The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from July 2008 here.
|July 31 pm
There’s an article in today’s Press Herald about the downturn in lobster prices due to soft demand from consumers. “lobster costs the same amount as turkey — and less than honey ham — at the deli counter at Hannaford supermarkets”. In light of the recent health warning regarding lobster tomalley, Japan had banned lobster imports from Maine but the ban was lifted this afternoon.
|July 31 am
The August issue of The Bollard has hit newsstands. This month’s edition includes an enthusiastic review of brunch at Chef et al. “If Chef et al. falters . . . it would be a crime against breakfast itself.”, an article about red tide and a new installment in The Land of the Forgotten Cocktail series by award-winning bartender John Myers. Copies can be found just about anywhere free newspapers are distributed. I picked up my copy at Norht Star when I stopped in for dinner last night. The July issue of The Bollard is now available online. If you didn’t read it in print, be sure to checkout last month’s review of Medeo.
|July 30 pm
The Bollard has an update on the story from a couple weeks ago that Stone Coast Brewing is going out of business. According to The Bollard, while retail opperations are ceasing the beer will still be sold through the brewery’s pub in Bethel.
The Portland Phoenix reviewed Hamdi, the Somali restaurant located on Washington Ave. “My own Somali-prepared goat arrived: a pile of boiled, bone-in mysterious goat parts you could reasonably get at directly only with your teeth. It came with a mound of rice (likely flavored and tinged yellow with some Goya products I spied in the kitchen) topped with peas, carrots, and pickled onions, and along side a couple bites of iceberg.”
Chow Maine has profiled John Calande, a software engineer turned baker. Calande’s breads are appearing on the table at Bresca and Evangeline, and some of baked goods are for sale at the Corner Store.
|July 30 am
Today’s Food & Health section in the Press Herald dishes up the details on the Harvest on the Harbor food festival taking place in Portland this October.
Blueberry fans should take a look at today’s article entitled Reveling in the Blues. If you’re interested in picking your own blueberries, check out this map of some local pick-your-own farms put together by the folks at KeepMECurrent.com
In the Business section of today’s paper there’s a report on the reversal of judicial approval for the sale of Wild Oats to Whole Foods.
Rabelais and Five Fifty-Five both made it into a post on the site Daily Candy Boston.
Shelly’s has been added to the list of Food Carts.
According to The Maine Switch, Others! cafe is working with Portland Green Streets “to offer a company-wide gelato party to the downtown organization with the most Green Streeters each month.”
|July 28 – This Week’s Events
Vignola is holding a wine dinner on Thursday. Cultivating Community is also holding their weekly Twilight Dinner at Turkey Hill Farm on Thursday. On Saturday, Rabelais will host Dorothy Perillo Linder, author and illustrator of A Vegetable Collection, for a book signing. The next training run for the Wine Flight 5k is taking place on Tuesday; trainees will be jogging to The Grill Room. Wine tastings are taking place on Friday at the West End Grocery and Saturday at Leroux. There’s a beer talk at Prost! on Wednesday. Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.
Evangeline, received a rarely awarded 5 stars from this week’s Taste & Tell review in the Maine Sunday Telegram. “Evangeline serves meals that evoke the curiosity, reworking traditional French ingredients and presenting them with a purity and conscientiousness that tastes fresh and original.”
Portland bartender John Myers is center stage in this article from today’s Wall Street Jornal about the 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 current state of the economy doesn’t seem to be impacting interest in the food for sale at the Portland farmers’ market according to this post from Commune Tested, City Approved.
Backyard Farms, the Madison, ME company that grows the vine-ripened Backyard Beauties tomatoes available at Hannaford, are planning to build an additional 18 acres of greenhouse space.
The Portland Press Herald reviewed the Lobby Cafe. The cafe is a sandwich cart located in the lobby of the post office building on the corner of Congress and Temple Streets. “It didn’t feel like a sandwich, but more like a hardcover book. It tasted even better. Thinly sliced, the beef had a rich, hearty flavor to it, and the bread was chewy and substantial.”
This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix offers up some advice on how to shake up your summer menu. “Every season has a fruitcake, an obligatory consumable ‘guest’ that invites itself over every year and overstays its welcome.”
Are you going to a bean supper? If so, you might want to read this amusing bean dinner guide from the Westbrook Diarist.
|July 23 pm
A reference to Krista Kern in the recent Portland Magazine review of Evangeline as the “former chef/owner of Bresca” set off a flurry of concern among Bresca fans today. After hearing from a couple people myself, I called Krista. She asked me to spread the word that she’s still very happily the current chef/owner of Bresca with no plans to change that fact.
|July 23 am
Portland Magazine has reviewed the excellent pre fixe dinners being served Monday nights at Evangeline. “Evangeline, from the Greek euangelion, means ‘good news,’ which this surely is for food enthusiasts.”
This week’s edition of The Maine Switch writes about the Harvest on the Harbor food festival taking place in Portland this fall and a look behind the scenes at Stonewall Kitchen.
|July 21 – This Week’s Events
Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe is holding a wine dinner on Friday and Saturday night. A wine tasting is taking place this Thursday at Browne Trading. There’s a beer talk at Prost! on Wednesday. On Saturday the 6th Festival of Nations is taking place in Deering Oaks Park. Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.
