Under Construction: Figgy’s

The Forecaster has published an article on Figgy’s Takeout.

When Natalie DiBenedetto looked out her window on Walker Street last year, she didn’t just see a parking lot. She saw an opportunity.

Now, a year later, DiBenedetto is set to open a business in the once-empty lot that she believes will fill one of the city’s last foodie niches: up-scale comfort food and skillet fried chicken to go.

Figgy’s is scheduled to open on Tuesday at 11am.

Reviews: Lolita, Artemisia, Corner Room

The 207 Foodie has reviewed lunch at Lolita,

If you’re looking for a quiet lunch (available every single day except Tuesday’s) then the East End’s Lolita is a perfect spot. Sit inside and get a taste of how the busy kitchen works, or sit outside and enjoy the beautiful summers that Maine is so well known for.

and the Press Herald has posted a bar review of The Corner Room,

The Corner Room is one of restaurateur and executive chef Harding Lee Smith’s four restaurants in Portland. In its sixth year, The Corner Room is going strong, with a vibrant crowd every night, especially during happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. The cocktail list is unique and a collaborative effort with the bartenders and chefs. This is the perfect place to visit for an after-work drink with a friend or two, and certainly a reliably good place to grab a bite at the bar.

and a review of Artemisia Cafe.

The Pollock delivered on its unspoken promise of perfection by being many things at once: succulent, gooey, savory, multi-dimensional and immensely satisfying. The plan was to eat half now and save the rest for dinner. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. It was served with coleslaw that I didn’t love because it was on the sour side; perhaps it was the choice of cabbage? Or vinegar? Either way, no love lost, I didn’t go there for the slaw.

20 Delicious Years of Standard Baking

The Press Herald has published an article about Standard Baking. The bakery is celebrating their 20th anniversary.

On April 25, 1995, when the bakery was in its original location on Wharf Street in the Old Port, it had no sign outside and no cash register inside. There were no business hours and no locks on the door. Alison Pray and Matt James, the owners and partners in work and life, didn’t even know on that first day that they would end up with a retail business.

Standard is holding a 20th anniversary celebration this Saturday, 11 – 2.

Catbird Creamery Opening Friday

Caatbird Creamery has announced they’ll be opening their new store in Westbrook on Friday.

It’s happening! We will be open THIS FRIDAY, MAY 29th!!!!!
Everything is not 100%, but we can’t wait any longer! The mural & dedication will be in process for a few weeks, other perks will be available for pickup and being mailed out in the next couple weeks. We can’t believe it, but here we are. Thanks to ALL of you! See you Friday!

Under Construction: Forq Food Lab

forqfoodlab_logoA new venture named Forq Food Lab is now under development in Portland. Founders Neil Spillane and Eric Holstein are creating a commercial kitchen and business incubator to help Maine food entrepreneurs get through the early stages of product development and to successfully launch their businesses.

Business owners will get access to Forq on a membership basis similar to how coworking spaces like Think Tank and Peleton Labs operate. They plan to provide to members:

  • Immediate market feedback and validation with a public tasting room on-site
  • Staff that trains members on equipment, regulatory compliance, and business plans
  • Equipment that is maintained and available to use immediately with no up-front investment
  • Member collaboration: Innovative products, sales leads, lower ingredient costs

Spillane and Holstein have put together a strong board of advisors, located a potential space for the kitchen and are now finding the remaining funding they need to make it a reality.

Investors and/or potential Forq business members can contact Neil Spillane for more information at forqfoodlab@gmail.com.

Farm Use of Brewery/Roastery Byproducts

Today’s Bangor Daily News includes an article on how brewery and coffee roaster byproducts are being used by Maine farms.

Average beer drinkers and java junkies probably don’t ponder the waste byproducts generated during the production of their favorite drinks.

However, behind the scenes, organic matter produced during brewing and coffee roasting processes is becoming a farming and gardening staple — an effective, low-cost alternative to commercial fertilizer and feed.

Getting a Summer Restaurant Job

Forecaster columnist Natalie Ladd has put together advice on how to land a summer restaurant job.

During an interview, dress as if you already have the job. Personal appearance and hygiene are key, but that’s not all. In urban-chic Portland, piercings, tattooed arm sleeves and purple hair are all part of our foodie-by-the-sea charm. The bummer is, mature people, regardless of how experienced, have been known to lose out to trendy buff guys and sweet young things with half the professional competence.