Robot Food Delivery at USM

The Bangor Daily News has a report on a new robot food delivery service at the University of Southern Maine.

The bots receive orders via the app and an internal phone SIM card, then proceed to a campus food kiosk — which includes the Hungry Huskies food truck — where a Sodexo employee loads them up with vittles. The machines then trundle on to their destination using GPS mapping software to guide them. Stopping outside their destination building, folks who’ve ordered food then use the app to open the Kiwibot and retrieve their lunch.

DutchPot Business Survey

A start-up company called DutchPot is working on a platform “to simplify the process of getting food permits and food licenses” in Maine.

They are gathering input from local food business owners to learn about the “struggles they face with the food permit and licensing process”.

You can help out by answering this short survey.

Dogfish Bar and Grille

Dogfish Bar and Grille has announced they’re temporarily closing with hopes to “bring the Dogfish family back together soon”. This Friday will be their last day in business for the time being.

In over 20 years, there are so many people that have had the love of being able to call Dogfish their home. If it was for an Open Mic, a Trivia Night, the unbelievable live music acts that have crossed our stage or just sitting at the bar with friends, we like to think you are part of our family. Over that time period, we as a staff have seen so many things. Through so many changes and many movements. We have seen relationships flourish into marriage and children. We have felt loss and hardship with people we cared so much about. The best thing about Dogfish in that respect, is it will never go away, but for now, we must close our doors down.

This comes shortly after the recent news that Katahdin is also temporarily closing while they find a spot to relocate to.

Food Trucks on the Prom (or Not)

The Press Herald has published a report on the re-evaluation of the Eastern Prom food truck pilot program. You’ll recall it required food trucks on the road and into a lot halfway down the hill. Food trucks have reported a significant drop in sales at the new location.

Portland will gather feedback on its food truck pilot program on the Eastern Promenade this fall as some food truck operators say it hasn’t been working and they’re looking for changes ahead of next season.

Interim City Manager Danielle West said Monday the city is aiming to launch a survey Oct. 3 to gather feedback from the public. The program, which launched this spring, moved food trucks from the promenade road to a parking lot on Cutter Street to better manage concerns about trash, pedestrian safety and traffic around the trucks.

Katahdin, Alto Terrace

Katahdin (website, facebook) owners Becky Simmons and Winnie Moody have announced they’ll be shutting down their longtime Forest Ave restaurant after service this Saturday. The closure is a result of a building renovation plan by their landlords Portland Stage. Moody and Simmons plan to relocate Katahdin. Details on the new location are TBD.

A new restaurant called Alto Terrace + Kitchen (website, facebook, instagram) is planned for the new Cambria Hotel under construction at 25 Hancock Street. The hotel and restaurant are expected to open this fall.

Maine Dayboat Sea Scallops

Eater has published an article about Togue Brawn and her work developing the Maine dayboat sea scallop market.

Brawn slices each plump, ivory-colored cylinder into thinner disks she lays on a platter. “The texture is what you should really notice, and the flavor is good and not fishy,” she says, then a confession: “I am obsessed with scallops.” She wants everyone else to be obsessed with scallops, too. And since the pandemic caused a swell of enthusiasm for mail-ordered foodstuffs — including Brawn’s scallops — that time may well be nigh.

NYT 2022 List: Leeward & Twelve

The New York Times has included Leeward and Twelve on their newly released 2022 list of the “50 places in America we’re most excited about right now.

We traveled widely and ate avidly as we built the annual list of our favorite restaurants in America. From Oklahoma City to Juncos, Puerto Rico, to Orcas Island off the coast of Washington State, our food reporters, editors and critics found revelatory Ethiopian barbecue, innovative Haitian cooking and possibly the most delicious fried pork sandwich in the United States.

Upcoming Events: Lobster Week, Whiskey Tasting, Délicieux, Common Ground

Monday – SundayMaine Lobster Week is taking place.

ThursdayMan & Oak is holding a free whiskey tasting featuring the “Jack Daniels Single Barrel series, Gentleman Jack, and the Woodford Reserve Family of Brands”.

Friday – there will be a screening of Délicieux (watch the subtitled trailer) directed by Eric Besnard at Talbot Hall on the USM campus. The movie is part of the Champlain Film Festival.

SaturdayCantillon Zwanze Day is taking place at Novare Res.

Friday – Sunday – the Common Ground Fair is taking place in Unity. While you’re there be sure to stop by the Hayloft Tent where heirloom apple experts John Bunker (from Super Chilly Farm and Out on a Limb CSA) and Sean Turley (aka The Righteous Russet) are holding apple tastings (Fri/Sat 4-5, Sun 3-4) and a cider apple tasting on Sunday 2-3.

October 1 – the Uncork Me wine festival is taking place at the Portland Expo.

October 8 – Oxbow is holding their annual Goods from the Woods event in Newcastle.

October 9Dandelion Spring Farm is holding a Harvest Feast. The meal will be a “Contemporary American style dinner influenced by Kristie Rudolph’s Korean American heritage. This multi-course dinner will be celebrating the best of seasonal produce along with local proteins.”

October 9 – the Maine Cheese Guild is holding Maine Open Creamery Day.

October 12 – the chefs from Oberlin (from Providence, Rhode Island) and Regards will be serving a collaboration dinner.

October 16MOFGA is holding Great Maine Apple Day at Unity.

October 27 – 29 – Harvest on the Harbor is taking place.

Portland HS Customers

The Press Herald reports on the relationship between downtown restaurants and their Portland HS customers.

“I feel every student should be able to eat,” said Trinh Le-Tran, owner of the Vietnamese kiosk Pho Huong and mother of a 2-year-old daughter. “If someone comes and they don’t have enough money, I’ll still go ahead and make them the meal. It feels better to know they’ve had something to eat during the day.”

Pho Huong’s entrees run between $8 and $14.50. But for the start of the school year, Le-Tran also offers a dozen $6 student specials, including banh mi sandwiches, burritos and pho. She said pad Thai and fried rice are usually the big specials sellers, and bubble tea with its chewy balls of tapioca is a must for the student set.