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.

More on Eastern Prom Food Trucks

The Press Herald has published a report on proposed changes to managing food trucks on the Eastern Prom.

The proposed pilot program would create a designated area for food trucks between Turner and Congress streets on the Eastern Promenade and would eliminate parking on the non-park side of the street in that area. The plan also includes installing new in-ground trash receptacles and putting protections around tree root zones.

Eastern Prom Food Trucks

This week’s Portland Phoenix reports on potential changes to the City rules regarding food trucks on the Eastern Prom.

After complaints from nearby residents, Portland may slash the number of food trucks allowed on the Eastern Promenade or prohibit them entirely from the scenic Munjoy Hill street.

The city may also end up with a lottery to award business permits to the truck operators, meaning licenses would be up for grabs.

3 Restaurant’s Path Through the Pandemic

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram takes a look at three restaurants and their path through the pandemic: Broken Arrow, Maine Street Steak & Oyster and Old Port Sea Grill.

“At this point, we realize we are going to have to live with the scenario for a while,” said Kim Lully, who owns Maine Street Steak & Oyster with her husband, Sunny Chung. “Back in 2020, every couple of months, we were thinking, ‘It’s almost over! It’s almost over! It’s almost over!’ We are finally realizing it isn’t going to end abruptly one day. We are going to live with it, and hopefully make the best of it.”

Over three months this winter, we periodically checked in with Broken Arrow, Old Port Sea Grill and Maine Street Steak & Oyster. These are their stories.

Spring Awakening

This Week’s Portland Phoenix includes an article entitled Spring awakening: Portland restaurants, bars counting on a return to normal.

Throughout the pandemic, Portland’s bars and restaurants were challenged at every front. From closures that lasted several months to jockeying for federal assistance and learning how to be nimble and change plans on the fly, owners found ways to pivot and get by. Now, with spring around the corner and the number of new COVID-19 cases continuing to drop, there is a sense of optimism in the industry.  

MRW: Spirit Quest

Maine Restaurant Week has announced the winners of the 2022 Spirit Quest competition:

The Judge’s Prize of $1,000 went to Blyth & Burrows for their pairing of a Scallops Ceviche made with grapefruit, Fresno pepper, kelp, and lava salt on a prawn crisp, with a “Ponzu Scheme” cocktail made with Pisco, shiso, grapefruit, coconut, soy, ponzu foam. The judges were Angie Bryant the author of the Bar Guide column in the Press Herald, and Christine Burns Rudalevige who is the editor of Edible Maine and also a Press Herald columnist.

The People’s Choice Prize of $750 went to BlueFin at Portland Harbor Hotel for their pairing of Tuna Poke made with crisp wonton, sesame soy tuna, cilantro lime slaw, scallion, Sriracha mayo, and a Cucumber Tonic cocktail made with Drumshanbo Irish Gin, St. Germain, cucumber-cardamom simple syrup, lime and tonic.

Maine Calling: How Maine Restaurants Are Faring

Matt Lewis from HospitalityMaine and Peggy Grodinsky from the Press Herald were the featured guests of Jennifer Rooks on the latest episode of Maine Calling in a show that asks How Are Maine Restaurants Faring?

It’s Maine Restaurant Week, and we check in on the foodservice scene in Maine to find out how restaurants are faring at this stage of the pandemic. We’ll also discuss how Maine chefs and restaurants are regularly honored with James Beard award nominations.