Tokyo Sushi Ramen & Bar

A new restaurant called Tokyo Sushi Ramen & Bar has leased the 4,300 sq ft former BRGR Bar space at 11 Brown Street.

The menu taped up in the window has an extensive list of offerings including sushi, ramen, pad thai, tempura, teriyaki, poke bowls and more.

Stop AAPI Hate/Dough Something (Updated)

A growing number (18 and counting) of Portland restaurants are working together to raise money for Stop AAPI Hate, an organization dedicated to addressing anti-Asian hate amid the pandemic.

May 16th through May 22nd participating restaurants will donate $1 for every order of the Stop AAPI Hate item on their menu. Already signed up for this program are:

Restaurants that want to take part should reach out to Krista Cole at Sur Lie ( You can also make a donation to Stop AAPI Hate online.

On a related note, Hilltop Coffee has announced they’ll be raising funds for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. During the month of May, $1 will be donated for every Green Goddess avocado toast purchased during the month at Hilltop. Hilltop’s initiative was inspired by the Dough Something project launched by Chicago pastry chef Beverly Kim.

You can also make a donation to Asian Americans Advancing Justice online.

BenReuben’s & Paddy Wagon

Two new businesses are launching this weekend:

BenReuben’s Knishery  (websiteinstagram) will be opening their doors Sunday morning (7 am to 3 pm). Owners Graeme and Caitlin Miller  will be serving a menu of 8 different types of knishes plus sides, cookies, cakes and drinks. BenReuben’s is located at 145 Ocean Street in South Portland.

The Paddy Wagon (instagram) food truck will be at Goodfire Brewing in East Bayside starting at noon on Sunday. Owners Luke Benning and David McGuirk will be serving pub fare like “Fish and Chips, Battered Sausages, Mushy Peas, and Chip Butties.”

Interview with Krista Kern Desjarlais

For the latest episode of Food Coma Maine host Joe Ricchio sits down for a conversation with Krista Kern Desjarlais, chef/owner of The Purple House, and Bresca and the Honey Bee.

In this episode, I sit down with Krista Kern Desjarlais, chef and owner of The Purple House, as well as Bresca & The Honey Bee. She also operated one of the most well-regarded and missed Portland eateries, Bresca. We delve into her professional restaurant career – past, present, and future. I confess to my love of white chocolate. It’s very exciting. You’ll love it. Please enjoy. 

Maine Community Cookbook 2022

The team that produced the Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook are now working on a second volume which will contain more “recipes and stories that will continue the celebration of home cooking and the vibrant cultural tapestry of Maine”. As with their first volume the initiative will also raise money to fight hunger in Maine.

“The feedback we got from the first book was overwhelmingly positive, and at the same time, we heard from many people that they didn’t know we were collecting recipes. They wished that they could submit their family recipe or family food story,” says Karl Schatz, one of the book’s editors. “We know there are more great recipes and stories out there, and this is our chance to be even more inclusive.”

$2 from each book sold will be donated to non-profits with the goal of fighting food insecurity and inequity. The Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook so far has raised and distributed more than $15,000 to 25 different organizations fighting hunger in all corners of the state.

Submit your recipe for Volume 2
Anyone with a connection to Maine can submit a recipe, food story, family photos or scans of recipe cards. A submission portal on the website,, will open on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021 to receive submissions, and the team will continue to collect recipes and stories through Labor Day, 2021. Recipes can also be mailed to Maine Community Cookbook c/o Rabelais Books, 2 Main Street, Suite 18-214, Biddeford, Maine 04005.

The second volume  is expected to be published on April 15, 2022.

Soul Food Paradise Launching Friday

A new takeout restaurant called Soul Food Paradise (website, instagram) is launching this Friday. They’re operating out of Fork Food Lab, the food business incubator and commercial kitchen in Bayside.

Owner Martin Beavers is serving up a menu that includes oxtail, jerk chicken, fried catfish and smothered pork chops.

Our menu pays homage to the comfort foods my mother made for our large family growing up in the Bronx. Now we’re excited to bring these flavors to Maine. We invite you to give us a try and become apart of our extended family.

Online pre-ordering is live for pick-up on Friday and orders can also be placed on May 7th. The Soul Food Paradise menu will also be available for delivery through Doordash or Grubhub.

Buzz Coffee

A new food cart called Buzz Coffee (instagram) is in the final stages of development.

Owner Corey Koch and his friend Christopher Weiss are pursuing a dream of launching a cafe by taking the first step with a mobile coffee business. Buzz Coffee will be serving cold brew coffee from a hand-built pushcart throughout Portland. Beans for the cold brew are being sourced from Rwanda Bean in Portland and Buzz will be sourcing milks, honey and syrups locally as well.

They hope to launch Buzz Coffee on Saturday, May 15th at the Eastern Promenade open from 8 am to 1 pm.

Nibblesford in Biddeford

A new cheese shop and specialty market called Nibblesford (facebook, instagram, twitter) is under construction in Biddeford. Brothers Travis and Ian Kern hope to open Nibblesford early this summer.

Nibblesford will sell cheeses from a wide variety of Maine producers as well as Maine made culinary equipment and goods such as cutting boards, linens and knives. Nibblesford will be located at 5 Washington Street just on the other side of Shevenell Park next to Palace Diner.

Travis Kern has been working in the restaurant industry for 20+ years—his most recent position was as the chef de cuisine at Local 188. Ian Kern has moved to Maine from New York City where he managed the Mysterious Book Shop.

Portland Wine Week

The 3rd Annual Portland Wine Week (websitefacebookinstagramtwitter) is taking place this summer June 14th to 20th at various locations across the city. There are 38 events already on the calendar and more are being added every week.

Here are some of the highlights:

Follow Portland Wine Week on instagram to keep in the loop on new events as they’re announced.

Also check out the Sponsorship page on for opportunities to support Portland Wine Week overall or specific events on the program.

2021 Food Trucks

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a report on some of the new food trucks set to open this year.

By April, according to Portland city records, 21 food trucks had been licensed or renewed their licenses, with another 11 licenses pending. On top of that, nearly 15 newcomers have announced plans to hit the road this summer, serving tacos, fish and chips, vegan comfort food, lobster rolls, burritos and banh mi. That’s nearly 50 food trucks that will be roaming the Greater Portland area this summer. Why so many?