10 Years Ago in November

Here’s a look at the top stories from a decade ago in November 2008:

    • Olive Cafe took over the space formerly occupied by Mike Keon’s restaurant One-Eyed Jack on Commercial Street.
    • Steve Corry was quoted in an article for Single Edition, “The way we see it is that if someone is willing to come in alone to dine with us then he/she has an elevated level of expectation that we will strive to exceed.”
    • Hugo’s held the 8th Annual Potato Dinner, “7-course meal featuring Maine grown potatoes and other root vegetables”
    • Dean’s Sweets opened at the original location on Middle Street on November 22nd.
    • The Maine episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern aired.
    • Both Binga’s Wingas and Al-Mustaqim Halal Market were damaged by a three-alarm blaze in Bramhall Square. The Binga’s building was replaced by Peloton Labs, but the Al-Mustaqim space has just undergone considerable renovation and is now in 2018 available for lease.
    • A campaign called Take Back the Tap was having some success in getting restaurants to stop serving bottled water.

10 Years Ago in September and October

Here’s a look at the top stories from a decade ago in September and October 2008:

    • The Forage Kill Grow Deathmatch took place.
    • The Portland City Council voted to “ban smoking in outdoor dining areas before 10 p.m.”
    • Michael Bauer visited Portland writing that “Portland is . . . about a tenth of the size of San Francisco, yet in terms of food, it’s every bit as sophisticated”.
    • Chef Lee Skawinski from Cinque Terre/Vignola served a dinner at The James Beard House.
    • Big Mama’s Diner closed.
    • A bicycle food delivery service called Veloport launched.

10 Years Ago in July & August

Here’s a look at the top stories from a decade ago in July/August 2008:

    • Food historian Sandy Oliver wrote an article about Nabisco’s discontinuation of Crown Pilot Crackers for Working Waterfront.
    • Portland bartender John Myers was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal about a competition held at the annual Tales of the Cocktail convention. Myers was one of six contestants who were challenged to come up with an original cocktail that had to include ginger marmalade and either Grand Marnier or Navan vanilla liqueur. The Journal called Myers’ combination of smoky single-malt Scotch, vanilla liqueur, bitters, and a spoonful of the marmalade an “essay in simplicity”.
    • The Great Lost Bear expanded their bar to include a set of taps dedicated just to Allagash.

10 Years Ago in June

Here’s a look at the top stories from a decade ago in June 2008:

    • The Wine Flight 5k training runs started up. These were a series of light runs that were “training” people for the 5k which took place in October 2008.
    • Demolition of The Village Cafe began. The Village Cafe was run by the Reali from 1936 until 2007. The land it was on is now occupied by condos.
    • PETA put out a press release claiming they were going to build a lobster empathy center in the Somerset County Jail, “Visitors to the center could voluntarily have their fingers rubber-banded together, and then they could walk into a dirty tank where they would be pressed up against other visitors to simulate conditions for lobsters in supermarket tanks.”
    • Andrew Zimmern was in town filming segments with Rob Evans, Sam Hayward, Rick Tibbets, Masa Miyake, the Deathmatch crew, and Rabelais for his show Bizarre Foods.
    • Prost! International Tap House opened.
    • The Clown closed their wine shop on Middle Street.
    • Mark’s Hot Dogs, celebrated their 25th anniversary.

10 Years Ago in May

Here’s a look at the top stories from May 2008:

  • John and Brendan Ready won the National Young Entrepreneurs of the Year award from the Small Business Administration.
  • Local 188 bartender John Myers won the B&B 70th Anniversary Master Mixologist Showcase for his cocktail The Touchable.
  • Caiola’s started serving brunch.
  • Captain Mowatt’s won the People’s Choice award at the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival.
  • The Merry Table opened on Wharf Street.
  • The Phoenix reviewed Gaucho’s Churrascaria “What would you pay to have a handsome young man wearing a sash around his hips anticipate your every need for about an hour? At Gauchos Churrascaria it goes for $30, and it comes with meat. Drinks are extra. A lot extra, actually. And drinks help.”
  • Novare Res opened.
  • Nabisco ceased production of the Crown Pilot crackers.
  • The Grill Room opened in the space formerly occupied by Natasha’s.

Alice Greele’s Tavern, 1775

Portland Maine History 1768 to the Present has posted some history on Alice Greele’s Tavern, a popular food establishments in 18th Century Portland.

The fashionable tavern of the town was kept by Dame Alice Greele, and here, during the whole Revolutionary period, the committee of public safety met, the judges held their courts, and political conventions had their sessions. It was here that the citizens in town meeting heroically voted to stand the bombardment rather than give up the guns demanded by Mowatt.

10 Years Ago in April

Here’s a look at the top stories from April 2008:

  • Erik Desjarlais opened his new restaurant Evangeline in Longfellow Square.
  • Bresca was included on the Conde Nast Traveler‘s 2008 Hot List.
  • Andrew Zimmern was working on new episode of his show set in Maine.
  • An article by Sam Hayward on island raised sheep in Maine was published in The Art of Eating.
  • Chef et al opened on Forest Ave and Granny’s re-opened on Congress Street.
  • Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham gave a lecture entitled “The Natural Cook: What Diet Does to Make us Human” at the University of New England.

Maine’s Food Heritage

Food historian Sandy Oliver, author Nancy Harmon Jenkins, culinary antiquarian bookseller Don Lindgren, and Tilly Laskey, curator of the “Maine Eats” exhibit at the Maine Historical Society were interviewed earlier this week on Maine Calling about Maine’s food heritage.

In conjunction with a new exhibit at the Maine Historical Society, we examine Maine’s food heritage, including what ingredients and dishes have come from the different cultures that have shaped our state.

10 Years Ago in March

Here’s a look at the top food news from 10 years ago in March 2008:

  • Forbes Traveler recognized The Great Lost Bear as one of the Best American Beer Bars, “Maine is a craft-brewing mecca, and there’s no better place to sample the Northeast’s bounty than this nearly 30-year-old institution offering a mind-boggling 52 taps.”
  • Mayor Suslovic welcomed to town a master distiller from Bushmills Irish Whiskey.
  • Hilltop Coffee moved across the street leaving the space that’s now occupied by Willa Wirth.
  • the 2nd edition of Deathmatch took place.
  • Foley’s Bakery closed.
  • Olive Garden was ranked 2nd in the Best Restaurant category in the Press Herald readership poll.
  • Blogger Beer, Maine & Me complained that, “We have a ton of great breweries, brewing lots of great beers, representing all different styles, but no IPAs that we can really brag about in the arena of holier-than-though hoppiness.”
  • Rob Evans was a nominee for the 2008 James Beard awards in the Best Chef: Northeast category.