Food Trucks: Eat It & Beet It, Clam Bar, Knitting Nook

The new food trucks keep coming. Here’s some information on three more:

The Clam Bar (instagram) is getting ready to open. The business is located at 199 West Commercial St. They will initially be opening with a food truck kitchen while the brick and mortar restaurant is still under development. September 1st is the target open date.

The Knitting Nook (instagram) in South Portland has expanded on the existing cafe offering with a food truck serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.

A new food truck called Eat It & Beet It (instagram) is under development. Founder Lea Andrukaitis Verrill plans to serve a menu of gourmet beef and vegan/vegetarian burgers which will feature a beet burger she’s developed. Verrill hopes to open in late 2021 or early 2022. Verrill has worked the last few years as a pastry chef at Botto’s Bakery.

Plate The State

A new Maine cooking show called Plate the State (website, facebook, instagram) is currently taping their first set of episodes which are expected to air Sundays on News Center Maine at 11 am starting on October 3rd.

The show is co-hosted by former Union chef Josh Berry and Maggie Knowles who will be “sharing the stories of where our food comes from and how to enjoy it at home”.

The season premiere opens with a fly fishing adventure in Rangeley then how to make a trout dinner over a campfire at Cathedral Pines Campground. Throughout the 11-episode season, viewers will visit The Honey exchange, Slack Tide Sea Salt, The Apple Farm, and Mousam Valley Mushrooms amongst many others.

Maine Scallop Aquaculture

The New York Times has published an article about scallop aquaculture in Maine.

You certainly couldn’t tell that, just below the waves slapping against the hull, there were hundreds of thousands of sea scallops, swimming, squirting and cavorting in a series of nets, all part of Mr. Brewer’s aquatic farm.

Mr. Brewer and his son, Bob, pulled up a long algae-covered net and scooped scallops into a bucket of seawater, where they zipped around, moving a whole lot faster than you’d think bivalves could. Most would go to Glidden Point Oyster Farms. The rest were about to become lunch.

Belleville on Forest Ave

Belleville (website, instagram) has leased this building at 767 Forest Ave where they plan to build out a production bakery. The new bakery will nearly quadruple the size of their production space. A rotating rack oven and proofing equipment are on order and expected to arrive later this year. Belleville hopes to be back in full swing by the holidays and will keep up their occasional pop-up series in the meantime.

The new bakery will allow them to produce more baked goods more efficiently to meet the ever growing demand for their croissants, pizza and other foods.

The Munjoy Hill location will continue to be the retail shop for Belleville. However sometime in late 2022 or 2023 they may open a second retail location at the bakery on Forest Ave.

Congolese Takeout from Taste of 243

A Congolese takeout and delivery service called Taste of 243 (instagram) launched this summer in Westbrook. Owner Daniella Mawika offers up a weekly menu that includes chicken, beef, goat, Thomson fish, peanut butter stew, fufu, yellow rice and kwanga, as well as weekly specials. The 243 in the name of the business is a reference to the international calling code for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A recent graduate from USM with a degree in business and it’s Mawika’s dream to one day own a restaurant, and to make Congolese food to available to diners in Maine and beyond. As a next step Mawika is hoping to expand the catering side of the business.

Taste of 243 is open for business on Saturdays and Sundays. You can call or text in your order at (207) 409-5240 and pay either with cash, Venmo or Cash App.

Public Shows Support for Accident Victims

A collision Saturday night put three catering employees from Lake & Co into the hospital emergency room.

On the way home from working a catering event, Jenn Marrone and two others were struck by a drunk driver going the wrong way on 295.   Jenn is in critical condition with a severely injured leg. Two other passengers, who will remain anonymous for the time being, have critical injuries as well.

A Go Fund Me campaign set-up Sunday night has seen an outpouring of support in the first 24 hours it’s been up. 300+ people have donated more than $30k to help with medical bills and other related expenses.

In separate news, Cameron Graf, the sous chef at FLUX Restaurant and Bar in Lisbon Falls, suffered serious burns Saturday night and is in the ICU at Maine Med.

Graf sustained severe burns to his hands, arms, torso and legs in a cooking fire early Saturday afternoon. He was preparing a dish with alcohol when the alcohol splashed onto his uniform, causing it to catch fire, Lisbon Fire Chief Nate LeClair said Saturday.

A Go Fund Me campaign set-up on Sunday for Graf has seen a similar response with more than $27k raised so far with donations from 350+ people.

Lucky Pigeon & Nibblesford

Two new establishments opened in Biddeford this weekend.

Lucky Pigeon Brewing (facebookinstagram) is Maine’s first brewery exclusively dedicated to producing gluten-free beer opened on Friday. They’re located in building 13 of the Pepperell Mill complex just off Laconia Street. Their initial tap line-up include a New England IPA, brown ale, blonde ale and pale ale. Lucky Pigeon is open Friday (4 – 9 pm),  Saturday (noon – 9 pm) and Sunday (noon – 6 pm).

The Nibblesford (facebookinstagramtwitter) cheese shop and specialty market opened on Saturday. Brothers Travis and Ian Kern are focusing on Maine cheese makers and other Maine sourced food and products as well as wines, oils, and other specialty food stuffs from around the globe. Nibblesford will be located at 5 Washington Street. 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. They’re open 11 – 5 on Sunday, and 11 – 7 on Monday and Thursday through Saturday.

Bravo & Ruby’s

Bravo Maine (websitefacebookinstagram) is relocating to 559 Brighton Ave (the original Rosemont Market building) where they’ll be serving dinner Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (starting September 15th) in addition to holding their ongoing cooking class series.

We are happy to announce we are moving to the former Rosemont Market annex at 559 Brighton Avenue in early September. This new location will allow us to offer a better experience for our cooking classes with a beautiful bigger kitchen and a nice workshop area. We will also offer in our new location FRENCH DINING, every Tuesday and Wednesday night. The entire menu is house-made from the baguettes to the Chocolate Bomb Fondue. Originally from France it was important for me to share my enthusiasm and love regarding for French food.

Bravo Maine had been co-located with Ruby’s West End (websiteinstagram) at 64 Pine Street. Ruby’s itself has their own expansion news. They’ve started serving dinner Thursday through Sunday. Ruby’s is up for a liquor license at Monday night’s City Council meeting. You can take a look at their dinner menu on their website.

Mobile Food: Moonday, Quanto Basta, Witty Monkey, Maxim’s

2021 has seen a riot of new mobile food and drink operations. Here are a four more that have recently surfaced or recently launched:

Moonday (instagram) is a mobile espresso cart that popped-up for the first time this past weekend. Owner David Kessel is serving cold brew and espresso-based drinks made with Speckled Ax coffee as well as a house-made chai.

The Witty Monkey (instagram) Monkey launched in July. Owner Sokly Soeuy is serving up dishes from Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cuisines.

Quanto Basta (websiteinstagram) is holding their first pop-up on Saturday August 21st. Owner Elizabeth English plans to serve a rotating menu of four to five Neapolitan pizzas as well as Italian pastries and provisions. [more info]

Maxim’s Desserts (instagram) has relocated to Portland from Kennebunkport. Owner Max LeBlanc serves pie cones which are a “waffle cone with crushed pie filling and crust coating the inside, ice cream in the middle, and more pie sprinkled on top, all made to order”. Maxim’s currently expects to be operating in Portland through the end of August.

Portland’s mobile food scene continues to rapidly expand. Stay tuned for more updates on new food trucks, carts and pop-ups. For the best information on which carts and trucks are open on any given day check out the Food Truckalico app.