George’s North Shore Launches

The George’s North Shore (instagramfacebook) food truck is set to launch today at noon at Battery Steele Brewing. Owners Logan and Alison Abbey relocated from Massachusetts several years ago and the North Shore roast beef sandwich is a taste of home they’d like to introduce in Portland.

The feature item on the menu will be a Super Beef Threeway: a grilled buttered bun, thin-sliced rare roast beef, topped with white American cheese, mayo and James River BBQ sauce. George’s is named for their dog, George Costanza.

Wonder Woman Cookbook

Briana and Andre Volk have completed a new book project, Wonder Woman, The Official Cookbook. Briana wrote the text and Andrew did the photography. The book is being published by Simon and Schuster and is set to release in November.

An enduring symbol of truth, justice, and equality, Wonder Woman has inspired comic readers of all ages for nearly eighty years with her unwavering moral compass and commitment to preserving peace on Earth. Now, fans can celebrate their love of this iconic hero with this fun cookbook inspired by all things Wonder Woman. Illustrated by gorgeous full-color photography, the book features over 50 delectable recipes—including Greek Goddess Salad, Themysciran Flatbread Pizzas, and Lasso of Truth Cupcakes—for cooks of all skill levels. With simple recipe instructions, suggested ingredient modifications, and prepared menus for several delightful Wonder Woman–themed parties, this is the perfect cookbook to share with friends, family, and Amazon warriors both big and small.

Halsted’s Chicago Style Eats

A new food truck called Halsted’s Chicago Style Eats (instagram, facebook) launched this past weekend. Founders Angela and Jeff Aspito and Joel Jeffrey are serving up a menu of Vienna hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches—food classics from their native home of Chicago.

You can find them Saturday from 12-6 at Cornerstone Tile (1438 Washington Ave) and on Sunday 12-6 on the Eastern prom. In the meantime check out their promo video.

Drifters Wife>>>Pigeons

When Drifters Wife announced they were permanently closing the restaurant, the one ray of hope was they were “keep[ing] our beloved space at 59 Washington Avenue but need to re-imagine what’s inside”. Today they took the first step in that direction by rebranding their instagram account and website as Pigeons.

You may recall that over the winter, Drifter operated a weekly Sunday afternoon event called Pigeon Sunday. They’re still working out the details of what Pigeons will be but with Pigeon Sunday as a touchstone I’m excited for what is to come.

My Kitchen, Their Table: Atsuko Fujimoto

My Kitchen, Their Table is back. For the August edition we’re featuring an interview with Atsuko Fujimoto. Photos and videos will continue to expand on the story throughout the rest of the month on Instagram, so stay tuned.

We know it’s been a hard few months and that some tough times are still ahead for the restaurants of Portland. But we still believe in the premise of this series and in the hard work, adaptability and resilience of the chefs, managers and restaurant workers in this town. Many places have modified their models, shifted to take out, or built outdoor dining spaces. Food trucks have launched, others have been revived. Portland is seeing its way through, and PFM is happy to once again profile the creativity and mutual admiration of the skilled professionals in this small city with a big appetite.

You know them when you see them. One day displayed at Bard Coffee, the next at Rose Foods. From matcha-dusted danishes and sake-spiked chocolate cake to adzuki-filled sweet breads and yuzu flavored pudding, these unmistakable confections can only be the work of one baker. Through her distinct creations, Atsuko Fujimoto brings an intriguing amalgam of eastern and western flavors to Portland, Maine. 

Nearly twenty years ago, Atsuko left Japan and her career in journalism for a new life in Portland. When she arrived here, she sought a restaurant job as a way to connect with the community. Through a handwritten letter to Chef Sam Hayward, she landed a position in the pastry program at Fore Street despite having no previous experience. She continued to develop her skills at Standard Baking Co. and Miyake before opening Ten Ten Pié with Markos Miller in 2014. After nearly five years, the widely loved bakery and cafe closed in March 2019.

Ten Ten Pié’s abrupt closure was a shock to many, Atsuko included. She immediately searched  for a way to salvage what she had spent years building. With widespread support from the community, she was back in business in less than a month. 

Since April 2019, Atsuko has leased kitchen space at Two Fat Cats bakery in South Portland and sells  her baked goods under the name, Norimoto Bakery. Her sweet and savory treats, spongy shokupan loaves, and golden brioche buns are on offer at many local businesses such as Higher Grounds, Sun Oriental Market, and Woodford Food & Beverage. She also offers curbside pick-up Friday through Sunday on the backside of Two Fat Cats bakery in South Portland. Follow her on Instagram to see what goods just came out of the oven and for the lowdown on how to place your order. 

In this edition of My Kitchen Their Table, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Atsuko’s favorite dishes and restaurants represent a wide variety of cuisines, just like her pastries. Though she is partial to Asian fare, her most memorable meal was at an esteemed American restaurant and her go-to drink after a long day of work is a popular Mexican cocktail. Read on to learn more about where Atsuko goes for a great meal, which pastry she loves making, and what keeps her going even during the most difficult of times..


AA: What brought you to Portland?
AF: Before I was a baker, I was a magazine editor in Tokyo specializing in the entertainment field. I interviewed many celebrities and directors, but eventually I got bored with it and tired of always looking at a computer screen. During that time I met my husband, who went to Maine College of Art. We decided to move to Portland and get married here, just days before 9/11 happened. We canceled our wedding plans and got married at city hall.

