Two new establishments opened in Biddeford this weekend.
Lucky Pigeon Brewing (facebook, instagram) is Maine’s first brewery exclusively dedicated to producing gluten-free beer opened on Friday. They’re located in building 13 of the Pepperell Mill complex just off Laconia Street. Their initial tap line-up include a New England IPA, brown ale, blonde ale and pale ale. Lucky Pigeon is open Friday (4 – 9 pm), Saturday (noon – 9 pm) and Sunday (noon – 6 pm).
The Nibblesford (facebook, instagram, twitter) cheese shop and specialty market opened on Saturday. Brothers Travis and Ian Kern are focusing on Maine cheese makers and other Maine sourced food and products as well as wines, oils, and other specialty food stuffs from around the globe. Nibblesford will be located at 5 Washington Street. Travis Kern has been working in the restaurant industry for 20+ years—his most recent position was as the chef de cuisine at Local 188. They’re open 11 – 5 on Sunday, and 11 – 7 on Monday and Thursday through Saturday.
2021 has seen a riot of new mobile food and drink operations. Here are a four more that have recently surfaced or recently launched:
Moonday (instagram) is a mobile espresso cart that popped-up for the first time this past weekend. Owner David Kessel is serving cold brew and espresso-based drinks made with Speckled Ax coffee as well as a house-made chai.
The Witty Monkey (instagram) Monkey launched in July. Owner Sokly Soeuy is serving up dishes from Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cuisines.
Quanto Basta (website, instagram) is holding their first pop-up on Saturday August 21st. Owner Elizabeth English plans to serve a rotating menu of four to five Neapolitan pizzas as well as Italian pastries and provisions. [more info]
Maxim’s Desserts (instagram) has relocated to Portland from Kennebunkport. Owner Max LeBlanc serves pie cones which are a “waffle cone with crushed pie filling and crust coating the inside, ice cream in the middle, and more pie sprinkled on top, all made to order”. Maxim’s currently expects to be operating in Portland through the end of August.
Portland’s mobile food scene continues to rapidly expand. Stay tuned for more updates on new food trucks, carts and pop-ups. For the best information on which carts and trucks are open on any given day check out the Food Truckalico app.
Rosemont opened their new market and wine bar on Thompson’s Point yesterday. According to an article in this week’s Portland Phoenix,
[Rosemont Marketing Director Holly] Martzial described the new Rosemont as being a “picnic Rosemont” that will carry grab-and-go items like sushi, noodles, yogurt, some fresh fruit, and ice cream treats. The wine bar will also offer small plates to complement its wine pairings, including items like meat and cheese, but Martzial said overall most of the offerings will be snack-like instead of full meal portions.
The wine bar, she added, will offer a selection of wines that are available at all of Rosemont’s markets. Martzial said the staff plans to open the new Rosemont for outdoor service only and will start slowly with its schedule.
Zephyr Ice (instagram) will be opening their new shaved ice shop this Thursday. Zephyr Ice is located at 129 Spring Street. Owners Julie and Don Martin launched Zephyr as a food cart last summer. This will be their first brick and mortar location.
Zephyr Ice will be open Thursday and Friday, 4 – 8 pm.
Cong Tu Bot (website, instagram) will officially reopen Saturday morning at 8 am. The highly regarded Vietnamese restaurant is transitioning into a counter service daytime cafe serving breakfast and lunch.
On Saturday Cong Tu Bot will be serving a limited breakfast menu (see below) that includes a breakfast sandwich, coconut yogurt parfait, and pandan cake, along with coffee, tea and other drinks. Over the next few weeks perennial favorites such as the phở gà and bún chả as well as a range of new breakfast and lunch items will make it onto the menu.
Cong Tu Bot has a new outdoor seating area—indoor seating is not available at this time. Hours will be: Thursday and Friday 7 am – 1 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 2 pm.
Cong Tu Bot (website, instagram) will be reopening this summer as a counter service daytime cafe serving breakfast and lunch.
Co-owner and chef Vien Dobui shared that some perennial favorites such as the phở gà and bún chả will carrying over but that most of the menu will be entirely new dishes. The breakfast menu is expected to include phở, congee, fried rice, house made coconut yogurt, bánh tiêu (semi-sweet hollow fry bread) and baked goods. CTB will add lunch hours a few weeks after launching with their breakfast service. The lunch menu is still under development but will definitely include the bún chả.
As part of the relaunch, Cong Tu Bot will be switching over from Parlor to serve Portrait Coffee (website, instagram). The coffee service will be influenced by menus from Vietnamese and Chinese bakeries, Hong Kong cafes, and boba shops. In addition to cà phê sữa đá Vietnamese coffee CTB will be serving they’ll also have an iced coffee topped with kinako cold foam made with their own soy milk. Other coffee and tea items are under development.
Cong Tu Bot has managed to keep many of their pre-pandemic staff on the team which will be a point of continuity. Dobui shared that “[w]ith everything we’ve survived this year it feels very significant to acknowledge that we’re still together.”
The current renovations to the space on Washington Ave have been to create additional kitchen prep space. The reduced indoor seating area will be offset by the addition of an outdoor seating on a covered patio. A decision on when CTB will open for indoor seating will be made as the public health impacts of the delta variant become more clear.
Cong Tu Bot is expected to reopen in mid/late August.
Brickyard Hollow Brewing (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has opened their new Portland location. It’s located in the former Arabica coffee shop at 9 Commercial Street where they’re serving cocktails, house beers and a menu of pizza, protein bowls, salads and appetizers.
The Wayside Tavern (website, instagram, reservations) opened for business on Friday night. Wayside is located in Parkside in the former Flood’s space at The Francis hotel.
The menu includes a variety of small plates such as country pate, fried sunchokes and chicory salad, and larger plates such as a dry-aged rib steak, Bangs Island mussels and roast chicken. The drinks menu include a variety of wines by the glass, classic cocktails and draft beer and cider.
Wayside is being launched by the founders of Roll Call, Michael and Siobhán Sindoni. Prior to moving to Maine, Michael was the executive chef of the Joule Hotel and opened the restaurant CBD Provisions in Dallas. Siobhán was the sommelier/manager at FT33 in Dallas. They also worked together for Makeready as culinary director and service/wine director. Their most recent Makeready opening was Frannie & the Fox in Hotel Emeline in Charleston.
The East Bayside cidery and hard seltzer producer Après (website, instagram) opened for business Friday night. They’re serving house-made hard seltzers as well as beer and cider from other producers. They began fermenting their first batch cider this week.
Après is being launched by co-owners Ryan Houghton from the Hop Yard and Michael Cardente. Ian Goering, former head brewer at Tributary Brewing has been hired as the head of production at Après, and the operations manager Sarah Bryan—formerly with Schilling Beer—will manage front of house operations.
Apres plans to hold their official grand opening on Friday July 16th. They’re located at 148 Anderson Street.
The new Cakes Extraordinaire (website, facebook) opens today. In business since 1984, and located for many years on Brighton Ave, the bakery has relocated to Yarmouth.
Owner Steve Leeman tells me he’s really happy with his new location in the former Ice It Bakery space at 305 US Route 1.
The hours for the new shop are Tuesday through Saturday, 7 am – 5 pm.