Maine Pie Line

Eater Maine has published an article about Briana Warner and her new business, Maine Pie Line (website, facebook).

Briana Warner has used pie to bring violent youth leaders to the table in Guinea and tested her recipes on ambassadors in Belgium. But after several years of her pies playing a secondary (though complementary) role to her work as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department, Warner is now making pie her primary focus.

Review of Otto

The Golden Dish has published a review of Otto Pizza.

Instead of eating a re-heated slice that’s been sitting on the counter, Otto’s whole pie freshly baked was a treat.  I loved the texture of the crust—very thin, firm, crackly almost.  As for the toppings, the tomato and salami version was the clear winner for both of us whereas the mushroom-bacon seemed muddled.

Schlotterbeck & Foss

The Business section in today’s Press Herald provides a look at Schlotterbeck & Foss.

While Schlotterbeck & Foss sells its own branded sauces, toppings, dressings, marinades and other specialty food products at Whole Foods, the biggest and fastest-growing part of the business is creating “co-branded” products for grocery stores.

That means Schlotterbeck & Foss often doesn’t get the recognition for its creations, which are sold by various retailers under their own brands.

Schlotterbeck & Foss was founded in 1866. It’s 2nd oldest food enterprise in Portland after the Farmers Market (1768).

Also in today’s Business section is an interview with Kathleen Fleury, the new executive editor at Down East. Fleury began her career at DE as the magazine’s food writer.

First Review of Oscar’s New American

Booze, Fish & Coffee has published a review of Oscar’s New American.

Chef Nick Krunkkala just opened this farm-to-table place on Route 1, where Seagrass Bistro used to be, and he’s done a great job crafting small plates with bold and creative flavors…We definitely recommend Oscar’s. If you’re looking for upscale bar food, this is the place. Our top 3: (1) pan seared scallops, (2) butter poached lobster sliders, and (3) wild mushroom and truffle popcorn. Yep, that’s right: popcorn.

Harvest on the Harbor & Portland’s Wine Culture

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an overview of Harvest on the Harbor (HotH website) and some observations on how it could be improved,

Once again, there’s much to love about this year’s Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival.

There’s also a little to be annoyed about, and some things that make you go hmmmm.

So, before I dive into the delicious details, here’s what I think they get right this year, and areas I think could be improved upon in the future…

and in his column this week Joe Appel calls for Portland to take a step forward in its appreciation, knowledge and love of wine.

There are two plausible reasons for this passivity: chefs, servers and critics don’t know anything, and/or they don’t care. The new program being offered in Portland by American Sommelier, a New York-based wine-education institute that hosts seminars and course series, is a terrific step toward addressing the former problem. The latter challenge has a more complicated but not insurmountable set of solutions, and more on that below.

Food Truck Ordinance Update

The Portland Daily Sun, Bangor Daily News, The Forecaster and Press Herald report that, at last night’s meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to revise the city’s food truck ordinance.

The amendments to the ordinances related to food trucks — which were passed unanimously — will allow trucks to be parked with 65 feet of each other but not an open restaurant; restructure the permitting process and fee; increase the size limits on trucks; and ease the time restrictions for trucks set up in metered parking spaces, giving them an extra two hours. [PDS]

Review of Bite into Maine

Living, Eating and Aging has published a review of Bite into Maine.

Finally, if I’m in the mood for a great lobster roll, maybe something different from the basic mayo on a grilled roll, complete with a second-to-none view and a very reasonable price, I head over to the Bite-Into-Maine lobster roll food truck located at Fort Williams Park…

Under Construction: New Spanish Restaurant

Maine a la Carte reports that the owners of Zapoteca, Tom and Shannon Bard, are planning to open a Spanish restaurant in Portland next year.

Tom Bard confirmed today that he is working on a location and hoping to open in early summer, 2014. Depending on the space, he said the atmosphere could either be quite casual (he mentioned Boston’s super-hot Toro as a reference), or somewhat more upscale than Zapoteca, the Bards successful Mexican restaurant in Portland.