Beer Locavore has a post about the challenges of staying a locavorian in a city filled with imported (and less expensive) temptations.
Today’s Press Herald reports on the 2008 Open Farm Day and a $640,000 increase in funding for Maine food pantries.
Chef et al., received 2½ stars from this week’s Taste & Tell review in the Maine Sunday Telegram. “With fantastic starters showing off good ideas and ingredients, mix-ups I encountered in the entrees may just need working out”.
|July 19 pm
This year’s Maine Fare, originally scheduled to take place September 12-14, has been cancelled. The official announcement cites “unfortunate circumstances” as the cause and promises that “Maine Fare will be held again in fall 2009.”
|July 19 am
The 2008 Dining Guide in the latest issue of the Wine Spectator has recognized 24 Maine restaurants for the quality of their wine lists. Arrows in Ogunquit and Havana in Bar Harbor took home silver, and the rest bronze. Portland area restaurants honored in the guide are Back Bay Grill, Cinque Terre, Five Fifty-Five, Hugo’s, Rachel’s and Vignola.
Maine’s Open Farm Day is taking place this Sunday. There are a dozen farms in Cumberland county participating in the event. They each are offering a different line up of things to see and do.
From this week’s edition of The Forecaster comes word that Anthony Barrasso has decided to pull the plug on the popular Anthony’s Dinner Theater & Cabaret. The Forecaster also has an article on this weekend’s Yarmouth Clam Festival.
BeerBloggers.com have expanded their stable of blog writers to 5. Jason and Jan are being joined by Ben (a brewer), Chris (a “beer lover”) and Marcus (a European correspondent located in Luxembourg).
Blog About Beer has a post on the strengths of and current challenges at at Prost!.
Today’s Press Herald includes a look at the working life of a Good Humor man and an article on all the activities planned for this weekend’s Yarmouth Clam Festival.
There’s a last minute addition to the Event Calendar for this week. Cultivating Community is now holding biweekly Twilight Dinners on their farm in Cape Elizabeth. The 3 course meals will be cooked by local chefs “designed and executed from the organic bounty we harvest”. The cost is $15 per person. The first dinner in the seires is tonight.
From the highly regarded foodie blog, The Ethicurean, (via Psst!) comes a composite review of Fore Street, Gilbert’s and Hugo’s. “Got a little time to explore the dining scene of Portland, Maine? Change your plans: you’ll actually need lots and lots of time to do it right.”
Accidental vegetables has reviewed the Green Elephant. “The service was great, the ambiance lovely, and the food delicious. it definitely won’t be long until we’re back.”
Masala Mahal was profiled in this week’s edition of The Maine Switch.
The Maine Lobster Council is holding their 2008 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year cook-off at the Blaine House next week. The event is a competition among the five finalists. With all the stellar cooking talent we have here in Portland it’s surprising to see that there isn’t a single Portland chef among the final five.
Blog About Beer is reporting that Stone Coast Brewing Co. is going out of businesss as of August 1.
The Bollard has reviewed the bar scene at Mexico Lindo. “The skinny: $1.50 drafts and free, warm, real tortilla chips with tasty salsa, all day and well into the night. A man can live, quite happily, on this special for several days if necessary. That’s a hallmark of a truly outstanding happy hour.”
|July 14 – This Week’s Events
Silly’s is celebrating their 20th anniversary on Tuesday. The training run for the Wine Flight 5k is taking place on Tuesday; trainees will be jogging to Rabelais. There are wine tastings taking place this week on Wednesday at Old Port Wine Merchants and Thursday at Black Cherry Provisions in Falmouth. The Slow Food Book Group is meeting on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday a beer talk is taking place at Prost!. Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. Kitchen & Cork is holding a cooking class Saturday which will involve students cooking a meal based on itelms bought at the Saturday farmers’ market. The Yarmouth Clam Festival is taking place Friday through Sunday. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.
Diamond’s Edge, received a 3 stars from this week’s Taste & Tell review in the Maine Sunday Telegram. “The beautiful location is the draw at Diamond’s Edge, but some pricy meals are less than outstanding.”
The Meat House has been added to the food map as has the blog Travels with Hilary which I learned about from a recent post on Portland Psst!.
A recent article in The Maine Switch prompted BeerBloggers.com to publish a review of Prost!. “Having been in three or four times now myself, including just two days ago for our June MBWG meeting, I think Kamila’s [a food writer with The Maine Switch] optimism is deserved.”
According to a post in The South Portlander, South Portland’s ordinance on beekeeping made it into the wall Street Journal.
The June issue of Maine Home + Design provides this behind the scenes look at opening night for Evangeline. “The kitchen is suffused with an air of confidence and control, but there is also an undercurrent of unease, as if it could all collapse at any moment. Still, laughter can be heard as they prep and share stories, and curses fly jovially around the room. ”
KeepMECurrent.com interviewed Sebago Brewing Co.‘s brewmaster, Kai Adams, about pairing beer with food.
|July 9 pm
The Merry Table was reviewed in this week’s Portland Phoenix. “But it is a good sign if a creperie tempts you to sit down, try some appetizers and a glass of wine, and take your time with a food that is usually wolfed down on the go. These crepes reward the attention.”
