Showing Support

An article in the Press Herald highlights some of the ways local businesses including those in the hospitality business are showing their support for the protests. Included in the article’s coverage are Ada’s, Rising Tide and The Honey Paw.

Sid Rumma, a partner at Ada’s pasta restaurant on Congress Street in Portland, couldn’t participate in the Black Lives Matter protests, but he could offer bowls of spaghetti to those protesting.

“I’m just trying to be helpful,” he said as he prepared free midday meals on Wednesday, the second day he and his team at Ada’s have offered to feed and nourish hungry protesters in advance of the afternoon’s public demonstrations.

Re-opening of Restaurants

The Portland PhoenixBangor Daily News, and Press Herald have all recently reported on the re-opening of restaurants in Portland for outdoor dining.

The Mash Tun experience was barebones. Colby worked the outdoor tables while owner Curtis Campbell was behind the bar indoors, serving drinks and cooking the restaurant’s menu of elevated pub fare — burgers, tacos, fries and grilled cheese. Campbell and Colby aside, the only time anyone entered Mash Tun would be when a patron darted in to use its single bathroom.

Black-Owned Restaurants and Bars

I’ve been getting a number of requests the last couple of days for a list of black-owned restaurants and bars. Here are the ones I know of in the Portland area—please let me know if you know of any that are missing and I’ll add them to the list.

To the best of my knowledge Asmara, Burundi Star Coffee, Rwanda Bean and Yardie Ting are the three currently open and doing takeout.

For a list of black-owned businesses in a range of industries across the state of Maine see blackownedmaine.com.

Re-Opening List (Outdoor Dining Only)

Update: A combined outdoor/indoor dining list has been published. This page is no longer being kept up to date.

Restaurants can start re-opening in Cumberland County for outdoor dining only as of June 1st. Here’s a small but growing list of the restaurants have announced their outdoor dining opening day plans. Please let me know if you know of any that are missing and I’ll add them.

Even with restaurants starting to re-open, restaurants that have established take-out programs will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

FOOD TRUCKS/CARTS

Cooking for Community

The Christian Science Monitor has published an article highlighting the good work of Cooking for Community.

Today, Cooking for Community (C4C) provides just over 2,000 meals a week. In its first two months, the grassroots initiative raised about $220,000 from individuals, foundations, and corporations. It is buying crops from farmers, seafood from fishers, and keeping many of Greater Portland’s kitchen crews employed while cooking for hungry people.

For more information or to make a donation visit: www.cookingforcommunity.org

Restaurants aiding in the work of C4C are: Chaval, Gather, Istanbul Cafe, Leeward, Little Giant, Maggie Mae’s, Mama Mo’s, Mainely Burgers, Mr. Tuna, Nura, Union, Zu Bakery.

Carhop Drive-In

Two Portland restaurants are taking a novel approach to outdoor dining. Both the Other Side Diner and Isa are taking their inspiration from drive-in restaurants of the 20th Century.

Isa Bistro – is offering a modified version of their regular menu with a few carhop classics. Just park in one of the spots in the parking lot off Brattle Street and they’ll bring your order to your car for in-vehicle dining. Friday and Saturday, opening at 5:30 pm. Reservations required, (207) 808-8533.

Other Side Diner – is serving a line-up of classic diner food (burgers, milkshakes, etc). Pick-up your meal from their drive-thru window and then park and dine or take it to go. Friday and Saturday, 4:30 – 7 pm.

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy


As part of their online film series, the Portland Museum of Art is screening Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy.

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy is an intimate, candid perspective into the curious world of cookbook author and British ex-pat Diana Kennedy – widely regarded as the world’s expert on Mexican cuisine. At five feet tall and 97 years old, Diana is larger than life: a foul-mouthed fireball far more feisty and energetic than her age and petite frame let on. Author of nine Mexican cookbooks, she has spent over 60 years researching and documenting the regional cuisines of Mexico. Kennedy has lived ‘off the grid’ on an eight acre ranch outside Zitácuaro, Michoacán since the 1970’s: composting, growing her own crops, and using solar power to run her home. Aware of her own mortality, she is working tirelessly to solidify the legacy of her life’s efforts, with the hope of turning her home into a foundation for culinary education in Mexico.

Rent the Film and Watch it Online

Governor Delays Restaurant Re-Opening for Indoor Dining

The governor has announced plans to delay the re-opening of restaurants for indoor dining in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties. The change will still allow for restaurants to begin outdoor dining in those counties as scheduled on June 1st.

The Mills Administration announced today that it is postponing the full reopening of restaurants for dine-in services in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties. Restaurants in these counties were tentatively scheduled to reopen to dine-in services on June 1 (Stage 2) but are now restricted to reopening to outside dining service only beginning on that date in addition to continuing to provide take-away and delivery services. The decision to limit their reopening comes amidst an increase in hospitalizations as well as an increase in case counts in these three counties, both of which are metrics monitored by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC).

A new date for the restart of indoor dining hasn’t been set yet.

Update:As the Press Herald has reported, some restaurants are unhappy with the change in policy, but several restaurants are still moving forward with plans to re-open with just outdoor seating.

Interview with Nikaline Iacono

For their latest podcast, the founders of Femidish interviewed Nikaline Iacono, the owner of Vessel & Vine in Brunswick.

In this episode Hope and Sandy chat with Nikaline, owner of Vessel and Vine – part bar, part vintage store and so much more, about how quarantine and the ongoing Coronavirus crisis has impacted her business. She shares how she and her all female team have adjusted to keep “the vine” thriving. They discuss the surge of interest in tangible food security and the role restaurants and bars play in building communities.

 

Brewers Push for Changes to Re-Opening Plan

The Press Herald reports on an effort by the Brewers Guild to move up the date breweries can re-open their tasting rooms.

The Maine Brewers Guild said Tuesday that the current plan puts the breweries and brew pubs in the same category as bars, which aren’t allowed to reopen until July 1. But many of the breweries in Maine offer outdoor seating and are at least as safe as the restaurants, said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the guild.