Review of Otto Pizza

The 207 Foodie has published a review of Otto Pizza.

I have to commend Otto for great, if not awe inspiring, artisan pizza. There is a reason, ladies and gentleman, that Otto is known in all of Portland for being the BEST. Who else puts mashed potatoes on a pizza and makes it taste good?

Interview with Mike Keon & Anthony Allen & 2013 Honey Crop

The Press Herald has published an interview with Mike Keon and Anthony Allen, owners of Otto Pizza.

Q: What’s next for Otto Pizza?
Allen: We like what we do now, but the idea of growing bigger probably means we’d be working for someone else, and we look at each other and say, “Why do we want to do that?” We added four locations last year, and this year we’re down to two and next year is going to be for retrenching and making sure every line on our notepad gets more attention and every product gets more scrutiny. It’s time to just fine-tune things.

Also in today’s paper are articles about the dismal 2013 Maine honey crop,

Bees and beekeepers have been struggling through one of the worst summers for honey production in Maine in recent memory.

Reviews: Portland & Rochester, Cia

The Press Herald has published a bar review of the Portland & Rochester Public House,

A couple of flower vases adorn the bar and dim lights help to feature the well-stocked spirits that are neatly presented on a stadium shelf with polished glasses on either side. At the far end, the bartender sorts and writes tickets under a vintage banker’s lamp. It would seem that, in this otherwise muted part of town, P&R has struck a balance between pub, bistro and somewhat of a Prohibition-era speakeasy.…This new Bayside treat is indeed the place to be. Everyone. Everywhere. Drop what you’re doing and head to Portland & Rochester.

and a review of a new coffee shop in South Portland called Cia.

The food is mostly grab-and-go fare in a pastry case; think bagels, muffins, cookies, scones and croissants. They had blueberry hand pies on the day I visited that looked flaky and delicious. The cafe touts its homemade brownies, and the clerk will ask you if you want a middle or a side piece…The cafe recently started offering a small assortment of classic sandwiches such as chicken salad; tuna salad with celery, dill, pepper and mayo; egg salad with dill, mayo, mustard and pepper; and a veggie wrap.

Maine Brew Bus

Maine Today has posted a tour report from a recent trip aboard the Maine Brew Bus.

With our heads filled up from our fermented education – and maybe a little fuzzy on account of all that sampling – we boarded Lenny one last time. Our tour guide Don Littlefield regaled us with brewing-related trivia on the way back to The Thirsty Pig, where we’d all go our separate ways, clutching our purchases of mead and rum, all a little wiser for the ride.

Update: Brewbound has published an article about The Maine Brew Bus.

Anniversaries: Tandem & The Honey Exchange

A pair of local establishments are celebrating their anniversaries this week:

  • Tandem Coffee opened 1 year ago today. To celebrate they’ll be serving free Holy Donut donuts and all coffee drinks are priced at $2.
  • To celebrate their 2nd anniversary, this Saturday The Honey Exchange will be having “sweet and savory tastes, soft drinks, prizes and raffles, birthday cake, and a pinata”.

PHOP 25th & Makers Market

The Portland Daily Sun has published articles about the new Makers Market at the Urban Farm Fermentory,

What looked like empty warehouse space was instead seen as an opportunity by the tenants of 200 Anderson St. Spearheaded by Eli Cayer and the Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St. will be the home of a new “Makers Market.” Wednesday will be the first of the Makers Markets that will be held, and will include farmers offering produce, meats and diary products; artists; crafts people; and food trucks, Cayer said

and the 25th anniversary of the Portland House of Pizza.

Long a neighborhood staple, the original PHOP opened two doors down from the current 1359 Washington Ave. location and was closer to the intersection of Allen Avenue. “It was real tough on parking, and entering and exiting,” said General Manager Jason Cote, 31. “When the restaurant moved to the new building, there was a huge remodeling project changing an old bank vault into our office and making a dirty and dated ’80s dining room clean and relevant.”

Shrub Cocktails & Casco Bay Organics

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about shrubs and shrub-based cocktails (see article for recipes),

Shrubs an old-fashioned drinks that date to Colonial times, but they are on their way back, thanks to the folks behind the bar who are discovering that a shrub’s bright, slightly tart, complex flavors make for a stand-out cocktail. Bartenders are doing lots of experimenting by replacing the fruit in the shrub with vegetables and herbs, trying out different kinds of vinegar, and otherwise tweaking the classic shrub formula.

and an article about Casco Bay Organics.

Time-crunched healthy eaters have a new way to get their hands on fresh fruits and vegetables. In April, Casco Bay Organics, a southern Maine grocery home delivery service, launched with a full array of organic and locally-sourced produce.