Under Construction: Veranda Asian Market

On the corner of Forest Ave and Vannah Street the Veranda Asian Market is under construction. The store front used to be the home of Aubuchon Hardware.

Based on the name, it seems likely that the  market is part of the Veranda Thai/Veranda Noodle Bar family of businesses. The sign facing Vannah Street indicates they plan on selling take-out food from the market.

This Week’s Events: Jam & Jelly, Networking Breakfast, Veg Food Festival, Taste of the Nation

Monday — Kate McCarty is teaching a jam and jelly making workshop at Whole Foods.

Tuesday — Local Sprouts is hosting their monthly Local Foods Networking Breakfast.

Wednesday — there will be a wine tasting at the Old Port Wine Merchants, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — the City Council subcommittee for Public Safety, Health and Human Services will be reviewing a draft ordinance to allow food trucks to operate in the City. Now that the sunny weather has arrived The Great Lost Bear is showcasing the Beers of Summer.

Saturday — the 8th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival will be held at the East End Community Center, Caiola’s and Devenish Wine are hosting a Wine Tasting Marriage Equality Fundraiser, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — The Well and Devenish Wines are co-hosting an Italian Wine Dinner, Dobra is leading a Chinese tea tasting,  and the Taste of the Nation fundraiser to fight hunger in Maine is taking place on Great Diamond Island. Many of Portland’s best restaurants are participating. You can learn more and buy tickets online at Share Our Strength website.

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.

Portland Magazine Summer Guide

The latest issue of Portland magazine is out and it includes several food articles:

  • An interview with Ned Wight about his company New England Distilling Co.
  • An interview with Adam Richman, host of the Travel Chanel show Best Sandwich in America about his upcoming travel to Maine
  • An article about Maine crayfish
  • An interview with chef Barbara Lynch about cooking with Maine ingrdients
  • A conversation with chefs Jeff Landry, Jay Villani and Abby Harmon about their approach to fish stew

Two of the articles are available online but for the rest you’ll need a print copy of the magazine.

Today’s Location & More Food Truck Reporting (Updated)

Nonna’s Kitchennette and Seoul Sausage are going to be operating again today in the Old Port with film crews from the Great Food Truck Race. Details are still thin but it looks like they’ll be parking on Commercial in front of Ri-Ra.

Here’s a set of reports on last night’s initial appearance of the 2 trucks:

Afternoon Update
Here’s a photo of the trucks out in front of Ri-Ra’s at about 1 pm on Sunday. Both had long lines and crews from the Food Network were filming for the TV show.

Evening Update


First Review of Spread

Spread has received 4 stars from a review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Those gaffes noted and accounted for, Spread is still a “wow.” And if Spread is a “wow” now, I anticipate a “double wow” once the restaurant sorts out its growing pains. Spread brings urban chic to Portland, along with an excuse to step outside my typical clothes closet. While certainly not Hollywood’s Rainbow Room in its heyday, I did see two local celebrities in the course of the night.

Look sharp, sample the colorful cocktail menu, and prepare to enjoy an evening of inventive and eclectic dining like well-dressed grown-ups.


Great Food Truck Race Coming to Portland Today! (Updated with photos)

Two finalists in the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race are en route to Portland and should be arriving this afternoon. From what I’ve heard, due to some special event license, they will be able to operate in the city once they get here. The 2 food trucks are:

  • Nonna’s Kitchenette from Parsippany, NJ. Here’s the menu: Fried Ravioli $7, Meatball Madness $9, Pizelle Gelato Sandwich $6, East Coast Ice Cream Float $5, Italian Sweet Balls $5. All of it looked good. I especially enjoyed the fried balls with powdered sugar.
  • Seoul Sausage from Los Angeles. Here’s the menu: KBBQ Burger $8, Flaming Fried Balls $5, Korean Tatas Supreme $8, Strawberry Lemonade $3.

5 pm: Nonna’s arrived and texted to let me know they’re at 408 Fore Street by the time I walked 2 blocks over from Middle Street there was already a line. Portland’s food writer’s have put in a good showing with Edible Obessions, Chubby Werewolf, and Meredith Goad from the Press Herald also showing up for the fun. A pair of newlyweds also stopped by.

8 pm: Seoul Sausage arrived and parked a few spots in front of Nonna’s. They’re located right outside of Gritty’s. They just have 1 hour to sell due to the rules of the contest.

Chef Tony Mantuano Coming to Portland

Press Herald food blog Maine a la Carte reports that Chef Tony Mantuano will be coming to Portland in July for a special wine dinner at Carmen at the Danforth. Mantuanu is the chef at Spiaggia in Chicago.

The critically-acclaimed Spiaggia has been called one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. It was nominated for “Outstanding Restaurant in America” by the James Beard Foundation in 2006, 2007 and 2010. In 2005, Mantuano was named James Beard’s Best Chef: Midwest. Spiaggia is a favorite dining spot for the president and first lady, who celebrated Obama’s presidential election victory there in 2008. Oprah Winfrey has also been a frequent guest.

New England Fishing Stocks Remain Low

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on the disappointing state of New England fish stocks.

It’s not a bad day, given the state of the Gulf of Maine’s fisheries, but all told there are just 25,000 pounds of product on the floor. Bert Jongerden, the exchange’s general manager, estimates that the publicly owned facility is on target for 5 million to 6 million pounds in 2012, ahead of the record low of 3.8 million pounds in 2010, but a fraction of the 20 million pounds it took in annually in the 1990s.

First Review of Carmen at the Danforth

The Golden Dish has published a review of Carmen at the Danforth.

We started off by sharing the bacalao fritters, a soulful dish of salt cod redolent of the kitchen’s assertive style. This was followed by a trio of appetizers that included manchego fritters, plantains topped with smoked salmon, Berkshire pork bites and monkfish croquettes—each one superbly invigorating.