Under Construction: Wannawaf

Wannawaf - Boothbay Harbor, MEWannawaf (website, facebook, twitter) is under construction at 15 Monument Square in the space formerly occupied by Cobblestones.

Owner Anya Arsenault (aka Waffle Girl) opened the original Wannawaf in Boothbay in 2003 and is planning to launch Wannawaf Portland in June where, as you might have guessed from the name, waffles will be the signature dish.

The menu will include options like the Sweet Jams waffle, “peanut butter, aged cheddar, and bacon waffle with a tart fruit jam for dipping”, and the Cheeky Monkey waffle, “vanilla ice cream, fresh banana, Nutella, whipped cream and coconut”.

Wannawaf will be open late night and plans on doing takeout.

Under Construction: Portland & Rochester Public House

The Portland & Rochester Public House is under development at 120 Preble Street, the former location of G&R DiMillo’s. Renovations of the building, including a new deck, are underway and owner Garrett Fitzgerald is hoping to open sometime in mid-June with a menu of bistro and pub style dishes.

The Eatery is named for the Portland & Rochester Railroad which ran through Bayside on its way to the Grand Trunk Terminal.

Fitzgerald moved to Portland from Bar Harbor where he still runs the Bar Harbor Lobster Pound. He had also been a co-owner of the Dog & Pony Tavern.

Food Trucks: El Corazon

A Mexican food truck called El Corazon (website, facebook, twitter) is in the final stages of development having passed their inspection on Thursday, and are planning on having an official launch this Sunday on Cinco de Mayo.

The Urtuzuastegui family moved to Portland last year from California. Chef Joseph Urtuzuastegui plans on serving a menu of “traditional Mexican dishes such as baja style fish tacos, Sonoran hot dogs and many more regional specialties.”

They hope to set-up on Commercial Street near the Ocean Gateway Terminal. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep informed of where the truck is located.

This Week’s Events: A Place at the Table, Belgian Bier Fest, Flea Bites, Pizza Pie on the Fly, Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday — the African Center for the Sacred Arts will be performing a Coffee Ceremony, and there will be two screenings of A Place at the Table, a movie about hunger in America, at the Nickelodeon (tickets).

Wednesday — it’s the first day of the 5th Annual Belgian Bier Fest at Novare Res, and the Monument Square Farmers Market of 2013 is taking place.

Thursday — the Great Lost Bear is showcasing a select of beers from Baxter Brewing.

Friday — a collection of mobile food vendors will be at Portland Flea for All for the first Flea Bites of 2013, and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli.

Saturday — the Pizza Pie on the Fly food truck will be at Rising Tide as part of a weekly food truck series being run by the brewery. Wine Wise is teaching a class on Pinot Noir at Caiola’s, there will be wine tastings at LeRoux Kitchen and Browne Trading, the Deering Oaks Farmers Market of 2013 is taking place.

SundayEl Rayo is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a day’s worth of live music, food, drink and mechanical bull riding, a Cinco de Mayo themed Pocket Brunch is taking place, and Petite Jacqueline is screening the movie Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame for movie night.

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.

Elvers Fishery

Today’s Press Herald includes a front page story on the Maine elvers fishery.

Elvers — by Maine law, American eels less than 6 inches long — have waxed and waned in value among the state’s fisheries, ranging from the low wholesale price of about $25 a pound just 10 years ago to last year’s all-time high of $2,000. Last week they were commanding a wholesale price of between $1,500 and $1,800 from Portland-area dealers.

Outliers Eatery & Deering Oaks Market

The Golden Dish has published some initial impressions from his first visit to Outliers Eatery,

It was served on an attractive earthenware plate, not commonly used in restaurants.  [The fried pigs ears] were deep fried and had a delicious sweet and spicy coating, probably chili powder and sugar.  The rich hoisin-based dipping sauce was a good touch.

and a report from this past weekend’s Deering Oaks Farmer’s Market.

Maine Seaweed

This week’s Portland Phoenix reports on the burgeoning Maine seaweed industry.

Maine is at the forefront, in the US, of seaweed foraged wild and now cultivated. Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, headed by macrobiotic entrepreneur Shep Erhart, was the first American company to harvest and sell whole indigenous seaweeds, more than 40 years ago.

We even have a dedicated seaweed extension agent, Sarah Redmond, encouraging rope-cultured mussel farmers and lobsterman to try this counter-season winter crop. Redmond touts “integrated multi-trophic aquaculture,” where farmed shellfish feed on the waste generated by salmon farms, and cultivated kelp then filters out remaining phosphorous and nitrogen, similar to land-based polyculture farms. Maine seafood promoter Monique Coombs thinks “seaweed will get really hot” here in the next few years.

Review of Enio’s & Maine Salmon Farming

Portland Magazine has published a review of Enio’s.

Beef tenderloin, two rounds of gorgeous meat seared just as my partner likes it–rare–is served with excellent hand-made beef ravioli, sauteed mushrooms, and a full-flavored gravy ($23). My half-rack of lamb ($20) is a revelation. Juicy, tender, still reddish pink while being nicely browned, the flavor of the meat could not be better. The side of mashed potato and parsnip is nothing short of genius as is the surrounding balsamic reduction.

The May issue of the magazine also includes a feature article on the Maine salmon farming industry.

It seems like only yesterday that salmon was all the rage–the surefire local seafood choice on every restaurant menu in the state, and the darling of home cooks for its ease of preparation. Restaurants dressed it up in local condiments–maple glazes, blueberry salsas–and salmon was as Maine as lobster and crab.

Nowadays, all commercially available Atlantic salmon is farmed. Fish farming is controversial. Opponents slam farmed salmon as anti-wild, unhealthy, and uncool.

Review of Duckfat

Eat Maine has published a review of Duckfat.

With a devoted following, Duckfat is one of Portland’s most deserving favorites. The friendly staff and lively atmosphere make it the ultimate spot for a quick bite with friends or co-workers…Whether new to the duck fat phenomenon, or a loyal Duckfat patron, this is a definite crowd pleaser for anyone who happens to find himself or herself in Portland.

Outliers Eatery Now Open (Updated)

Outlier’s Eatery (Facebook, Twitter, website) is now open. The restaurant and bar is located at 231 York Street at the street corner where Popeye’s Icebox used to be. Tivi Design—the folks who designed and built the bar at Grace—has created a very unique look for the new restaurant.

Chef Jonathan Dexter (formerly of Street & Co. and Hugo’s) is serving a menu (see below) of “sustainable farm to table” meals. The grilled rabbit entree (see below) was excellent.