Holiday Season Challenges

Portland Daily Sun columnist has highlighted some of the special challenges of waiting tables during the holiday season,

We’re serving large groups at holiday dinners where people drink too much, offend coworkers, tell inappropriate personal stories a bit too loudly, and inevitably eat and drink too much. The parties have just started and I know this will be a season with many tidbits to share.

Under Construction: Food Factory Miyake

Miyake is planning to revive their original spot on Spring Street to (re)launch Food Factory Miyake next year, as a BYOB casual restaurant serving Japanese comfort food. Food Factory Miyake was the original name for Miyake when it first opened at 129 Spring Street in 2007.

Ever since 2011 when Miyake moved to Fore Street, the old space has been used for offices and as a base of operations for catering.

Duckfat on CNN

CNN has included Duckfat on their list of the Best French fries in the U.S.

When it comes to delivering the perfect fry, it’s all in the name at this Portland sandwich shop. The locally sourced potatoes are twice fried in a healthy coating of duck fat that results in a crunchy exterior but leaves each fry’s interior fresh and tender. They’re then served in paper cones with a handful of specially made dips like smoked mussel mayo and chopped egg and caper mayo. Being close to Canada, Duckfat also offers its own version of poutine, topping those same crispy fries with a heaping of local cheese curd and house-made duck gravy.

WLBZ checked in with chef/owner Rob Evans to get his reaction.

For additional commentary and reporting see Culture Shock.

Review of Pocket Brunch

Food Coma has published a review of the November Pocket Brunch.

So that must be what keeps the critical mass of Pocket Brunch growing, the desire to experience a one day only performance by a group of cooks, dishing out material straight from the heart. This is something no mere restaurant could ever offer, either to its customers or the men and women that work the line.

This Week’s Events: Cloak & Dagger Tapas, Slow Food Potluck, Lobster Symposium, Winter Farmers Market

MondayCloak & Dagger is serving a tapas dinner, to welcome a group of Italian students visiting Maine, Slow Food Portland is holding a potluck lunch and a dinner at The Farmer’s Table.

WednesdayThe American Lobster in a Changing Ecosystem, a 2-day science symposium is taking place.

Thursday — the author of Hoosh: Roast Penguins, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine will be at Longfellow for a book signing, Vignola/Cinque Terre is holding an Italian Beer Dinner, The Great Lost Bear will be showcasing Christmas Beers, and it’s the 2nd day of the lobster symposium.

Fridaythere will be wine tasting at Rosemont on Brighton.

Saturday —the first Winter Farmers Market of the season is taking place, Novare Res will be one of only 17 bars in North America to be selling Cantillon Zwanze this year, and there will be wine tastings at Browne Trading and LeRoux Kitchen.

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 Gather

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Gather.

Surround yourself with warmth, energy, company and very good food at Gather, whose purpose is to offer healthy, locally sourced and deliciously prepared food so that people of all ages and many incomes can partake. The restaurant succeeds admirably. You may not gush, but you’ll certainly enjoy.

Review of Hot Suppa

The Golden Dish has published a review of Hot Suppa.

Places like Hot Suppa serve the kind of food that I go for in a big way: hearty down-home fare that when it’s done with care and cunning can be a soul-satisfying experience. But when the pageantry of such comfort grub goes awry, the allure is short-lived.

In other words, I’ve had two lackluster meals at Hot Suppa recently when my expectations were set so high.