Reviews: Tomaso’s Canteen & Pat’s Cafe

The Press Herald has reviewed Tomaso’s Canteen,

Sangillo’s closing was a loss for the community, and Tomaso’s definitely doesn’t replace it. But in some ways that’s great. You’ll still find the affordable drinks and “beer and shot” menu, but now the space is verging on gastropub territory, with its amazing food, specialty drinks and relaxed vibe. The location is hole-in-the-wall enough to feel like a secret, but it’s right off Middle Street.

and Pat’s Meat Market & Groceria Cafe.

I also tried the chicken vegetable soup ($4.95), with shredded chunks of chicken and a rich, bright yellow stock that I found later was made at the market. It had mushrooms, carrots and pieces of turnip. It was very hot, making it a good traveling soup. So next time I want a soup to go, I’ll get some at Pat’s and I’ll be confident it will stay warm. Some of the other soups on the rotating list include beef and bean chili, cream of asparagus, curry chicken and rice, and clam and haddock chowder.

The Changing Face of Washington Ave

The Press Herald has published a report on the fast pace of business development on Washington Ave.

In just the past year, two new restaurants have opened, as well as a beer tasting room and a wine shop. Other projects are in the works: a wine bar, a distillery, a wholesale honey production facility, and a cafe and chocolatier. Still in the rumor mill: a new juice bar and another restaurant.

Under Construction: Hardshore Distilling Co.

Press Herald food writer Meredith Goad has written a round-up of some the more interesting new restaurants expected to open in 2016. In the mix was a brief mention of a new distillery slated for Washington Ave called Hardshore Distilling Company.

Another new distillery, Hardshore Distilling Co., is slated for Washington Avenue – they’ll be making gin to start…

Founder Jordan Milne filed for a trademark and set-up an Instagram account earlier this year.

Under Construction: Woodford Food & Beverage

The Bangor Daily News has published an update on Woodford Food & Beverage (facebook, twitter, instagram, website).

When this 85-seat American brasserie opens in early January, “comfort food to fit the stark mid-century vibe” will be in session.

“We want this to be a go-to place. Like Caiola’s or the Blue Spoon,” said Preyer, of beloved joints in Portland’s West End and Munjoy Hill. “A place where you can come in and order a burger or come to celebrate. Daring, yet simple, for a reasonable value.”

Woodford F&B hopes to open in January.

Review of Bayou Kitchen

Run for Breakfast has reviewed Bayou Kitchen.

The regular menu has many delicious options for both breakfast and lunch (Bayou serves breakfast and lunch only) and every one I have had has been fantastic.  From prior visits I recommend trying the Veggie Homie Plate (home fries smothered with veggies and cheese), the Breakfast Sandwich (traditional style, but for a real treat, order is with the Andouille sausage), or El Rancho Verde omelet (a medley of Cajun and southwest flavor).  If you are in the mood, Bayou Kitchen’s French Toast and pancakes are large and perfectly cooked. 

Chef Summit 2016

chefsummit2016O’Maine Studios along with a group of Maine food industry professional is organizing a Chef Summit which will take place on January 29-30 at Sunday River.

The agenda features a day of “panel presentations on strategies to grow and prosper our food and beverage industry” for industry staff on January 29th.

On Saturday January 30th the Chef Summit will  open to the general public:

  • Meet the Farmer — sample products from local farmers and food producer
  • Chef Chat — a chance to meet and speak with chefs and other industry professionals
  • Chef Summit Tasting Event — chefs from Hugo’s/Eventide/The Honey Paw, Cafe Miranda, Evo, David’s KPT, The Library and the Prostart Culinary Team.

More details on the food industry program will be released early next year. Tickets for the tasting event will go on sale soon.

Under Construction: Scales

Uban Eye has posted an update on Scales.

Fans of old Boston institutions like Durgin Park are sure to be hooked. Pot roast, brown bread, corn bread, Parker House rolls, even oyster crackers will all be made in house. Street, a Brookline, MA native, wants to restore the “peasant style,” anything goes, community dining he grew up with at rowdy places like Durgin Park. “It’s an American brasserie,” said Street, with a “19th, 20th century Boston Seaport,” vibe.

Urban Eye reports that the owners hope to open Scales in February.

Best Beer City: Portland

Confirming what those of us who live already knew, SmartAsset has declared Portland the Best City for Beer Drinkers.

The nation’s top beer city is Portland, Maine. The city is home to 17 microbreweries, one for every 4,000 residents – the highest per capita microbrewery rate of any U.S. city. Perhaps the most well-known of Portland’s breweries is Allagash Brewing Company, which reintroduced Belgian style brews to America in the mid-90s.

SmartAsset based the rankings on the number and per capita ratio of breweries, bars and brewpubs, the average Yelp scores for the breweries, and the average price for a pint of domestic beer.

SMCC Culinary Program

The Bangor Daily News has published an article on the SMCC Culinary Arts program.

It’s finals week at Southern Maine Community College, and students in the culinary arts kitchen are busy fricasseeing fresh rabbit harvested from Unity.

In the dining room, members of the public dig into a multicourse lunch, draining bowls of honey crisp apple and vidalia sweet onion soup. The impressive menu indicates that cider from Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner and apples from Cornish combine forces for the powerful dish.