Portland Brew Festival

The Press Herald has published an interview with Mark Sprague, the organizer of this weekend’s Portland Brew Festival.

Sprague is putting his own stamp on the festival. First, the brews will be coming from all over New England, not just Maine. Second, the brews will include cider, mead and even kombucha, a kind of fizzy fermented tea, in addition to beer. Third, attendees will be able to watch people brew beer and make cider. And fourth, Sprague is not planning to bring in live bands as entertainment.

Review of the Cafe at Pat’s

Chubby Werewolf has published a review of the newly reopened Cafe at Pat’s.

As for me, I hit the proverbial jackpot with my entree. Despite feeling a bit guilty about ordering mostly seafood at a restaurant with strong ties to red meat, I opted for something called the “Portuguese Shrimp Saute.” Somewhat evocative of a cioppino stew, the dish featured several large shrimp over a generous helping of fettucini, and accompanied by sweet Italian sausage, Mahogany clams, Jonah crab claws, mussels, lemon, garlic, tomato and saffron. (As with Ilsa’s scallop dish, it came with asparagus, that day’s vegetable offering.) It is a lot of ingredients, but they all worked together in unison to produce the perfect meal: one that is balanced and flavorful enough to be eaten on a breezy summer evening, and yet hearty enough to be savored on some cold night in mid-November.

Maine Wine Regulations

The Appel on Wine column in today’s Press Herald examines state regulations that are impeding the Maine wine industry,

As Ned Swain, owner of the Maine distributor Devenish Wines, put it, “Allow shops to sample people on wine. If they’re in good standing (and) not selling alcohol to minors, having a sample bottle open wouldn’t harm anyone. It would make it a lot easier for shops to sell new, unusual, unknown wines.” (I’ll add: The state liquor authority could conduct undercover monitoring of a one- or two-ounce maximum per customer, to prevent an increase in public inebriation.)

Review of Nosh

The Golden Dish has published a review of Nosh.

Then consider the Nosh burger. For me a great burger is a thick 8-ounce mound of beef that’s simply seasoned and charred over a grill. Here  the ultimate choice is the extravagantly conceived Apocalypse Now Burger, a summit of  multi layers of meat patties each topped with bacon, deep fried pork belly, foie gras, mayo, cherry jam and glued together with melted cheese.
Outrageous? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely.

Review of Boda

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Boda.

The Miang Kum Som-oh is not to be missed though.  The “bite-sized pummelo fruit salad [is served] on betel leaves w/ toasted coconut, peanut, lime, ginger, shrimp & shallots in a palm sugar dressing ($5).”  As you can see, these fruit salad bites include a lot of great Thai flavors, and it comes together nicely in a mix of bitter, crunchy, sweet, and herby.

Portland Food Co-op Expands

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on the Portland Food Co-op and their new space on Hampshire Street.

Each month, the Portland Food Co-op orders $10,000 worth of goods from the Crown O’Maine Organic Cooperative, United Natural Foods, Frontier Natural Products Co-op and individual farmers and food producers.

All of the food is marked up 10 percent from its wholesale price to cover operating expenses, such as property taxes and electrical bills. Most retailers add a 20 percent to 40 percent markup on food products.

Review of Little Lad’s

Will Travel for Vegan Food has published a review of Little Lad’s.

What is lesser known about Little Lad’s is that they also have a wonderful bunch of cafes. Our trip in Portland, ME  included a stop on Congress Street at Little Lad’s Basket, a quaint eatery which features a menu and a buffet as well as takeaway items like bags of popcorn, pints of frozen vegan desserts, whole grain breads and more.