Artists Tea Towel Subscription

The monthly Eat Drink Lucky Tea Towel subscription service got a shout out in the Ruth Reichel holiday gift guide.

Have you every thought about how useful your tea towels are – or how much they say about you? There they are, sitting in the kitchen, for all the world to see. Mine were pretty dull until I discovered Artist Series Tea Towels: created by women in Maine they are lovely to look at. The perfect present for people unwilling to waste a single opportunity to display art. There’s even a tea-towel-of-the-month club.

Hybrid Restaurant Markets & Sea Salt

The Food & Dining section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about hybrid restaurant markets, and

Restaurants featuring retail space – or vice-versa – isn’t a new concept. Department stores and clothiers like Macy’s and Tommy Bahama have hosted restaurants for decades in an effort to attract more customers. Eataly, the Italian foods shopping and dining megastores with locations from Boston to Silicon Valley, has become a phenomenon all its own.

But the mashup of restaurant and retail is becoming more common here in Portland, too. From Terlingua and Onggi on Washington Avenue to Friends & Family on Congress Street, Coveside Coffee on Vannah Avenue and The Maker’s Galley on Commercial Street, the combo concept has been gaining traction around town in the last couple of years.

an article about Maine companies sustainably producing sea salt.

China is the world’s leading salt producer, but luckily for us here in Maine we have an increasingly rich local supply of the good stuff. There are three saltern operations based in Maine that produce food-grade salt using nothing but sea water and solar (and a bit of human) energy. Maine-based spice companies blend Maine sea salt with everything from allspice to sea vegetables (a newish term to take the stigma away from seaweed). And grocery stores and specialty retailers are making Maine sea salt in various forms more readily available to shoppers.

The Cellars at Allagash

Allagash Brewing is launching a new tour of the Industrial Way brewery. Named Cellars at Allagash the “immersive and intimate beer-tasting experience” focuses on Allagash’s small-batch beers and includes a guided tasting of their barrel-aged, sour, and wild beers. The Allagash Cellars tours are set to launch on November 26th. Tickets are available online.

Eastern Prom Food Trucks

The City held a meeting earlier this week to review a proposal for where food trucks will be allowed to operate in 2023 on the Eastern Prom. The Press Herald reports,

Portland city councilors on Tuesday heard feedback both for and against proposed changes to the city’s food truck program on the heavily trafficked and popular Eastern Promenade.

The council also heard from staff about their proposed plans for next season, which include reducing the number of spots available to trucks in the Eastern Prom’s Cutter Street middle parking lot from 14 to seven and implementing a new $3,900 fee for trucks to operate in the park on a first-come first-served basis.

The next meeting on the issue is taking place on December 1st and then the acting city manager is expected to make a final decision.

Eastern Prom Food Truck Survey

The Press Herald has published a report on the the City’s ‘pilot program’ which relocated food trucks on the street this summer.

Cameron Gardner, co-owner of Falafel Mafia, said he’s been disappointed with the pilot. “It hasn’t gone well,” Gardner said. “The only reason I’m here today is because I hadn’t booked any events.”

Gardner said his sales are down 30 percent to 40 percent compared to last year. He said business was slightly better over the summer during the height of the tourism season, but that overall the new location doesn’t have the same visibility and accessibility.

The city has fielded a survey to get the public’s feedback on the relocation of the food trucks this past summer.

Monday Nights

The Press Herald has published a list of restaurants open on Monday nights.

To help simplify your search for a Monday meal, we’ve rounded up a few dozen restaurants in and around Portland that stay open. And because the labor shortage has forced many eateries to further reduce their days of operation, we’ve included whether they’re open Tuesday too.

DutchPot Business Survey

A start-up company called DutchPot is working on a platform “to simplify the process of getting food permits and food licenses” in Maine.

They are gathering input from local food business owners to learn about the “struggles they face with the food permit and licensing process”.

You can help out by answering this short survey.

Food Trucks on the Prom (or Not)

The Press Herald has published a report on the re-evaluation of the Eastern Prom food truck pilot program. You’ll recall it required food trucks on the road and into a lot halfway down the hill. Food trucks have reported a significant drop in sales at the new location.

Portland will gather feedback on its food truck pilot program on the Eastern Promenade this fall as some food truck operators say it hasn’t been working and they’re looking for changes ahead of next season.

Interim City Manager Danielle West said Monday the city is aiming to launch a survey Oct. 3 to gather feedback from the public. The program, which launched this spring, moved food trucks from the promenade road to a parking lot on Cutter Street to better manage concerns about trash, pedestrian safety and traffic around the trucks.

Review of Jing Yan, Ice Cream Trucks, Foodtopia

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Jing Yan,

You won’t find menu categories for countries or cuisines; instead you’ll find inventive twists on techniques and ingredients. Start with a plate of numbing Sichuan chicken wings with prickly, tingly spice: some of the best wings anywhere in town. Then go for a bowl of brothless Korean “spaghetti” (really a gochujang-seasoned mazemen ramen) and a clay pot of Eslami’s lush, confit Persian-Peking duck fesenjoon. Thanks to Eslami’s breadth of experience, Jing Yan isn’t a haphazard pan-Asian joint. It’s a tightly conceived restaurant that unites comforting flavors and rock-solid technique.

as well as article about the Deering Ice Cream truck and an article about the book Foodtopia.