Under Construction: The Totally Awesome Vegan Food Truck

A new mobile food venture named The Totally Awesome Vegan Food Truck (website, facebook, instagram) is under development.

Owner Tony DiPhillipo plans to launch the truck in July serving “decadent vegan comfort food from his totally rad 80’s synthwave themed mobile kitchen.”.

The menu isn’t set yet but DiPhillipo writes,

Expect to see our own creative twist on some American diner favorites, charbroiled sandwiches on artisan bread, eclectic dishes inspired by international street food, smokey cheese sauces, unique homemade dipping sauces and aiolis along with decadent vegan milkshakes and craft sodas.

Reviews: Drifters Wife, Highroller Lobster

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Drifters Wife (4½ stars), and

Some of Jackson’s best dishes do make use of his new equipment, like a saffron-yellow, heritage-bred chicken, served with roasted parsnips and green garlic ($34). Cooked “al mattone” (under a brick), first in a smoking hot cast-iron pan on the stovetop, then crisped in the oven, the buttery half-chicken is golden-skinned, juicy and so terrifically addictive, it should come with a PSA.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Highroller Lobster Co., and

But the taste was flat, a mere simulacrum to the sweetness of fresh lobster.

Under Construction: Gross Confection Bar

Pastry chef Brant Dadaleares has leased 57 Exchange Street, the subterranean former location of Christmas Noel in the John Calvin Steven designed building at the intersection with Middle Street.

Dadaleares will be renovating the 2,000 sq ft space where this November he plans to open Gross Confection Bar (website, facebook, instagram) serving an “ever changing selection of high-quality artfully-plated desserts, cocktails, dessert wines, and digestifs” in the evening, and take-out pastries and coffee in the mornings.

GCB will have seating for 37.

Dadaleares was the longtime pastry chef at Fore Street. He’s also worked at Arrows, Hugo’s/Eventide/The Honey Paw, Roustabout and Central Provisions/Tipo.

Dextrous Creative has been hired as architects for Gross Confection Bar.

To get a sense of what a Gross-style dessert is like check out this fun video from Knack Factory.

Under Construction: Hana Thai

The newest member of the Veranda Thai family of restaurants is under development in South Portland. Hana Thai will be located at 740 Broadway is the mall that is also home to the branch location of Two Fat Cats.

Hana Thai is owned by Than Pham, the younger brother of Hai Pham who opened the first Veranda Thai in Deering.

Than Pham is currently hiring staff and plans to open the 1800 sq ft Hana Thai  in June.