Reviews of Empire & China Taste

Today’s Press Herald includes a review of China Taste,

The bottom line: If you’re looking for a place you can run into and grab some quick, American-style Chinese takeout for dinner — and you’re not too fussy — China Taste will suit your needs just fine.

a bar review of Empire Dine and Dance,

There’s something about Empire that I just find relaxing. The broad wooden tables, art on the walls with some connection to music, dim lighting and dark color scheme just put you in a laid-back mood.

and the latest installment of the What Ales You column.

10 Tips to Avoid Getting Fired

The Portland Daily Sun offers 10 tips to avoid getting fired from your Summer restaurant job,

9) Badmouth your place of employment. This seems so obvious, but I’ve heard servers commiserate with customers over marginal food in places that are known for cold beer and live bands instead of the cuisine. Just apologize for their dissatisfaction and go find your manager, boss, or someone with experience who can handle and deflect the complaint.

Immigrant Kitchens: Mexican Chili Pepper Soup

In the latest entry on Immigrant Kitchens Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Mexican Chili Pepper Soupk from Azminda Cancino Garcia (read the recipe and see the photos).

Well into her 30’s with two kids and a husband, Azminda was still being ribbed by her father for being a bad cook. “You need to learn,” he said in Mexican Spanish, “You won’t always have your mother and your sister to do it for you!”

Gogi Closed

According to a report in the Portland Daily Sun, Gogi has gone out of business but one-time co-owner Ian Farnsworth hopes to reopen later this year.

Farnsworth said he sold his interest in Gogi Restaurant to his business partner Hwamin Yi, and that she closed the restaurant, despite his desire to see it continue.

“The dream of this type of restaurant is still alive and I am hopeful I can re-open in a different location by the end of 2012,” Farnsworth wrote on Facebook. (Efforts to contact Yi for comment were unsuccessful.)

Stonyfield/O’Naturals Closed

According to a report in The Forecaster the last of the Stonyfield Cafes (Formerly O’Naturals) closed today.

“We fought through (the downturn) with the optimism it would come back,” McCabe said, noting dinner business never picked up. “It’s too big a space for the  kinds of revenues we were putting through there.”

The shutdown leaves 14 people out of work. McCabe said their average tenure was 6 1/2 years; two people were employed for 11 years.


New Food Blogs: Diningsense and Map & Menu

There are two new food blogs writing about food in and beyond Portland:

  • Perceptive Dining Diningsense plans on examining  “the ways in which Maine restaurants inscribe themselves within the national culinary landscape.” The author has kicked off the blog with a review of Back Bay Grill.
  • Map & Menu is produced by a Portland-area couple to share their travel and dining experience in Maine and across the country. They’ve recently posted a review (and some beautiful photos) of Petite Jacqueline.
  • Post updated to reflect name change for Perceptive Dining to Diningsense.


This Week’s Events: Loire Wine Seminar, Edible Festival of the Book, Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Monday — Devenish Wines and Caiola’s are collaborating on a Loire wine seminar.

ThursdayDave Geary will be at The Great Lost Bear for a brewery showcase, and the Public Market House is holding a wine and cheese tasting.

FridayThe Edible Festival of the Book will be taking place at the Public Library. Aurora Provisions and the West End Deli are holding wine tastings and The Salt Exchange is holding a bourbon tasting.

Saturday — the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Irish Heritage Center.

Sunday — Space Gallery is screening the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

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.