Blackstones

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Blackstones, a gay bar in Longfellow Square.

The coronavirus pandemic has left many local bar owners without a path forward, and reality set in for Blackstones manager Carl Currie last month.

Currie had just come out of a staff meeting with bar owner Matt Pekins where they decided they would have to ask the community for money to stay afloat until spring.

He said the decision was a difficult one that he and Pekins tried to avoid, and that it made him uncomfortable. But less than two weeks after he created a GoFundMe page asking neighbors to help save Portland’s last gay bar, they had raised enough in pledges to survive the winter.

Roast Beef & Meal Ticketing

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a look at the ticket-based reservation model that some restaurants in Maine are starting to use,

“Everything else is changing, so why not?” Lyle Aker, co-owner of Portland’s soon-to-open Broken Arrow, said. “Our intent was to open as a regular full-service restaurant. But now to control costs, the model of Next seems like kind of a good idea.”

“Tickets give us the most control over timing so we can get service right and protect the customers as well when they’re not being forced to wait outside or at the bar,” added co-owner Holly Aker.

and details on three new options for roast beef sandwiches in Portland (George’s, Haltead’s, Roll Call),

Chef Michael Sindoni of Roll Call initially considered focusing on a North Shore sandwich, but he felt the sauces and cheese were “hiding the beef.” Add to that the fact that he didn’t have an emotional connection to the sandwich the way that North Shore fans do, and “it just didn’t do it for me.” George’s came on the scene at about the same time. That was “complete coincidence,” Sindoni said, “but we were probably thinking the same thing at the same time – that no one’s really doing a great roast beef sandwich here.”

Little Lad’s at 25

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a profile of Little Lad’s.

In 1995, Little Lad’s opened for business as a cafe and bakery on Route 1 in Woolwich, and it was there that its famous popcorn was developed as an alternative to corn chips. The company began making its Herbal Corn and many other food products by hand in Corinth in 1999, after relocating from its home in Woolwich. Over the years, Little Lad’s evolved — among other changes, the cafes are gone now — but its roots remain in that first Woolwich restaurant and its food.

Cooking for Community

The Christian Science Monitor has published an article highlighting the good work of Cooking for Community.

Today, Cooking for Community (C4C) provides just over 2,000 meals a week. In its first two months, the grassroots initiative raised about $220,000 from individuals, foundations, and corporations. It is buying crops from farmers, seafood from fishers, and keeping many of Greater Portland’s kitchen crews employed while cooking for hungry people.

For more information or to make a donation visit: www.cookingforcommunity.org

Restaurants aiding in the work of C4C are: Chaval, Gather, Istanbul Cafe, Leeward, Little Giant, Maggie Mae’s, Mama Mo’s, Mainely Burgers, Mr. Tuna, Nura, Union, Zu Bakery.

Flood’s in the NYT

Flood’s received a shout out this week in the New York Times Style Magazine.

Like Palace, Flood’s offers creative comfort food like juicy burgers and pancetta toast with apple butter, as well as a laid-back environment personified by several unofficial and irreverent mascots from the minds of the Atlanta-based design and consulting group Office of Brothers, Inc., such as a beanie-wearing, cigarette-smoking fish. “I’m not in the business of challenging people with my space or my food,” Mitchell told me. Rather, Flood’s is about feeling like you’re a regular.

Lib’s Midwinter Dairy Experiment

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Lib’s Dairy Treats and their recent mid-winter opening on National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

“I know other places open in the winter, but it’s new for us. We have seven dogs and we each work other part-time jobs off season,” Palwoski said. “We were blown away by how busy we were this past Saturday. We intended to stay open until 8 p.m., but ran out of ice cream around 5. We completely underestimated it. And really, the best part was seeing all the familiar faces and people I’ve known for years with their own kids who have grown up in line here.” 

According to the article Lib’s will be open again this Saturday.

Plucked Salsa

The Press Herald has published a profile of Plucked Fresh Salsa, a Fork Food Lab success story.

Now the brand and its whimsical name can be spotted at dozens of Hannaford  and Whole Foods stores, as well as on colleges campuses, across the Northeast. It just passed the $1 million mark in sales. Not bad for a business that started in her kitchen, moved to her basement and then nearly cost Towle and her husband their home.