Strata & Vegan Cakes

The Food & Dining section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles on the Strata cutlery shop on Washington Ave,

Strata, which opened Feb. 1, is located in one of the shipping containers that entrepreneurs are renting for retail space on Portland’s East End, a busy neighborhood of restaurants and bars. Knife shopping there is an education and an experience unlike anything you’ll get at Williams-Sonoma or other big stores that sell knives by the block. Atwell trades in artisanal Japanese and French knives, but also knives crafted here in Maine – beautiful handmade pieces that look as if they belong in a museum. “I try to stay away from machine-built stuff as much as possible,” he said.

and one on the availability of vegan cakes in Maine.

But vegan cakes aren’t just a Portland thing. They are coming out of the oven at bakeries across the state. It’s a trend fueled by two factors: more people eating vegan, and more people avoiding dairy products and eggs due to allergies and intolerances. This availability of vegan cakes is a marked change from even a few years ago.

Traditional Italian

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an article about the Portland area’s traditional red-sauce Italian restaurants.

Instead of starkly decorated dining rooms with lines and lighting reminiscent of an industrial site, these old-school restaurants keep flowers, candles and linens on the tables. The soothing tones of Frank Sinatra and other old-time crooners add to the atmosphere instead of drowning out conversations. In these places, the long-gone Village Cafe – a popular Italian-American family restaurant in the Old Port that was driven out by urban renewal and is still mourned by Portlanders on social media – is remembered with reverence, and the Olive Garden is dismissed as irrelevant.

Rabelais Books

Life & Thyme has published a profile of Rabelais Books and its owner Don Lindgren.

For Don Lindgren of Rabelais, an antiquarian bookshop in Biddeford, Maine, these culinary texts serve a purpose even more expansive than the preservation of recipes. Widely considered a leading buyer and seller of antiquarian cookbooks and culinary ephemera, his work consists not just in seeking out rare material, but in helping others understand the role those books played in the lives of both their individual owners and society at large.

Boston Globe: East End

The Boston Globe has published an article about the East End of Portland with a focus on the restaurants and other food purveyors located there.

Last year, Kittery stalwart Bob’s Clam Hut opened an outpost at the corner of Cumberland and Washington avenues. If you’re not in the mood for fried clams, Washington Avenue boasts an Ethiopian restaurant, an African market, a boutique Texas barbecue place, a vegan cafe and marketplace, a pho joint, and a Salvadoran restaurant. Drifters Wife, a chef-driven locavore restaurant with its own wine shop (Maine & Loire) in back, is a national critical darling.

The Philly Underground

The West End News has published an article about The 5 Spot’s basement bar, the Philly Underground.

Costello’s newest establishment, a Philadelphia themed watering hole dubbed The Philly Underground, opened on September 6th in the basement below The 5 Spot. It’s a genuine no frills, homie bar where the prices of the drinks won’t break the bank.

“It’s about trying to hold this together as a community,” said Costello. “Because what I think and what a lot of people see across town in Portland is that the small-town feel is being squeezed out.”

Austin Street

The Blueberry Files has published an article about Austin Street’s new East Bayside tasting room.

We had the latter when we headed to check out the new Austin Street—G’s boyfriend was visiting from the other Portland (oh, how we’re trying to win him over with our cloudy New England IPAs!). And although Austin Street certainly has those, it also offers other styles that are less popular like the smoked brown ale and a Belgian strong ale. 

Dolan Flavoring Co.

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about the history and present day products from the Dolan Flavoring Company.

The family-owned Dolan Flavoring Co. has survived the Great Depression, World War II, the rise in popularity of cake mixes in the 1950s, and many family tragedies. After 113 years, the secret formula for its most popular product is still a secret. Jack Dawson isn’t about to drop the ball on his family’s business now, even though few Mainers living in 2019 have ever heard of it.

Forager

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on Forager, a Maine start-up company that connects chefs and markets with local farmers.

Known as Forager, the company now has over 150 farms in its supplier network and has been signing up new buyers such as restaurants, grocers and food distributors. The company recently signed Wiley’s restaurant group, Big Tree Hospitality, as a client and is in a pilot program with a large grocery chain that Forager will not yet name.

NYT: Elda in Biddeford

The New York Times has published an article about Elda in Biddeford.

Many of the markers of modern American restaurants are there: a drinks list featuring natural wines and creative cocktails, dishes with influences from Japanese and new Nordic cuisine. But where else are you likely to find a doughnut filled with crab, chiles and fudgy egg yolk? (Verdict: surprisingly spicy, with a tinge of sweetness from the powdered sugar and malt vinegar powder dusting.)