The Frying Dutchman Opens Monday

The Frying Dutchman (instagram) is scheduled to open on Monday. The new Dutch-style fry shop is located on the 2nd floor of the Public Market House.

Owners Leon Vuong and Cody Leland will be serving a menu (see above) of fries with house-made dipping sauces along with beignets, drinks and (eventually) secret menu items they’ll publicize via instagram stories. Customers that stop by on opening day will be treated to a free ice cream cannoli with their order.

This is a second business for Vuong and Leland who also launched a pop-up business called Seven Seas Food & Co (websiteinstagram) at the Fork Food Lab back this past summer.

The Frying Dutchman will be open Monday through Saturday, 10 – 4.

Food insecurity

The Sun Journal has posted a report on the fight to end hunger in Maine.

What it means, the report said, is that “each day thousands of children show up to school too hungry to learn, thousands of workers are too economically insecure to thrive, and thousands of Maine people are contending with entirely preventable ill-health.”

2022 Good Food Award Winners

Congratulations to the four Maine food producers that are 2022 Good Food Awards winners:

  • Beer – Wolfe’s Neck IPA from Maine Beer Co.
  • Chocolate – Vanilla Crème Brûlée from Bixby Chocolate
  • Fish – Ready-Cut Kelp from Atlantic Sea Farms
  • Preserves – Strawberry Preserves from Josh Pond

Ten Maine food producers were finalists in the 2022 awards program. They were selected from 1,966 entries from 42 states plus D.C. .

Most Anticipated Openings: Twelve

Vogue magazine has included Twelve (website, instagram) in their list of the America’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2022.

Twelve is being launched by the Prentice Hospitality Group—owners of Evo Kitchen + Bar, Evo X, and the Chebeague Island Inn—and will be located in the historic Pattern Storehouse building at the Portland Foreside development. The storehouse is building #12 and hence the name of the restaurant.

Good Beer Hunting Portland Visit

Good Beer Hunting has published a report on a recent visit to Portland.

If I have a problem, it’s time: There’s not enough of it, and I can’t eat and drink everywhere I want to. On the drive up to the city, soundtracked by Taylor Swift’s “Folklore,” I kept doing mental Tetris, unsure of how I would fit everything in. And so I stand on the corner of a crowded street, the smell of Thai-style fried chicken in the air, my feet angled in the direction of my last stop—one of the best beer bars in the world. In an alternate reality, this is how I would spend every Friday night. “I could live here,” I think, for perhaps the thousandth time.

The article highlights: Allagash, Eventide, Bissell Brothers, Crispy Gai, and Novare Res.

Supporting The Sinful Kitchen

The American Journal has published a report on a fundraising event run by Brea Lu in Westbrook to support The Sinful Kitchen. The event raised more than $4,000.

Staff at Brea Lu Cafe in Westbrook worked an extra, unusual shift Tuesday and raised more than $4,000 for the employees of The Sinful Kitchen in Portland, who lost wages when a fire forced that restaurant to temporarily close just before the holidays.

Brea Lu owner Christian DeLuca said he and his staff pulled a nearly 20-hour day to offer their breakfast menu during dinnertime, when they are normally closed. The total money made during the special hours will go to the 14 Sinful Kitchen employees down the street, on Brighton Avenue at Nason’s Corner.

Q&A with CarHop’s Thomas Brems

Mainebiz has published an interview with CarHop founder Thomas Brems.

MB: How does your business model work?
TB: We have an app and a website we collect requests through. We purchase everything from the restaurant or retailer at full retail price. There’s no contractual relationship with any restaurant or retailer. One thing that’s important to us is that we don’t work with a company that doesn’t want to be listed through us. We respect their consent.

Investing in the Local Food System

An editorial in today’s paper makes the case for investing in the local food system to balance against risk of future supply chain disruptions.

This vision has Maine supplying half the food to the region by 2060. In another effort, Maine’s diet would be made up of 30% locally sourced foods by 2030.

Both are difficult goals to meet — Maine only consumes about 10% local food now, and that may be high.

But they are worth pursuing in order to make sure food is there when we need it, and to support local producers and their communities, and the wider Maine economy.

Upcoming Events: Cooking Party, Wine Dinners, Dueling Pianos

WednesdayMaker’s Galley is holding a winter cooking party.

ThursdayRoma is holding a 5-course Piedmont wine dinner., and Judy Gibson is holding a 4-course Croatian and Slovenian wine dinner–both wine dinners are priced at $75 per person.

January 18Fork Food Lab is kicking off their food business webinar series.

February 10The Yard is hold a pre-Valentine’s Day Dueling Pianos event.

Valentine’s Day

  • Bravo Maine – is holding a French Bistro cooking class

Responding to Covid

The Bangor Daily News and Press Herald have both taken a look at how restaurants are responding to the challenge of operating during the pandemic.

The emerging omicron variant is the latest stumbling block for restaurants, with cases expected to skyrocket soon in Maine. The spreading virus, occasional restaurant closures and ongoing staffing shortages are adding more financial stress on top of already reduced business hours, supply chain issues and rising costs.

The Portland City Council recently reinstituted a mask mandate for indoor spaces including restaurants, and a small but growing number of restaurants and bars are opting to put in place proof of vaccination policies (see list).