Reviews: Coals Pizza, CBG, Quiero, N To Tail

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Coals Pizza.

Portland’s Coals is homey, rustic and unique among the three in that it is where Etzel plays with new flavors and techniques. Many of his experiments, like the mortadella, pistachio-infused heavy cream and Asiago pie or Nutella dessert pizza, are worth sampling. So is Coals’ version of the Margherita pizza, or its spectacularly good pepperoni-and-hot-honey Bee Cool pizza, both served on a crisp crust that shatters as you take a bite. If pizza isn’t your thing, that’s fine, too. The cheddar-topped burger, spicy cilantro wings and eight tap lines pouring beers from Maine and “from away” make a visit worth your time.

The Blueberry Files has published a first look at CBG.

CBG will undoubtedly fill the same needs Congress Bar and Grill did—a meal before a show at the nearby State Theater, a happy hour spot, a late night nightcap, a casual date night. Open 11am to 1am every day, there’s no excuse for you not to stop into the new CBG and check out the changes for yourself.

The Press Herald has reviewed Quiero Cafe.

The Cubano’s foundation was very tender pulled pork, with a couple layers of what looked to be Spanish ham, dark red in color. It was topped with Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, pickles and garlic aioli. The long roll was slightly toasted on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. It was $9 and one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a long time.

The Press Herald has published a bar review of N To Tail.

The upstairs portion has a funky vibe, great food, original cocktails and outstanding service. The downstairs portion has a completely different feel, much more like a basement college bar than a place I’d go for a creative cocktail. I’ll definitely be back to the upstairs portion, which was so enjoyable that I’m willing to forgive the lack of purse hooks under the bar.

Review of Luke’s Lobster

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Luke’s Lobster.

It’s especially true of the terse menu, a greatest-hits collection of seafood shack classics, some of which (like the lobster roll) are decent. The best of the bunch is probably the crab roll ($16/$20), filled to overflowing with Maine-caught Jonah crab that is steamed, then air-jet “picked” in the company’s bespoke seafood processing facility in Saco. Before it is mounded into a mayo-painted Country Kitchen roll, it gets drizzled with lemon butter and dusted with the restaurant’s perky, celery-seed-forward “secret seasoning” mixture.

2019 Indie Biz Awards

Congratulations to all 3 food industry winners at this year’s Indie Biz Awards:

  • Eat Local: My 3 Sisters Italian Cookies
  • Drink Local: Rising Tide Brewing
  • Best Kept Secret: City Deli

CBD Wins 2020 Roast Magazine Award

Coffee by Design has been recognized by Roast Magazine as their 2020 Macro Roaster of the Year, reports the Press Herald.

The popular Maine coffee company, which has three locations in Portland (including the roastery and coffee house on Diamond Street) and one in Freeport, won in the macro roaster category. Companies in that category roast more than 100,000 pounds of coffee annually. Coffee By Design produces 650,000 pounds a year.

Review of Dizzy Bird

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Dizzy Bird in Biddeford.

Together, in a vibrantly painted space, they produce some of the area’s best spit-roasted meats, including juicy, crisp-skinned chickens that gleam as they rotate, and tender, pink roast beef (on Little Spruce breads, both also make excellent sandwiches). Vegetarian dishes are a surprising strength at Dizzy Birds, everything from a turmeric-and-curry pumpkin bisque ($3.75) to sweet, complex vegan baked beans and a Tex-Mex-style tofu sandwich that is too good to miss. But frankly, service is a train wreck, with ticket times inching perilously close to 30 minutes even when the dining room is nearly empty. Tom Peacock’s best advice (and mine): Order ahead.

Review of East Ender

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed East Ender.

East Ender’s menu of comforting, contemporary and generously portioned dishes rarely includes missteps. The cold-smoked cheeseburger has become a local icon, due in part to its rich schmaltz bun and triple-fried French fries. Similarly, the blackout-dark chocolate torte and peanut-topped, crunch Asian slaw seem well on their way to the same kind of fame. But the best dish on the menu might be braised pork shoulder that has been glazed in a fiery citrus glaze and nestled into an oozy mound of soft-cooked grits — a perfect plate to put into your Rolodex just as the weather starts to turn chilly.

Review of Maiz

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Maiz.

On the whole, the food impresses. Kitchen manager/co-owner Niky Watler’s staff has been able to exploit the extra square footage, allowing for an expanded (completely gluten-free) menu, including appetizers like crusty, cheesy pan de bono and simple, deep-fried corn empanadas filled with sweet threads of pulled pork. Maiz’s arepas – especially the Basico with chicken and the pork-and-chicken Upgrade – are also a good bet, although if you’re not a fan of eating all your fillings in sequence, you’ll want to do a little manipulation of the griddled corn pocket before you eat.

Post Guide to Portland

The Washington Post has published A Local’s Guide to Portland, Maine.

Some may call it the “other Portland,” but to Mainers, this is the big city. With its highly regarded restaurants, abundant craft breweries, and world-class artists and writers, Portland is a hot spot of American creativity. And while the locals love these attractions, it’s the cozy feel and sense of community that truly make it home. Portlanders have their bartenders, their coffee shops and their booksellers, but they also love welcoming new people as much as they like seeing a familiar face.

Review of Terlingua

Mainer has published a review of Terlingua.

Some mornings are made for lingering over a rich brunch and a Bloody Mary, and maybe, before the snow flies, I’ll have time for that again. Meanwhile, when I want a hearty breakfast in a hurry, Terlingua will be perched at the top of my list.

Review of Flood’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Flood’s.

The same holds true on the food side of the menu, where many beautifully executed old-school bar staples cozy up to contemporary, seasonal and locally sourced dishes. Among the more modern dishes, the heirloom salad with house-made ricotta and skinny eggplants roasted together with Jimmy Nardello peppers are a delight. But the real story at Flood’s is the gooey, retro-styled cheeseburger patty it slides into a seeded potato bun baked mere feet away at Tandem Bakery across the street, as well as a simple dish of lush chocolate pudding and salted chocolate shortbread. Not too sweet and intensely chocolatey, it might well be chocolate pudding’s Platonic ideal.