staple for a cheap brunch in the Old Port, and I have yet to be disappointed with their food. After we ate, we walked around, full bellied, and basked in the early spring sunshine. Who could ask for more?

Union Bagel, Farmers Market and 2012 Maple Season

This week’s Forecaster includes articles about Union Bagel,

On the 18th day, the Kickstarter crowd spoke, and the word was “bagels.”

Paul Farrell, a burly boat-builder turned labor organizer turned bagel baker and the driving force behind the upstart Union Bagel Co., couldn’t be happier.

an effort by farmers to gain more direct control over the management of the Farmers Market,

Market coordinator Dan Price asked the city to give the Farmers Market Association the power to determine membership, enforce association rules, and collect fees from participating farmers, according to a memo from the city’s associate corporation counsel, Anne Freeman.

and the 2012 maple syrup season.

“It won’t be a banner year,” Gorham resident Lyle Merrifield said. “This may be a about half to three-quarters crop.”

Under Construction: Eventide Oyster & Speckled Ax Espresso

A pair of updates for the Under Construction list:

  • The new coffee shop under development on Congress Street by the owner of Matt’s Wood-Roasted Coffee is slated to be named Speckled Ax Espresso. A regular contributor to PFM wrote to inform me that Speckled Ax is a reference to a story from Ben Franklin autobiography. Speckled Ax is scheduled to open sometime in April.
  • The new owners of Hugo’s have leased the space formally occupied by Rabelais and plan on remaking it into a companion restaurant called Eventide Oyster Company. In addition to oysters the owners plan on serving a more casual menu of other items. Eventide will have a separate entrance but the two restaurants will be connected by sharing a common kitchen. It’s scheduled to open this Spring.

This Week’s Events: JBF Finalists, Gala for Gary, Maine Maple Sunday, Wine Brunch, Taste of the Nation Tickets

Monday — the final list of nominees for this year’s James Beard Awards are scheduled to be announced. Check back later today for details on which semi-finalists from Maine made the short list.

Tuesday — Local Sprouts is hosting their monthly local foods networking breakfast, and the Urban Farm Fermentory is teaching a workshop on how to plan an herb garden.

Wednesday — The 7th annual Gala for Gary is taking place, and Wine Wise is leading an French Reds wine walk.

Thursday — there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Harpoon Brewery.

Friday — there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont on Brighton.

Saturday —there will be a gelato tasting at Rosemont on Brighton and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Irish Heritage Center.

Sunday — it’s Maine Maple Sunday, and BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe is holding a Wine Brunch (menu).

Taste of the Nationtickets are now on sale for this year’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser to fight hunger in Maine.

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.

Review of Schulte & Herr

Schulte & Herr received 4 stars from the review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Delicious, high-quality, homestyle German food, most of it made in-house, served in a storefront restaurant in downtown Portland. The proprietors bring skill, personal attention and passion to their small eatery, which fills an ethnic gap in Portland’s celebrated culinary scene and offers a very good value to boot.

Change in Ownership at Hugo’s

According to their liquor license application filed with the city, partners Arlin Smith, Michael Wiley and Andrew Taylor are in the process of buying Hugo’s from the current owners, chef Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh.

Smith, Wiley and Taylor are not new faces at Hugo’s. They’ve served as the general manager, chef-de-cuisine and sous chef at the restaurant for the past 2 years.

A letter filed with their application states,

Today Hugo’s is a restaurant with a firm footing, a national reputation and a loyal following of vacationers and locals alike. With continuity as its primary goal, AMA LLC proudly accepts the responsibility, passed down from Rob and Nancy, to lead Hugo’s into another profitable decade. We are confident that the transition of ownership will be seamless: employees, patrons and our purveyors will continue to enjoy their profitable relationship with Hugo’s.

For additional information, read this article from the Press Herald.

Crowdfunding: Union Bagel & Gelato Fiasco

Owners of Union Bagel Company and Gelato Fiasco were interviewed for a story on MPBN Radio about how Maine businesses are using funding sources like Kickstarter to expand and establish their businesses.

Once you’ve got that, you post a video to the Kickstarter website and a pitch, set a minimum funding goal and a timeframe, then spread the word so that people go to the website to make a donation. Union Bagel met its goal of $7,500 in just 18 days, and donations are still coming in.