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.

Changing Nature of the Restaurant Industry

The Food & Dining section today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles on:

Restaurants Act

Leigh Habegger, executive director of Seafood Harvesters of America, and Andrew Taylor, Arlin Smith and Mike Wiley, the co-owners of Eventide, Hugo’s and The Honey Paw have co-written an article for the Press Herald advocating for passage of the Restaurants Act and funds to support the seafood industry.

The connection couldn’t be clearer: Without restaurants, many fishermen have nowhere to sell their catch. Without fishermen, many restaurants have nothing to offer. We’re proud to harvest and serve the best-managed, most sustainable seafood in the world, especially when it comes on a steamed bun or slurped down with a squeeze of lemon. By passing the RESTAURANTS Act and providing additional assistance to the commercial fishing industry, Congress would make sure fresh oysters, lobster tails and haddock filets continue to make it to consumers, returning hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs in the process.

For more information on the challenges faced by restaurant during the pandemic visit the Independent Restaurant Coalition website.

Alcohol To Go

A bill has been proposed for the Maine Legislature which would enable restaurants to sell alcohol to go through 2022, according to a report in the Press Heraldi.

But Sen. Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth, who sponsored the bill to extend the to-go law until April 2022, said it has helped prevent many restaurants from going out of business during the pandemic.

Edible Maine

The latest issue of Edible Maine is now online. The summer 2020 issue focuses on women in the Maine food community and includes articles about:

  • Cara Stadler from Canopy Farms
  • Mary Allen Linderman from Coffee by Design
  • Sarah Jackson, a bartender from Hunt & Alpine
  • State Apiarist Jennifer Lund
  • State Senator Heather Sanborn, co-owner of Rising Tide Brewery
  • and several other articles

Old Port Outside, Maine Ginger, Vegan Eating

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a survey of sidewalk dining in the Old Port by restaurant critic Andrew Ross,

My plan on this sun-soaked Saturday afternoon is to take my new mask out for a spin on a walk through downtown Portland, starting where new, planter-topped concrete barricades fence in a pedestrian-friendly stretch of Exchange Street. The blockade offers restaurants and bars a bit more outdoor real estate to help rekindle business as customers begin their cautious return to dining out.

an article about Maine-grown ginger,

[Ian] Jerolmack, now in his seventh year of tending the young ginger rhizomes that sprout from mature ginger root he imports from Peru, has a reputation among local farmers as the best ginger grower in Maine. One flower farmer I spoke with grew it for a couple of years until the novelty wore off; the crop was too labor intensive and not always productive, he said. He told me to call Jerolmack.

and an overview of vegan/vegetarian ratings garnered by Portland.

Portland may be a small city, but it ranks alongside Chicago, Los Angeles and New York as a hot spot for vegans and vegetarians. Over the past five years, Portland has gained a national reputation as a top city for vegans, reflecting the city’s growing roster of vegetarian restaurants and residents’ easy access to locally grown vegetables and fruits.

Preble Street

The Bangor Daily News reports that Preble Street will be changing over to food delivery in order to increase social distancing among people who depend on the soup kitchen.

Preble Street Resource Center, one of the largest social service agencies in Maine, will shut down its to-go soup kitchen on Monday and shift to a mobile food distribution program that “brings food to people where they are.”

The initiative aims to provide basic food needs and dissuade crowds from gathering at its Bayside site during the pandemic, according to Ali Lovejoy, a program director at Preble Street.

Crowds on Wharf Street

Prompted by images of crowds on Wharf Street Friday night, the City of Portland is assigning code enforcement officers to monitor conditions on Wharf street and made clear that if “the regulations are not followed by businesses then the City will be forced to eliminate outdoor dining on Wharf Street and in other areas in which violations are found.”

For more information see reports in the Press Herald and from News Center Maine.

Devenish Raises Money for Restaurant Workers

Ned Swain from Devenish Wines has launched an effort to raise money for restaurant workers impacted by the pandemic. Inspired by the Depression Era WPA project arts initiative, he commissioned four artists to produce designs for t-shirts which are now on sale online.

The four artists are Kimberly Convery, Ryan Adams, Hannah Hirsch and Emma Lucille.

Devenish Wines will be donating profits by this initiative to the Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation, who are “working to provide resources and advocacy for the hospitality workers we know and love–along with the many who too often go unrecognized and for whom the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a pre-existing quality of life crisis.”

You can see the designs and order a shirt now through July 1st at