Review of Judy Gibson & 4 New Food Books

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Judy Gibson,

The first rule of Judy Gibson is that you must start telling absolutely everyone you know about Judy Gibson. Let friends know that chef/owner Chris Wilcox (Eventide, Velveteen Habit) isn’t serving his pandemic-legendary fried chicken anymore, and that’s a good thing. Instead, he’s making excellent use of an encyclopedic larder of house-preserved local ingredients, adding a portion of pickled blueberry stems to his extraordinary tuna crudo, dusting dried ramp powder on a rich beef tartare hash brown … you get the idea.

and an article about four new food books with connections to Maine.

With summer here and leisurely pursuits on the rise, it’s time for a fresh batch of cookbooks and food writing from Maine authors. Here, we’re taking a look at four recent publications that will suit readers with a range of interest in food, from aspiring mixologists to nostalgic eaters.

Food Truck Lottery

The City held their Eastern Prom food truck lottery today and per a report from the Press Herald four entrants representing five trucks were left out in the cold “Eighty 8 Donuts, Mr. Tuna, Maine Maple Creemee and two trucks, Cheese the Day and Ironclad Eats, that applied jointly to share one spot.”

Mr. Tuna owner Jordan Rubin is quoted saying that he’ll need to cut 6 to 10 positions from his staff as a result.

“This is really disappointing. There goes our business,” said Jordan Rubin, chef and owner of Mr. Tuna, a mobile sushi bar, following the drawing held on Zoom on Wednesday morning.

“That’s six to 10 people who don’t have jobs anymore because of this lottery,” Rubin said.

A representative from Mr. Tuna shared the loss of the Eastern Prom location will result in a $500,000 drop in revenue.

A protest is scheduled to take place at City Hall at 9 am on Thursday.

The 10 trucks that got spots are On A Roll, BOGS Bakery, Falafel Mafia, George’s North Shore, Gelato Fiasco, Vy Banh Mi, Tacos La Poblanita, Cargo Pizza Company, Twist and La Mega.

Food Truck Update

The Portland Phoenix has shared an update on Eastern Prom food truck situation.

More than a dozen food trucks applied for 10 permits to operate this summer on Portland’s Eastern Promenade, which means the city will hold a lottery to decide which ones are allowed to do business in the popular park.

According to the article these trucks have all applied for a spot: On A Roll, Bogs Bakery, Mr. Tuna, Falafel Mafia, George’s North Shore, Gelato Fiasco,  Eighty 8 Donuts, Vy Banh Mi,  Cheese the Day, Tacos La Poblanita, Cargo Pizza Company, Twist, and Maine Maple Creemee.

Food Truck Petition

Nearly 2,300 people have signed a change.org petition in support of local food trucks that have operated on the Eastern Prom for the last few years.

As Portland locals, one of our favorite ways to enjoy the city is to hang out on the Eastern Prom, eat from food trucks, and enjoy the beautiful views and historic park. Over the past several years, we have supported the various food trucks who consistently park on the Eastern Promenade road, and are saddened to hear that their ability to do business there may be in jeopardy. 

The city recently announced new rules that go into effect in June that would limit the number of trucks to 10 and relocate all of them to the mid-hill parking lot on Cutter St. With more than 10 trucks interested in the spots a lottery would be used to select who can do business on the Eastern Prom.

As local citizens, we are deeply concerned about the small Portland based companies who have built their businesses and livelihoods at this location. We fear that a lottery will exclude the businesses whose food has made Portland into New England’s premiere food truck scene. We worry that these changes will impact their ability to staff locals to whom they pay living wages.

The Yard Temporarily Closing

Owners of The Yard have announced they’re temporarily closing pending the sale of the business to a new owner.

Thank you for all loving messages and supporting our decision to spend more time with family. We are very happy and excited to take this opportunity. The business has been listed for sale and have some interest already.

We will be honoring our commitment @deejayonax so throw his private Memorial Day bash on Sunday May 29th.

Our last day to the public will be Saturday May 28th.

Vegan News

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram provides an overview of some of the new vegan businesses in Maine.

Spring has sprung in Maine and with it a fresh crop of buzzy vegan news: A vegan ice cream and hamburger shop is opening in Gorham. A vegan market is coming soon to Newcastle. A vegan food manufacturer has relocated from the New York suburbs to the western Maine foothills. A vegan scoop shop is ready to open in Freeport. And a new line of vegan macarons is being made in Fort Kent.

Eastern Prom Food Trucks

The City has made a decision on regulations impacting food trucks on the Eastern Promenade.

The Eastern Prom has become a favorite spot for trucks to set up in recent years, and this spring the city began looking at different plans to better manage the impacts. Rather than lining the Eastern Prom roadway, food trucks will be allowed only in the middle-level parking lot on Cutter Street, which connects the prom to East End Beach, according to a memo Interim City Manager Danielle West wrote to the City Council on Friday.

Dinner Mates, Leeward Review

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about Dinner Mates,

Just the concept of gathering inside a restaurant with a dozen or so folks you may not have met yet for a leisurely dinner fueled by vibrant conversation and fine wine seems so retro right now, so pre-2020. After living in relative isolation for two pandemic years, many at the Dinner Mates tables at Ruby’s in early April said the new club has come into their lives at just the right time.

and a review of Leeward—the first Sunday Telegram review published since March 2020.

Conceptually, Leeward fits right in with its fellow finalists for this year’s James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. Chef Jake Stevens’ pasta-centric, eclectic Italian menu has some over-seasoning kinks to work out, but the kitchen’s strengths are on full display in dishes like sticky pork ribs sprinkled with nutty toasted flax seeds and a creamier take on Green Goddess dressing that I’d happily eat on any vegetable…Cocktails and moderately priced wines (most bottles clock in at around the mid-$50s) are also must-try items, especially the smoky, yet phenomenally balanced Italian on Holiday…Front-of-house manager Raquel Stevens leads the bar team as well as the friendly, knowledgeable servers who seem to love the place as much as locals and tourists do…

What’s Going On in Biddeford

Prompted by the recent recognition in Food & Wine, the Press Herald has explored the emergent Biddeford food scene and some of the factors contributing to its success.

Elements co-owner Michael Macomber said when Elements first opened, it was the only bookstore in town, as well as the only shop for premium coffee or craft beer. He said the Food & Wine praise for Biddeford “isn’t surprising, given the way the momentum in town has been (building). There’s a good collection of business owners who see an environment here that welcomes new and exciting ventures.” He added that he’s seen foot traffic in town increase dramatically in the past few years because of more places to live.