Review of Saigon

Edible Obsessions has published a review of Saigon.

But, the surprise of the meal, though was an appetizer special of steamed rice pancake, ground pork, pork skin, onions, pickled daikon and carrot, basil, lettuce, cucumber and fish sauce. It looked like a deconstructed Banh Mi, minus the baguette and mayonnaise…

Under Construction: Local 188 Bakery & Boone’s


Two of Portland’s best known restaurateurs continue to extend their reach in the city:

  • Jay Villani launched Local 188 in 1999, opened Sonny’s 2010, and has a barbeque restaurant under construction at 915 Congress Street called Salvage BBQ & Smokehouse. He’s now leased 742 Congress Street and is turning the space into a bakery he hopes to open sometime this summer. The space was most recently the Bubble Room Laundrymat.
  • Harding Smith’s newest restaurant under development on Custom House Wharf is going in a location that for 107+ years was the home of Boone’s Restaurant. According to an ad in the March issue of Maine magazine, he’s naming it Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room.

For more details on all the new food businesses under development see the Under Construction List.

This Week’s Events: Latte Art Competition, Incredible Breakfast Cook-off, Maine Restaurant Week, MOFGA Event

WednesdayThe Merry Table is serving a 5-course French wine dinner.

Thursday — Bard is hosting the monthly latte art barista competition, Grace is restarting their wine education program, there will be a mead and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and the Great Lost Bear will be featuring beers from Victory Brewing.

Friday — the Incredible Breakfast Cook-off is taking place, Wine Wise is teaching a class on Port, there will be wine tastings at the West End Deli and Rosemont, and a Gritty’s tap takeover at Taco Escobarr. It’s the first day of Maine Restaurant Week and concurrently Grace is raising money to fight hunger in Maine by donating $1 for every 3-course $30 meal ordered March 1-8.

Saturday — there will be wine tastings at Browne Trading and LeRoux Kitchen, and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — MOFGA’s Meet Your Farmers and Fishermen event is taking place at Woodfoord Church, and Two Fat Cats is teaching a baking class.

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 J’s Oyster Bar

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of J’s Oyster Bar.

Remember that J’s is a joint. Entrees are ample and tasty, and diners won’t leave hungry, but it’s not fine dining. It’s a sleeves rolled up, slurp some oysters with basic horseradish and shoot the (expletive deleted) over a few beers locale. Placemats are paper, and house rules are clearly stated on cards at each table.

And that’s part of J’s charm.

Veranda Asian Market

The Bangor Daily News has posted a video tour of Veranda Asian Market.

And you can get stuff that’s definitely not in your average local grocery store, like Vietnamese mints, Chinese celery, Thai basil, Thai okra and an array of bok choy and cabbage-like greens. There’s fish, like blue marlin, spanish mackerel and giant featherback, found only in Southeast Asia. There’s quail eggs, duck eggs and black chicken, which is indeed a chicken that’s completely black, right down to its bones…

Review of Caiola’s

The Golden Dish has published a review of Caiola’s.

Commandeering the kitchen is co-proprietor and Chef Abby Harmon who makes this all happen.  Her kitchen is like a laboratory of invention—the whole kit and caboodle of culinary cause and effect that isn’t so easily classified. But attempting to I’d have to resort to words like Mediterranean-influenced with a dash of Downeast home cooking and a serious dose of comfort food savoir faire.

Maine Magazine: The Food Issue

mainemag201303The annual Food Issue of Maine magazine arrived in subscriber’s mailboxes yesterday. Inside you’ll find:

Fish Frys and Groundfishing

Taking his cue from this week’s feature article on New England groundfishing, Portland Phoenix restaurant critic Brian Duff has sampled fish dishes at Three Buoys, Taqueria Tequila, Old Port Sea Grill and Taco Escobarr.

At Taco Escobarr they give seasoned pieces of firm pollock a very light fry. A white sauce adds just a touch of tang, some slaw lends a bit of sour, and thin slices of radish give some bitterness. At three for $10 they run a bit more money, but you get them on house-made corn tortillas — which have good flavor but could use a touch more sear on the grill.