Under Construction: Empyreal Beverages

Longtime Boda staff member Jeremy Sossei along with Boda co-owners Danai ‘Dan’ Sripasert  and Nattasak ‘Bob’ Wongsaichua are  launching a new company called Empyreal Beverages. Empyreal will initially produce and sell canned nitro cold brew coffee with plans to  branch out into a line of flavored cold brew coffees, cold brew seltzers and nitro Thai ice tea as well.

Empyreal has leased space at 1067 Riverside Street and hopes to launch later this year.

The word empyreal means “belonging to or deriving from heaven”, it can also mean “pertaining to the highest heaven or the empyrean; celestial; sublime; exalted”.

This Week’s Events: Palace Fried Chicken, Lobster Roll World Championship, Beer Cocktail Competition

Tuesday – the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place on Tuesday this week.

FridayFried Chicken Night is taking place at Palace Diner, and there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont in the West End.

SaturdayDown East is holding the Lobster Roll World Championship at Thompson’s Point, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – a pop-up brunch is taking place at Broadturn Farm, and the USBG is holding a Beer Cocktail Competition at Foulmouthed.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Woodfords Corner

Sunday’s Boston Globe Travel section included an article on the developments taking place along Forest Ave and in Woodfords Corner and the impact Woodford F&B had on accelerating the process.

“Having a spot this great for residents to spend time together changed everything,” says Andrew Zarro, who moved to the neighborhood three years ago from Boston. “It was a huge leap for Fayth and Birch, but what they did with that place was a tipping point.” In fact, seeing their success convinced Zarro to open Little Woodfords, the postage stamp-sized coffee shop, with his partner, T.J. Zarro. There, on the same block as the old clock tower, they dole out espressos and breakfast all day, and peddle one-of-a-kind local wares like hand-thrown ceramics.

Reviews: Elda, Black Cow

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Black Cow, and

At Black Cow, Nappi has built a terse, tightly focused menu of what he calls “reimagined soda fountain food.” Many of his ideas are fun and creative extrapolations of fast-food and diner classics. The best of these are a tart-and-creamy wedge salad and a crunchy, gooey grilled-cheese bookended by slices of homemade, English-muffin bread. But Black Cow’s kitchen suffers from consistency problems…

the Portland Phoenix had reviewed Elda.

Elda is one of Maine’s best new restaurants in years, yet you can walk in for a table just about any time. Brown has toned down the rarified approach that won Forage so much acclaim. The prix fixe (just $45) has fewer courses (4) and more choice. The menu is laid back about ingredients and their sources, and you can order a la carte. Your server discusses the food like something to be eaten rather than revered. There is a lot of seafood now that he’s on the coast.

Down East: Best of Maine

Down East has published their annual Best of Maine readership poll and editor’s selections in the July issue of the magazine.

Portland area food establishments that made the cut are:

  • Best New Restaurant – Chaval (Editor’s Choice)
  • Best Frozen Mashups – ice cream collaborations by Parlor Ice Cream with Rose Foods, Tandem and Palace Diner (Editor’s Choice)
  • Bakery – Standard Baking Co.
  • Beer Bar – Novare Res
  • Brewery – Allagash
  • Burger – Nosh
  • Chef – Cara Stadler
  • Cocktail Bar – Blyth & Burrows
  • Ice Cream – Gelato Fiasco
  • Donut – Holy Donut
  • Pizza – Otto Pizza
  • Seafood Market – Harbor Fish

Vanessa Seder, Food Stylist & Author

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about local food writer and stylist Vanessa Seder and her new book Secret Sauces.

“When you’re getting hired as a stylist, there’s so much money and pressure involved,” she said. “You have to understand how everything works. You have to understand who’s on the set, why they’re there, what your role is, how to do take after take if needed. And there’s all different types of food styling – there’s styling for video, commercial styling, editorial, cookbooks, magazines, packaging. It’s all different, and you have to understand that before you get into it. And you have to know what tools are good.”

F&W Best New Chef

Food & Wine has come out with their 2018 Best New Chef list. There aren’t any chefs in Maine on the list this year, but the July issue does include a list of all 323 chefs that have been recognized in the last two decades. Four are located in Maine today:

  • 2004 – Rob Evans, Duckfat and former chef/owner of Hugo’s
  • 2007 – Steve Corry, Five Fifty-Five
  • 2011 – Bowman Brown, Elda in Biddeford and former co-chef/owner of Forage in Salt Lake City
  • 2014 – Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Bao Bao and Lio

Burgers as a Trend

The Press Herald has a report on the staying power of burgers as a food trend.

With the March opening of Black Cow, a locally owned burger joint that makes everything in-house down to the mustard, there are now five burger-centered eateries in a half-mile between Commercial and Brown streets.

Long relegated to pubs, drive-thrus and barbecues, burgers re-emerged on the American food scene as part of a trend toward returning to basics – but better. Think gourmet popsicles or taco trucks.