Neighborhood Market Coming to Veranda Street

Jamie Brichetto has leased 46 Veranda Street, the long time home of Pizza Time and more recently a 2nd location of Union Bagel Company.

Brichetto is renovating the space where she plans to open Je’s Neighborhood Store. Je’s will serve prepared food, market staples and will have a dedicated candy section. Brichetto lives in the neighborhood and working to tune the offerings of the market to unmet needs of the community.

Brichetto hopes to open Je’s sometime in January.

Sam Sifton to Speak in Portland

Mark your calendars: tickets go on sale January 1st for a Maine Voices interview with the NY Times food editor Sam Sifton this March in Portland.

According to the announcement, Sifton has “a deep love for our food heritage has grown out of his yearly visits…spending summers on Bailey and Ragged Islands in Casco Bay since his childhood”.

This Week’s Events: Danilo Marcucci, Winter Farmers’ Market, Figgy DiBenedetto, Erin French

Wednesday – Old Port Wine Merchants is holding their Twelve Wines of Christmas Wine Tasting.

Friday – Italian natural winemaker Danilo Marcucci will be at Vinland for a 5-course wine dinner.

Saturday – the fist Winter Farmers’ Market of the season is taking place; the market is being held at 631 Stevens Ave, 9am – 1pm. Chef Figgy DiBenedetto will give a talk at the Print Bookstore.

Erin French – Erin French, chef/owner of The Lost Kitchen will be in Portland on December 18th on stage at Aura for a conversation with Chamber CEO Quincy Hentzel “about the journey of creating The Lost Kitchen, the many talented hands involved, and why we feel such a pull toward the lifestyle of genuine human connection that The Lost Kitchen provides.” Online Registration.

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.

Restaurant Bubble?

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram examines whether the Portland restaurant industry is a bubble about to burst.

“Portland was undergoing a little restaurant boom,” Guy Hernandez recalls, “and people were already saying that there were too many restaurants in the city.”

Things haven’t changed much in the past 13 years. Every year, it seems, locals have worried about a pending “restaurant bubble” that, when it bursts, will result in restaurants and bars furiously closing their doors like a stack of dominoes. This year was particularly troubling to city residents who saw a lot of favorites close – places like Silly’s, Lolita, Walter’s, Vignola Cinque Terre, Local Sprouts Cafe, the Irish pub Brian Boru and Andy’s Old Port Tavern. And yet, roughly twice as many other restaurants and bars have opened to take their place. This was the year we welcomed Flood’s, Gross Confection Bar, CBG, Other Side Diner, Royale Lunch Bar, Maiz, Bird & Co, two cider houses, a whiskey bar, a cocktail bar and several smaller eateries.

For a little historical perspective see this PFM post in 2010 about a 1977 Maine Times article. It’s so funny to think anyone would think Portland had reached a tipping in 1977. I suspect they’ll feel the same way about our 2019 concerns from the perspective of the mid 21st Century.

Reviews: Sun Vietnamese Restaurant, Cocktail Mary, Anoche, A & C

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Sun Vietnamese Restaurant, and

With more time to dedicate to labor-intensive, mostly traditional Vietnamese dishes, chef Truc Nguyen has upgraded the quality of her menu substantially. Her banh mi sandwiches, bursting with house-made carrot and daikon pickles and grilled meats or cold cuts, are among the best in the state. Her pho (both chicken and beef) is also terrific, and at less than $10 a bowl, is one of Portland’s best bargains. Having eschewed pastries in its reboot, Sun no longer offers desserts, but its Vietnamese coffee – blitzed with ice and sweetened condensed milk to the consistency of a rough granita – is the sort of sensational meal-capper you’ll crave even in the middle of a Maine winter.

The Blueberry Files has published a first look at Cocktail Mary, Anoche, and A & C Grocery.

I went out last Friday night to visit several new Washington Avenue businesses. A friend who moved away in August was visiting for the holiday and since we both used to live on Munjoy Hill, we wanted to see what’s new in the old neighborhood. On our agenda: drinks at Cocktail Mary, a new cocktail bar on Congress Street, drinks at Anoche, a cider and tapas bar, and dinner at A&C Grocery, a former market turned diner.