Kosher BBQ

The Press Herald has published a feature on the kosher BBQ taking place this weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Levey Day School in South Portland.

Why is a rabbi getting so close to a barbecue smoker, a device that is most often used to cook decidedly unkosher pork? This particular smoker, built by Doors Services Inc. (owned by a Levey alum) and never used before, will make its debut Sunday at a kosher barbecue at the school on Deering Avenue. A kosher barbecue is an event so rare that organizers could find reference to only one other like it in the whole country.

For more info see the event listing on

Best Cities for Foodies

Conde Naste Traveller has included Portland in their list of the 20 Best American Cities for Foodies.

Sam Hayward’s Fore Street is the restaurant that kicked off Portland’s food revolution nearly 20 years ago and continues to be one of its great innovators with a daily changing menu of locally sourced items, prepared rustic-style in a wood-burning oven. While (relative) newcomers like Eventide Oyster Co. (pictured), a tribute to the old-fashioned raw bar, and the Miyake family of Japan-meets-Maine eateries are a testament to the city’s increasingly adventurous palate.

Sangillo’s Postponement

The Bangor Daily News reports that the City Council has voted to postpone sending the liquor license denial to the state to address a procedural matter.

Councilors unanimously approved the postponement to Monday, May 5, but cautioned Bryant and Sangillo that public comments will be limited to the record of the council action.

“This is not a do-over,” warned Councilor Ed Suslovic, one of the strongest opponents of the liquor license renewal because of incidents city police linked to the bar or its patrons.

Interview with Stephen Lanzalotta

Knack Factory has published an interview with Stephen Lanzalotta. In the interview Lanzalotta share details on his upcoming restaurant Slab (instagram) and his early history as a cook and baker.

What about baking specifically?
The way I got into baking was crazy. My ex-wife—my wife at the time—and I had moved to Maine to get back to the land. I built a house out of the trees of the land, cut the Spruce logs down and built a log house. I built all of the furniture. While I was doing this incredible endeavor I needed some carb sustenance so I would make these big piles to burn off the Spruce and when it would get down to ash, I would make very crude breads by burying it in that ash.

This Week’s Events: Phoenix Poll, Belgian Biere Fest, Slow Money Gathering, Food Paradise, Street Eats, Star Wars, Chopped Challenge

Wednesday — it’s the last day you can vote in the Phoenix Readership Poll (food blog category), the Maine Brew Bus is leading a Sebago beer dinner, GMRI is holding a lecture on “How Warming Waters are Bringing New Species to the Gulf of Maine“, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — it’s the first night of 6th Annual Belgian Biere Fest at Novare Res, and The Great Lost Bear will be showcasing beer from Run of the Mill.

Friday — the 2014 Slow Money Maine Regional Gathering is taking place, and the Travel Channel show Food Paradise will be filming at Five Fifty-Five.

Saturday — El Rayo is kicking off a 2-day Cinco de Mayo celebration, the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place as is the Street Eats Food Truck Festival, LeRoux is holding a wine tasting, and chefs Sam Hayward, Nathan Nadeau and Ken Thomas are serving a dinner at Flanagan’s Table.

Sunday — Piccolo is holding a Star Wars Dinner, Elsmere is preparing a Kosher BBQ dinner to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Levey School in South Portland, and Grace is hosting the 2nd annual Chopped Challenge.

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.

Under Construction: BaoBao Dumpling House

Chef Cara Stadler has submitted a liquor license application for BaoBao Dumpling House, the new restaurant she has under construction at 133 Spring Street, the former home of the West End Deli. Stadler is the chef/owner of Tao Yuan in Brunswick; she recently was named one of the Food & Wine Best New Chefs of 2014.

According to the cover letter sent with the application,

The concept of baobao is to take the more popular menu items from the Tao Yuan, in particular dumplings and vegetable sides, and offer them in a more casual setting (lower price point and faster service model) but in greater varieties and, of course, the same food quality.

See below for a draft menu and floor plan for the 36-seat restaurant.


Under Construction: Lazzari

Restauranteur Tom Barr has submitted a liquor license application for Lazzari, a new restaurant he has under development at 618 Congress Street, the former location of Mesa Verde. According to the application,

Lazzari will showcase Maine’s exceptional local agriculture by employing culinary techniques from across the Mediterranean region.

Barr is the owner of Taco Escobarr and is a partner in Blue Rooster Food Co. You can see a draft menu on pages 54-55 of the meeting materials.