Soup Reviews: Aroma, Schulte & Herr, Kamasouptra, Thanh Thanh, Duckfat

As a second act to last month’s chowder reviews, the O-Rama group has put their focus in April on reviewing some of the better soup options in town.

Eat Here, Go ThereAroma

Mulligatawny is a curry-flavored lentil soup. The soup at Aroma has a rich green color and is a really nice blend of spicy and salty. Everyone tasted it and agreed—it was a clear winner. I would definitely order this again. It was well-balanced and the kick after you swallow only added to the depth of its flavors. read the full article

Edible ObsessionsSchulte & Herr

I can tell you, without doubt or hesitation, that it tastes as good as it looks. You may not have a tendency to crave a warm soup on an equally warm day, but this may have you thinking a bit different. The broth, with all of its chunky, meaty goodness, is surprisingly light in both texture and flavor and a far cry from the cold weather gruel one mentally associates with Borscht. read the full article

Instant PortlandKamasouptra

soup isn’t just fall and winter food. Sure, a nice bowl of soup can warm you from your nose to your toes on a blustery day, but one of the joys of visiting Kamasouptra is that their menu changes daily. Whatever the weather outside, they offer a flavor of soup to satisfy your hunger and also (if I may be so bold) feed your soul. As the name implies, they love soup, and their love shows in their final product. read the full article

The Blueberry FilesThanh Thanh 2

Too frequently, soup at a restaurant is over salted to make up for a lack of complex flavors, and it’s rare that you find a soup that makes you stop and wonder how they got so much flavor into one spoonful. But this pho, with its layered base of stock, variety of ingredients, and hearty flavor is a soup that is beyond my culinary grasp and kept me guessing between slurps. read the full article


And their tomato fennel drizzled with basic oil is fantastic. It is the soup that makes me disappointed when I make tomato soups, because they are never as good. The roasted fennel flavor is clear but not overpowering and matches the tomato perfectly. It is wonderful. You should order it. read the full article

As for my recommendations I’d suggest you give the soup at Cobblestones a try. I had the Beef and Barley a few months ago and have been making regular trips back to sample their menu ever since.

This Week’s Events: Great Gatsby, Food+Farm, Community Food Forum, Merryvale Dinner

Monday — The Salt Exchange is hosting a Great Gatsby dinner featuring “classic 1920’s fare and cocktails”.

Wednesday — The Salt Exchange is hosting a wine dinner featuring the Merryvale Vineyards.

Thursday — the 2012 Portland Community Food Forum is taking place. Vin et Grub is hosting a Cloak & Dagger dinner party, Sarah Fioroni, author of A Family Farm in Tuscany will be at Longfellow Books for a book signing, and as part of this year’s Food+Farm series SPACE is screening the movie Locavore: Local Diet, Healthy Planet

Friday — Food+Farm continues with a screening of the movie The Harvest/La Cosecha, and there will be a beer tasting at the West End Deli.

Saturday — the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Irish Heritage Center, and Food+Farm enters its third day with Grow Faire where master gardeners will offer 20-minute free consultations and UFF will offer 2 workshops on organic gardens and kombucha.

Sunday — it’s movie night at Petite Jacqueline, and Food+Farm will finish up with a Cultivating Community event in the morning, and a screening of the movie The Perennial in the evening.

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.

Food Truck Update

The Saturday Portland Daily Sun has published an update on the food truck task force.

While the task force previously kicked around the idea of figuring out the distance that a food truck ought to be from a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, Friday’s conversation shifted to where the trucks ought to be allowed to operate rather than where they can’t.

The idea that came out of the discussion was creating an overlay zone for parts of the Portland peninsula that would be suitable for food trucks.

Review of Paciarino

Map & Menu has published a review of Paciarino.

There are a few Italian-inspired restaurants in Portland that we’ll always love, but we both agreed that the food at Paciarino just felt more Italian than that of any other restaurant in town. The ingredients are simple, wholesome, and fresh, which, in my mind, only further supports Paciarino’s authentic Italian cuisine and motto: ‘Eat well… live long.’

Selecting a CSA

Vrai-lean-uh has posted some advice on what to look for when selecting a CSA.

The other point is that there are many types of farms and CSAs**, and which (or if) one works best for you depends on a number of things. When I was first choosing a CSA, I made a spreadsheet. I am the kind of person who encounters a situation with many options and variables and makes a spreadsheet. You could make a list? Or mentally compare? I just don’t want you to lay down $500 and be unhappy.

Here are some things to consider…

Ball Park Eats

Today’s Portland Daily Sun reports on this season’s menu at Hadlock Field.

No ballpark favorites are being cut, but a few new options are available.

“We’re introducing a Healthy Food Line in our new Shipyard Grill, located down the third base side,” said Portland Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa. “We’ll be offering two different kinds of Italians, chicken and veggie wraps, and two different salads. Shane’s of Maine frozen yogurt will be at all concession stands, and as far as the healthy line goes, we’re happy to try it again.”

Reviews of Marcy’s and Blue, Duckfat Cook on Chopped

The Press Herald has published a review of Marcy’s,

My sunny-side up eggs were perfect, with nice big yolks. When I see “home fries” on the menu, I think of chunks of potatoes. But I got what I consider hash browns — thin, shredded potatoes. Maybe they were out of the chunky ones. I didn’t care, because these were some of the best hash browns I’ve ever had. No pre-made hash brown patties for Marcy’s. This was a big ole’ mess of shredded potatoes, nice and toasty, with just the right amount of crispness.

and a bar review of Blue.

On one wall, large chalkboards display the night’s menu, featured wines and beer listings. Blue has eight beers on tap and three more offered by the bottle. The average price is about $5. There were eight wines to choose from, ranging from $6 to $10, a couple of which you can buy by the bottle. If you’re looking for a liquor drink at Blue, though, you’re out of luck.

Today’s paper also includes a report on Duckfat cook Melissa Corey’s recent appearance on Chopped,

“I was the youngest contestant and the only female contestant, so it was sort of intimidating first walking in there,” Corey said in a phone interview from Chicago. “I don’t think any of the guys who were against me thought that I would be the one to pull it off in the end. I think I sort of surprised them.”

and the latest installment of the What Ales You column.