Maine Shrimp Population Down

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on the Maine shrimp population.

This summer’s shrimp index was at its lowest point since the annual trawl survey began in 1984, said Maggie Hunter, a scientist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources who sits on a three-state technical committee that analyzes the data and recommends what the rules should be for the upcoming season.

Regulators will use the survey when they meet in November to decide the dates of this winter’s shrimp-fishing season — or if there will be one at all.

Fire on Fore Street: Street & Co, Dancing Elephant, Joe’s NY Pizza, Mark’s Place (Updated)

There was a 3-alarm fire on Fore Street early this morning. According to a report from the Press Herald,

[Fire Chief] LaMoria said at least five businesses in the building at 420 Fore St., which faces both Fore and Wharf streets, were severely impacted, including Street & Co., the Dancing Elephant II and Joe’s New York Pizza.

He said the businesses could be closed for several days if not weeks.

For additional information see this piece from WMTW.

UPDATE: Here’s some clarification and further detail from The Forecaster,

The blaze damaged businesses including the Dancing Elephant II Indian restaurant, Joe’s New York Slice Bar, and Mark’s Place, LaMoria said. There were also reports of damage to Street & Co. The apartments above the businesses were not damaged by the fire, but were damaged by smoke and water.

The Munjoy Hill News has also posted a report on the fire.

Development Could Affect El Rayo

Both the Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News have published a report on a proposal that would lead to the redevelopment of the corner of York and High Streets, the current location of El Rayo.

The J.B. Brown official said fans of the popular Mexican eatery currently at the site should not worry.

“I could see something like an urban grocer on the ground floor and residential units on the top three floors,” Veroneau said. “Our intention is to have El Rayo be part of any development of that site.”


Review of Empire Chinese Kitchen

eggrollMap & Menu has published a review of Empire Chinese Kitchen.

First up were the delicious peking duck buns (my personal favorite) and the har gow (one of a few of the gluten-free options on the menu). It’s a standard rule of thumb for me that pretty much anything served in a steamed bun will be awesome, and the savory peking duck didn’t disappoint – I’d highly recommend trying it…

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

2013 Apple Season

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about the 2013 apple season and the paper’s annual guide to apple picking in Maine that dozens of varieties from Baldwin to Wolf River.

“Last year we not only had a freeze, but we had hail in June, so this year is 100 percent better than last year,” said Ellen McAdam of McDougal Orchards in Springvale. “But even if we had had a good crop last year, this year is looking beautiful. The size is great, the color is great, the apples taste really good. It’s a wonderful year.”

Booze, Fish & Coffee: Salvage BBQ & Blue Rooster

Friends Brian Ericson and Bo Bigelow have launched an audio food blog called Booze, Fish & Coffee. They plan to seek out and

tell tales of delicious things: the best and freshest seafood, the finest local brews (beer, coffee, and others), and the off-the-beaten-path bars, bakeries, restaurants and farmstands where the locals go.

For their first two sessions they’ve published reviews of Salvage BBQ and Blue Rooster Food Company. They’re both well worth the time (approx 20min per episode) to listen to.

Fit for Foodies: Bar Lola, Fore Street, Hugo’s

Bar Lola, Fore Street and Hugo’s have all made it on to the 2013 OpenTable list of 100 top restaurants that are Fit for Foodies.

The top 100 were selected among 15,000 OpenTable customers in the US based on restaurant customer ratings during the past year.

“These restaurants put the wow factor in everything they serve,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “Through pure imagination and ingenuity, they’re taking culinary creativity to another level with delicious dishes that are as fun to eat as they are to share on social media.”

Chief Dining Officer…what a great job title.

Reviews of Elsmere and Empire

Portland Portland Peter Eater has published a review of Elsmere BBQ,

Now it’s official – the Portland area has a new BBQ restaurant that is ready to serve your BBQ needs. Go now so they stay in business. I want to make sure this one is around for a while. They deserve to be and I can only imagine everything will continue to get even better as they hit their stride. After all, they just opened.

and The 207 Foodie has published a review of Empire Chinese Kitchen.

Empire is worth trying. If you A. Love Chinese food, B. Need dim sum in your life, C. want to try something new or are just curious, then Empire is for you. Having a dim sum restaurant in Portland, Maine just shows how great of a food city we live in, so take advantage of another new place to try!

Under Construction: Oscar’s New American

A new restaurant called Oscar’s New American (facebook) is under construction in Yarmouth in the space formerly occupied by the Sea Grass Bistro. Chef/owner Nick Krunkkala was formerly the chef at Fog Bar and at Rock City Cafe in Rockland. According to Oscar’s Facebook page they hope to open this month, and are

…a farm to table concept focusing on local ingredients. We make everything in house from our bread to our ice cream. At Oscar’s we try and give the diner the most unique eating experience with our menu changing weekly.