AA: What do you love about baking?
AF: There is always something to learn and room for growth. I’ve had lots of failures, especially with bread. There is never a day where I feel I’ve executed something perfectly.

AA: Have you made something you felt was nearly perfect?
AF: I made an inverted puff pastry that I was really happy with for Galette des Rois, or King’s Cake. It’s a dessert served on January 6th to celebrate Epiphany. With inverted puff, the dough is wrapped in butter then laminated, so the butter is on the outside and the dough is on the inside. The result was so rewarding. It has an even richer flavor and crispier exterior compared to regular puff pastry.

AA: What kinds of pastries do you enjoy making the most?
AF: I like fruit pastries, especially danishes. I live in Standish on three acres with lots of fruit trees. I have peach, plum, sour cherry, apple, two types of pear, and my favorite, quince. I also have rhubarb and berries. I love a pile of fruit on my danish – like a mountain’s worth. You can only do that if you have a lot of fruit to work with. [watch Atsuko make fruit tarts]

AA: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner?
AF: I was surprised by the closure of Ten Ten Pié. I started Norimoto Bakery out of necessity. I felt like I needed to open another business to retrieve what was lost. I had wholesale orders to fulfill and accounts to carry on. It’s not easy running a business. You’re always tired and there are always reasons to quit, but you have to remind yourself why you started. For me, it’s about connectivity in the community and people appreciating what I do.

AA: Will you continue to offer curbside takeout post COVID-19?
I am currently trying to find the right balance between wholesale and takeout business. I hope to be doing both. It has been really nice to see familiar faces from Ten Ten Pié through a glass door. It is strange, but true; as soon as I started to isolate myself in the bakery, old regulars started to show up and that brought back the sense of connection that I had at Ten Ten Pié.

AA: What particularly memorable meal have you had at a restaurant here in Portland?
AF: My first dinner at Fore Street was very special. I went with my husband for my birthday. I had just started working there and they made me feel like I was part of the family. The food was great, of course, but it was that welcoming feeling that made it so memorable.

AA: What are your go-to restaurants?
AF: Boda and Isa. They are both really consistent and have great staff and service. At Boda, I always start with the quail eggs. I love the umami flavor. I also love the Thai sticky rice ball. [watch chef Dan Sriprasert make stick rice balls at Boda]

AA: What is one of your favorite dishes at Isa?
The lamb sandwich. It’s made with focaccia from Standard Baking Co. The meat is braised and very tender. The whole thing is really flavorful. I’m not a sandwich person, but that sandwich is an exception.

AA: What do you recommend for takeout or delivery?
AF: I’ve had the lamb sandwich at Isa for takeout. It was delicious as always! I also had the Emergency Margarita from Woodford Food & Beverage. It’s what I normally order when I eat there. It’s not too sweet; it’s a perfectly balanced drink to unwind with after work. I think I’ll get one today after I deliver their burger buns. [see more on the Emergency Margarita]

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

A few notes on the restaurants mentioned in this article…Boda is currently open for curbside takeout and delivery. At Boda, most of the menu is available, including the thai sticky rice ball. However, the quail eggs are cooked and served in a special cast iron pan and are therefore not available for takeout. Isa’s outdoor dining and takeout menu changes daily and sometimes includes the lamb sandwich. Fore Street is currently offering indoor and outdoor dining. Woodford Food & Beverage is offering a menu for curbside pickup and outdoor dining. The “aptly named” Emergency Margarita is available either to go or on the Boat Club patio. 

The My Kitchen Their Table series is brought to life through the talent and hard work of food writer Angela Andre, and the generous sponsorship by Evergreen Credit Union and The Boulos Company.


Another new food truck tracking service, Truckster (website, apple, android, facebook, instagram) plans to launch in Portland later this year.

Truckster got its start in Denver and has since expanded to serve four cities in Colorado as well as works with food trucks in the other Portland and Austin, Texas. Truckster was co-founded by Molly and Connor Hollowell. Connor Hallowell grew up in Falmouth, and that’s part their motivation for bringing their service to Maine.

Connor Hollowell owned a food truck in Denver with his brother. It’s that insider perspective that the Hallowells feels gives them an edge in developing a platform that addresses the needs of food truck owners. The Truckster Vendor app lets food truck owners “control their profile, schedule, view marketing dashboard analytics, and are able to interact with their fans.” It also provides “catering leads and [has] an integrated mobile and online ordering system.”

Truckster is currently making connections with Maine food trucks and hope to launch the service for consumers this fall. The service for consumers will be available on the web and as native apps for both Apple and Android.

A year ago there weren’t any food truck tracking services in Portland. Three services launched in Portland earlier this year, and two of them—Food Trux and Maine Food Truck Tracker—merged in July. I’m aware at least one more service currently under development.

Shaved Ice is Hot

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article on options for shaved ice treats available this summer.

When the temperature rises in Maine, Mainers typically turn to ice cream for a little cold comfort. This unusually sweaty summer, though, when so many people are working from home without air conditioning, calls for bigger ammunition to fight the heat and humidity – icy treats such as shave ice, snoballs, and boozy ice pops.

Featured in the article are: Belfast Shaved Ice, Brrrr! Harbor, Haole Ice, Hawaiian Jim’s, Little Easy Snoballs, Snowology 207, and Vena’s.