Central Kitchen’s Focuses on Local Foods

The Forecaster has published an article about the new central kitchen that serves Portland’s public schools and increasing amount of local foods being used by the school district.

Increasingly, the food students eat is grown on farms throughout Maine. A small amount comes from students themselves.

Last year, the kitchen served 50,000 pounds of local produce and 15,000 pounds of local meats. This year, the kitchen is on track to double those amounts, according to Blair Currier, the School District’s local food specialist.

America’s Best Oyter Bars: Eventide

Eventide has clocked in at the #2 spot on the The Daily Meal list of America’s Best Oyster Bars.

Eventide Oyster Co. showcases the finest oysters in the state of Maine. Oysters like the Norumbega, John’s River, and Basket Island are popular, as well as the selection from other locations such as the Fire River, Kusshi and Kumamoto. Also a main draw for the restaurant is its New England Clambake, which includes steamers, lobsters, potatoes, salt pork, and hard boiled eggs.

2014 Maine Restaurant Week

mrw_logo2The 6th Annual Maine Restaurant Week is taking place March 1-10 this year. A number of MRW special events have been announced:

  • Incredible Breakfast Cook-off, restaurants compete to earn the title of Maine’s Best Breakfast. February 28, 7-9 am, $20-22.50 per person
  • Bowl Big Tournament, teams of four people will be paired with a restaurant professional to compete in a bowling tournament. March 2, 2-5 pm. $100 per team
  • Portland Chinese Restaurants, a lecture on the history of Chinese restaurants in Portland presented by Gary Libby, March 4, noon.
  • Pancake Race, teams of four will compete in a pancake flipping relay race. March 4, 6:30 pm. $40 per team
  • Maine Restaurant Fare, a lecture by eminent food historian Sandy Oliver, March 8, 7 pm.
  • Signature Event, a tasting event featuring cocktails and desserts from Maine restaurants. March 9, 5:30 – 8 pm. $40 -50 per person.

PigTrip Review of Salvage

PigTrip has published a review of Salvage BBQ.

On my most recent visit I overheard two customers who bumped into each other unplanned. One said to the other, “To be honest, I wasn’t very impressed when they first opened, but I really liked what I had today.” Substitute ‘somewhat liked’ for ‘really liked’ (I’m not opposed to substitutions) and I’m in agreement. The chili and cornbread rocked; the rest of the meats were at least decent.

Bar Review of Caiola’s

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Caiola’s.

Caiola’s is a cozy neighborhood restaurant with a compact eight-seat bar. Good for pairs or groups under four, this West End eatery focuses its drink menu on wine, but also offers a long list of cocktails and good beer selections. The food menu is first-rate, with relatively inexpensive and generously portioned appetizer choices. Most nights the bar will be occupied by regulars.

Mesa Verde Closed (Updated)

Mesa Verde has gone out of business, reports the Bangor Daily News.

A long-time Congress Street Mexican restaurant closed its doors this week in an abrupt manner.

According to the city’s Public Health Division website, Mesa Verde failed two food safety inspections since June, including one on Jan. 17. The report documents a litany of problems from fruit flies in the kitchen to food not properly refrigerated.

Update: the Press Herald published an article on Friday about Mesa Verde closing.

Take-out Tipping

The Portland Daily Sun has published the first of a 2-part series on take-out tipping.

Varying industry sources on the Web say the percentage should be anywhere from the change in your pocket to treating the transaction as if it were a dine-in experience. I typically do 10 to 20 percent for food packaged or delivered and $1 for coffee. As always, tipping is your call. Chances are slim someone will violate your food if you don’t tip, but your service next time will be even better if you do.