The South Portlander reports that Amato’s will be bringing its traditional Maine Italian to the Maine Mall food court, filling in the gap left by Au Bon Pan.
This week’s edition of The Maine Switch takes a look at the traditional Maine clambake.
|July 9 am
Portland Harbor Hotel, home to Eve’s at the Garden, has hired Lisa Smith from Standard Baking to be their pastry chef. According to a press release, “The focus of the new in-house baking program will be on Classical European baked goods including croissants, brioche, and other baked goods. Smith is thinking ahead to eventually expand into North African and Middle Eastern flatbreads; for now she is in the research and development phase.”
Today’s Press Herald reports on some upcoming cooking competitions being held at the Moxie Festival, Yarmouth Clam Festival, etc.
Last week’s edition of The Maine Switch included a profile of Prost! and a review of The Good Table in Cape Elizabeth. “I left wishing I hadn’t waited so long to try this Cape favorite, which immediately soared to the top of my list of dining choices.”
Freaky Bean has opened up a new location in South Portland. According to The South Portlander, “Freaky Bean shops are popular with the green crowd, though there has been some protests over the drive-through in South Portland, a first for Freaky Bean.”
|July 7 – This Week’s Events
The Kitchen & Cork is holding cooking classes Tuesday and Thursday nights this week. Tuesday night the owner and brewers of Dogfish Head will be on hand at Novare Res, 6 Dogfish products will be on tap that night. There are wine tastings taking place this week on Wednesday at RSVP, Thursday at the Public Market House and on Friday at Rosemont’s Brighton Ave location. On Saturday, Mark Kurlansky, award winning author of Cod and Salt will be at Rabelais to sign copies of his latest book, The Last Fish Tale, and Maine author Kate Gooding will be at the LeRoux Kitchen to sign copies of her newest cookbook, Black Fly Stew. Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.
Burrito, received an enthusiatic 4 stars from this week’s Taste & Tell review in the Maine Sunday Telegram. “Excellent if not perfectly authentic burritos, enchiladas, rellenos and more create an exciting opportunity for anyone with an appetite.”
Type A Diversions has put together a handy list of places to enjoy lobster rolls in the Portland area.
The South Portlander asked Bob Johnson, owner of Scratch Bakery, for some recommendations on summer wines.
The new print edition of The Bollard has hit the streets. This month’s edition includes a review of Medeo and a new installment from The Land of the Forgotten Cocktail series by award-winning bartender John Myers. Copies can be found just about anywhere free newspapers are distributed. I picked up my copy at Maple’s Gelataria.
Port City Studios has posted an article extolling the virtues of the North Street Community Garden. “I am going to put it out there that the North Street Community Garden in Portland is the most scenic community garden in the country.”
Accidental Vegetables has reviewed Bresca. “Our meal at Bresca was, overall, quite delicious. If you detect a tone of disappointment in this entry, it’s because it didn’t quite live up to its reputation, I thought.”
The Eat & Run column in today’s Press Herald reviewed The Merry Table. “The Merry Table offers a nice alternative to grabbing a sandwich for lunch in downtown Portland. The savory crepes are a touch more expensive than an Old Port sandwich, but well worth it for both the quality and the change of pace.”
Also in today’s paper was a Community Voices commentary by Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld on living to eat vs eating to live, and an article about Roger Doiron’s organization Kitchen Gardeners International. Due to technical problems at MaineToday.com it hasn’t appeared on the newspaper’s website yet.
Type A Diversions has reviewed the Conundrum Wine Bistro. “Conundrum does not serve overly creative fare, but rather simple dishes done well. This is one my favorite spots in Southern Maine for drinks and appetizers – they make a mean martini, have a diverse wine list and an excellent selection of appetizers and cheeses.”
If you’re headed to the Eastern Promenade to watch the fireworks Friday night there are a couple alternatives to the fried dough and other street fare that you might want to check out. Bar Lola is selling box dinners to go, pulled pork sandwich, potato salad, mexican brownie and ice tea or lemonade. Rosemont‘s location on Munjoy Hill is planning to up the number of pizza and sandwiches for sale as well.
PORTopera, Portland summer opera company, is producing a cookbook this year, Cucina de Bel Canto. According to the Press Herald, the “cookbook contains more than 500 recipes from area chefs, foodies, singers and board members, as well as images from past productions.”
There’s a late addition to this week’s event calendar. Luke Livingston from BlogAboutBeer.com and Jason Burks from BeerBloggers.com will be giving a talk tonight from 6-7 pm at Prost!. The talk “will cover some of the basics, such as selecting proper glassware, pouring properly, beer temperature and how it effects taste, etc.”
Local Foodie is begining the second year that she and her husband are eating a locavore diet.
Food historian Sandy Oliver has written a follow-up article on the Crowne Pilot cracker situation for The Working Water.
The 10 restaurants and bars viewed most often on Portland Food Map during the month of June were: