March 2008 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from March 2008 here.

March 31
Benny Girl confesses to a guilty pleasure in Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup in the new review of Kathy and Dave’s Cafe by The Breakfast Club. Overall TBC gave Kathy and Dave’s a B+.

A Blog About Beer has a review of Peak Organic’s new Maple Oat Ale. ABAB interviewed Peak Organic’s founder, John Cadoux, back in September.

March 30
Erik Desjarlais has a progress update on Evangeline with some details on the menu and pricing on his blog.

If you’re looking for locally raised meat, CSA’d or otherwise, then read this article on Chow Maine. The article also reports that a Monday Farmers’ Market is in the works for 2008.

March 28
Today’s Press Herald has an update on the return of the Miss Portland Diner to Marginal Way. The diner’s owner, Thomas Manning, plans to reopen the diner by this fall.
March 27
The Go Section on has a review of StarEast Cafe which they say is “definitely worth a try”.

ILAP, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, is hosting CeleSoiree 4 tomorrow at 58 Fore Street. There will be a silent art auction, African drumming and ethnic food from about 20 restaurants including Acropolis, Bogusha’s Polish Restaurant & Deli, Food Factory Miyake, Hamdi Restaurant & Grocery, Hi Bombay!, La Bodega Latina, Miccuci’s Grocery Co., Oriental Table, Sengchai Thai, Tandoor, Vientiane, Yosaku.

March 26 PM
Blog About Beer is announcing the formation of the Maine Beer Writers’ Guild to “to promote better beer writing and celebrate Maine’s craft brew culture”.

The Portland Phoenix has a review of the noodle soup options at Huong Vietnamese Restaurant and Pom’s Thai Taste. “The downtown Arts District has recently become a hot spot for Asian noodle soup. It offers a chance to try both a classic pho at Huong’s Vietnamese, and a transcendent contemporary take at Pom’s.”

The Maine Switch has a review of David’s on Monument Square. “Let me just say right off that I’m olive oil obsessed. I love to drizzle it over mashed potatoes, whip it up into a vinaigrette and lather it on pancakes. (Yes, pancakes.) And when I sit down at a restaurant and see a bottle of the golden goodness in front of me, I know I’m in the right spot.”

TMS restaurant reviewer, Avery Yale Kamila, started up a blog this month called Commune Tested, City Approved where she writes about vegetarian food and sustainable living.

Kaysone Thai, 21 Forest Ave, turned into Chaba Thai Cuisine II and now Chaba Thai Cuisine II has changed hands and is named Nakornping Thai Restaurant.

March 26 AM
John Everett reviewed the Gritty McDuff’s for this week’s installment of the Bar Guide. “We all love that Gritty’s brews its own (delicious) beer, serves good food and is a comfortable, sociable place with nice patrons and relaible staff. However, on weekends and busy summer nights, the place is often mobbed and it takes WAY too long to get a drink. These nights recall a famous Yogi Berra quip, ‘No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.'”
March 25
Chef Rob Evans of Hugo’s has been nominated for an award from the James Beard Foundation in the Best Chef: Northeast category. This is the second nomination for Evans. Also nominated were Clark Fraiser and Mark Gaier of Arrows in Ogunquit.

Type A Diversions has posted a review of Green Elephant. “Green Elephant fills a void in the Greater Portland restaurant scene; for vegetarians, vegans and those seeking an alternative to traditional Asian cuisine it is a fine choice for an affordable lunch or quick bite before a movie.”

March 24 PM
The Breakfast Club has resurfaced with a pair of new reviews. The first is of Easter breakfast at Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe, “with a great intown location but an off-the-beaten-path feel, bibo’s is the perfect alternative to many of portland’s better-known establishments. don’t miss it.” And the second of the St Patrick’s Day breakfast served at Brian Boru, “we wish there had been lucky charms cereal on the menu. they probably would have made a killing with that.”

Not to be out done, The Bollard has a published a breakfast review of The Frog and Turtle in Westbrook. “Chef James and co-owner/wife Heidi have completely transformed the former home of Chicky’s Fine Diner, creating a comfortable, casual space where good food takes center stage. The creative menu at The Frog & Turtle is flawlessly prepared, and Chef James doesn’t compromise on the quality of his ingredients. The wait staff, many of whom are holdovers from Cafe Uffa, are energetic, knowledgeable, and friendly to a fault.”

A blog called From Off has posted a short review of 2 Dine In, a service that delivers food from about 20 local restaurants. “I finally tried 2DineIn, and forget my doubts and worries – it was excellent.”

Portland Psst! is reporting that Awful Annie’s Irish Saloon has reopened on Congress Street.

Blog About Beer is publishing a six article how-to on drinking beer. He’s posted the first four articles so far: Find the Best Pubs, Getting the Most Out of the Glass, Fresh Beer is Better Beer, Stemware.

March 24 AM
Rabelais Books is appearing in an article about foodie bookstores in Saveur. They are also featured in an article in the latest edition of Port City Life.

The new edition of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine is on the newstands. There’s a trio of articles about Maine bakers, a profile of Cold River Vodka, an examination of the history of finnan haddie by food historian Sandy Oliver and much much more. Go to the MF&L website to see a full table of contents.

March 23
Pom’s Thai Taste received 3 stars in a review from “Opened last December, Pom’s Thai Taste Restaurant & Noodle House serves creamy curries and good noodle soups in a modern room. Oversweet dipping sauces and a few bland dishes were the only detractions during a meal on the bustling evening of Portland’s First Friday Art Walk, when I was impressed by the spicy, crispy duck and house special curry.”

Chow Maine has an article about restaurants that are making an effort to composte their waste.

The Portland Culinary Scribbler has posted another two pieces in their ongoing series of “various writers’ subjective reactions to a wine and cheese pairing”. Kate Beltz wrote “Disconnecting” in response to a 2006 Gouguenheim Merlot paired with Artisan Cabrales. Jesse W. Lane wrote “Red Wine Convert” in response to a Gougenheim Malbec paired with Chistou.

March 22
John Everett reviewed the Downtown Lounge in this week’s installment of the Bar Guide. “When I walk down Congress Street late at night, I often peek inside this tiny fun factory. Doesn’t matter if it’s 8 p.m. on a Friday or midnight on a Sunday, there are always people crowded in the diminutive Downtown Lounge. On a Thursday afternoon, my curiosity got the better of me.”

Beer, Maine & Me bemoans the lack of a Maine beer that can satisfy his desire for hoppiness. “We have a ton of great breweries, brewing lots of great beers, representing all different styles, but no IPAs that we can really brag about in the arena of holier-than-though hoppiness.”

Erik Desjarlais has provided readers of his blog advice and step by step instructions on how to stun, skin and butcher rabbits. Earlier in the week Desjarlais reported that there have been delays in getting his new restaurant, Evangeline, finished and so it will not be opening April 4 as originally expected. has published a report on the 1st Annual Eco Appetito that was held last weekend at Cinque Terre.

March 21
Today’s Press Herald has an article about Peak Organic’s newest beer, a maple oat ale which Peak brewed from locally sourced oats and maple syrup. A launching party for the new beer was held this week at Slainte on Preble St.
March 20 PM
Rabelais Books is holding a reception Friday from 5 to 7 pm for an exhibit entitled Food + Table. Rabelais describes the show this way, “Food + Table is a collaboration by students at the Maine College of Art in the Metalsmithing, Jewelry and Graphic Design departments . . . We are very excited about our first three dimensional show, the art will be interspersed throughout the store, making for all sorts of discoveries.”
March 20 AM
Portland 207 has a report on the newly re-opened Little Lad’s Bakery & Cafe. “A quick glance at the board was all that was afforded to me, as my host had already selected my meal. The first hand burger. This is no a typo. Their vegan menu is awash in choices that are slightly tweaked to do away with any traces of meat and dairy. Items such as pizza and grilled cheese on the sandwich board out front do not indicate the restaurant’s vegan intentions to those passing by.”

Passage to India was reviewed a second time this week, this time by the Go staff at The review gives the Wharf Street restaurant 4½ stars. “If you love Indian food, walk down to Wharf Street and grab a booth at Passage to India, the latest addition to Indian cuisine here in Portland. You can order one of their $6.95 lunch specials and even add a cup of soup for the same price as a sandwich-centered lunch in the Old Port.”

March 19 PM
This weeks edition of The Maine Switch includes a review of Binga’s Wingas. “You know you’d rather be watching March Madness with a pitcher of draft beer and a basket of hot wings than with that Diet Coke and bag of potato chips you happen to have at home.”

There’s a review of Passage to India in this week’s Portland Phoenix. “Passage to India is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the New England area, and is consistently rated among the top Indian restaurants in America and worldwide. At least that is what the restaurant’s Web site says – verbatim. And all this accomplished in just a few months! Having visited, I think it is an overstatement.” Reviewer Brian Duff goes on to say “Passage to India’s bombastic self-description is typical of the oddball charms that allow it to enliven what was once my least favorite restaurant space in the city”.

Fore Street Chef, Sam Hayward, is cooking a five-course dinner with wine pairings at the Poplar Stream hut as a benefit for Maine Huts and Trails. Diners will need to hike in, and for a $250 donation will “be treated to a fine dinner, an overnight stay at the hut, and breakfast on Saturday morning.”

March 19 AM
The Food section in today’s Press Herald has a profile of the Good Eats Boutique. Good Eats is somewhat unusual in that, rather than baking all the goodies themselves, they employ “eight Maine bakers who specialize in just one or two treats, which is DeWitt’s [the owner] way of tapping into their passion for baking and maintaining the quality and consistency of her products.”

There’s also a very interesting article in the Business section on the growth in number and influence of food blogs. My favorite line from the article is “Blogs . . .usually spring from personal obsessions.” I’m sure I don’t know what they’re talking about. 🙂

March 18 PM
The foodie blogosphere has expanded yet again. Kathleen Fleury is writing The Maine Mouth, a blog for Down East magazine, and the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle are collectively writing a blog called Plating Up. There are now 25 food and drink blogs listed on this site.
March 18 AM
Maine Maple Sunday is traditionally the 4th Sunday in March which this year falls on March 23—Easter Sunday for most Christians. As a result, some sugar houses will be open Saturday instead of Sunday. To find a location near you that’s open, regardless of the day, check the State of Maine’s Maple Sunday directory.
March 17
Chaba Thai Cuisine II on Forest Ave has been bought by a new owner. Chaba II will be renamed Nakornping Thai Restaurant. Both Nakornping and Veranda Thai Cusisine were issued liquor licenses at tonight’s City Council meeting.

Local Foodie has made it through a Winter with some “potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions, apples and squash” still stored away. Her experiments in growing spinach indoors with natural light (no grow lights) haven’t taken off but sprouts and kombucha have.

March 16
Chow Maine has an interview with Scott Olsen, the new Executive Chef at Mim’s Brasserie. Olsen is quoted in article saying “I am moving to Portland because . . . it has the most amazing restaurant scene I’ve been in. Even more happening than San Francisco”. Speaking on his approach to cooking he said, “I am not a big fluffy garnisher . . . and just want to give people AMAZINGLY FREAKIN’ GOOD FOOD.”

The Press Herald released the results of their 22nd annual Audience Readers’ Poll today. In some instances the food and drink portion seems to be more of a reflection of brand awareness than what is truly the best in each category. Here are a few examples: Olive Garden was #2 in the category for Best Restaurant, McDonalds was #1 in Best Cheap Eats and Dunkin Donuts was #1 in the Best Coffee category. The Portland Phoenix will be releasing the results of their readership poll soon. It will be interesting to see how the two sets of results compare.

March 14
John Everett reviewed The Snug in his Bar Guide this week. According to Everett, “I could have closed my eyes and imagined I was in Dublin, surrounded by Guinness-swilling Irishmen. Instead I was at the foot of Munjoy Hill boozing with Mainahs. The Irish vibe at The Snug is strong, and pretty authentic.”

Psst! has the news that Foley’s Cafe & Bakery on Monument Square has closed and that Happy Teriyaki is going to open a location at 630 Congress St. Saeng Thai House on St John St is opening a second location around the corner at 921 Congress sometime in late March or early April. The new Thai place going into the old location of Espans Quick Lunch on Veranda will be called Veranda Thai Cuisine. The Merry Table is the name of a new restaurant that is going to be located at 43 Wharf St. It looks like Awful Annie’s Irish Saloon will be re-opening at their former location, 189 Congress St. For information on these and all 19 new restaurants and bars under development in Portland see the Under Construction list.

March 13
The Press Herald has an entertaining interview with Rick Fournier from Tony’s Donut Shop. When asked if one of his new products has a nutritional label, Fournier answered “No. If you break it first, all the calories leak out. So calories aren’t an issue. And our doughnuts have non-fattening centers.”
March 12 PM
This week’s edition of The Maine Switch has a review of Vignola. The Switch offered this comment in the Diner’s Tip section of the review, “Skip dinner. Come for wine and dessert.” Type A Diversions had somewhat similar sentiments in her recent review that said, “I would return for drinks and appetizers, but likely not for dinner.”

Mainebiz has a story on Borealis Breads’ return to Portland.

March 12 AM
News of this past weekend’s Japanese Deathmatch dinner is starting to come out. The Deathmatch is a periodic event run by a group of local chefs and foodies that get together to cook for each other on a specific theme. See these posts on Accidental Vegetables and eGullet for more information.

The Enjoy Your Meal blog has the lowdown on which local restaurants have added Bushmills-based items to their menu in support of Portland’s bid to win the Twin City of Bushmills competition.

March 11
Market Street Eats has completed the move into new digs at 36 Market Street. Fans of Little Lad’s will be happy to hear that they will be re-opening on April 17.

Chow Maine has an article about the ongoing Winter farmer’s market operating in Portland. You can seee a full menu of items available at the market on eGullet.

March 10
A new blog, John Everett’s Bar Guide, has been added to our list of local food and drink bloggers. Everett writes a weekly blog entry reviewing one of Portland’s many bar and lounges. His reviews are chock full of information and are really fun to read. Each week’s post includes a readership survey which are usually quite whimsical. So far this year John has reviewed Andy’s Old Port Pub, CJ’s Place, Dock Fore, Empire Dine and Dance, Flask Lounge, Old Port Tavern, Rivalries, Slainte and Una.
March 9 PM
Type A Diversions has published a review of Vignola, an Italian restaurant on Dana Street. To quote Type A, “Vignola is a fun and lively gathering spot with an excellent Italian and French wine selection, as well as an extensive European and Belgian Beer assortment. There are several stand-out dishes, though the execution is not consistent across the menu.”
March 9 AM
Mexico Lindo received 1½ stars in a review from Food critic Nancy English wrote that the “dishes tasted during two recent visits to Mexico Lindo suffered from a lack of flavor, dubious freshness and overcooked chicken.”

Lava Lounge has been replaced by Cactus Club at 416 Fore St, and Oktoberfest International Taphouse, the beer bar that’s opening in the old location of Digger’s, has changed their name to Prost! International Taphouse.

Erik Desjarlais has a cryptic post on his blog that just reads “Mark April 4th on your calendars!” I think that’s Erik’s way of saying that April 4th will be the opening day of Evangeline, his new restaurant in Longfellow Square.

March 7 PM
The Hilltop Coffee Shop has moved across the street to the same building that’s home to Fat Baxter’s. Hilltop is having an open house tonight 5:30 – 7:30 to celebrate their new location.

City Deli has opened a second location at 18 Veranda St. Across the street from them a Thai restaurant is going into the building formerly occupied by Espans Quick Lunch. See the Under Construction page to see a full list of up and coming establishments.

The Spring edition of The Bollard is now out. It includes a review of Kim’s Sandwich Cafe, and another segment in their series on cocktails written by John Myers, the highly regarded bartender at Local 188. You can usually find copies of The Bollard at most local coffee shops.

March 7 AM
The Press Herald is reporting that Mayor Suslovic will be welcoming a master distiller from Bushmills Irish Whiskey to town today. Portland’s competing with Boston and Louisville to be selected the twin city of Bushmills.

According to Portland 207, Bull Feeny’s, Gritty’s, Ri-Ra and Brian Boru are sponsoring a “drunken parade” with a bagpiper to “lead the band of jubilant drinkers from bar to bar.” See Portland 207 for the schedule.

March 6
Begining in May, Caiola’s plans to start serving brunch on Sunday.
March 5
Food Search, Portland Food Map’s food-focused search engine, now indexes more that 300 websites including ones for all the local business listed on the site as well as a growing number of producers in Maine that sell in Portland such as oyster farms, cheese makers and breweries.
March 4
Today’s Portland Press Herald has an article about how bakeries are being impacted by the recent steep increases in the price of flour.
March 3
Chris2fer‘s latest review is of Norm’s East End Grill. Chris2fer and his friends enjoyed the easy parking, the “conforming to the non-conformist” waiters and the cornbread. “This must be stated. If you go to Norm’s, you have to get a side of cornbread . . . it is worth going just for said bread.” Overall, Chris2fer rated Norm’s a 4 on a 1-5 scale.
March 2
Another Portland run beer blog has been added to the site. Beer, Maine & Me includes interviews, beer reviews, news and book reviews. It is in good company alongside Beer Locavore, and Blog About Beer all of which write about Maine brewing.
March 1 PM
The 10 restaurants looked up most often in February were:

  1. Emilitsa
  2. The Frog and Turtle
  3. Bresca
  4. Five Fifty-Five
  5. Caiola’s
  6. Katahdin
  7. Gauchos Churrascaria
  8. The Front Room
  9. Local 188
  10. Blue Spoon

Emilitsa soared past the others to claim the top spot which had been held by Bresca for the past several months.

March 1 AM
Forbes Traveler magazine has included The Great Lost Bear in its list of the Best American Beer Bars. “Maine is a craft-brewing mecca, and there’s no better place to sample the Northeast’s bounty than this nearly 30-year-old institution offering a mind-boggling 52 taps.”, a local blog that offers beer reviews and news has been added to our growing list of local food and drink blogs.

Type A Diversions has published a review on a disappointing dinner at Bangkok Thai. “Unlike my husband who lived in Thailand for several years, I’ve only had Thai food in the U.S. We both agree that Bangkok Thai’s cuisine is some the most mediocre we’ve experienced”.

February 2008 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from February 2008 here.

February 29
Chow Maine has an article about how the current Maine shrimp season is going. It includes details on how some local restaurants are incorporating this seasonal ingredient into their menu. Gilbert’s Chowder House, Hugo’s, Sapporo and The Front Room are all mentioned.
February 28
Down East magazine has an excellent video profile of Tony’s Donut Shop and the people who work there.

If you’re looking for a way to stretch your bar budget, take a loook at The site lists daily drink specials at local restaurants and bars.

February 27 PM
Driving home tonight I noticed that the old location of Seng Thai at 921 Congress Street was undergoing renovation. There’s no sign to indicate who’s going to move in to the space but the interior design made it look likely that it will be a Thai restaurant.

The Portland Phoenix published a joint review of Rosie’s and Silly’s. The reviewer ties the two eateries together in his trademark style with a leap year/passage of time theme. “Leap year should remind us that the arbitrary and chaotic lurk even in the monotonous tick of the clock and turn of the calendar page.”

The Sun Journal published a review of Portland Pie this weekend. “This should be a story about pie . . . but it turned into an investigation of buffalo wings rather faster than I had expected”.

This week’s edition of The Maine Switch includes a review of Katahdin. “I swore off martinis a few years ago . . . and thank god my martini willpower gave out.”

Blueberries and Lobster reported that Becky’s Diner was included in Details magazine’s list of the best breakfast places in the country.

February 27 AM
Chow Maine has updated their calendar of wine tastings to include upcoming events in March. If you’re ready to try some new wines you now know where and when to go.

An overview of the burgeoning Westbrook restaurant scene appeared in today’s edition of the Portland Press Herald. Baker’s Bench, The Frog and Turtle, Burrito and Casa Novella were among the many places mentioned in the article.

February 26
G & R DiMillo’s Bayside, the sports bar moving into the old Bleachers location on Preble Street, was the focus of an article in today’s Press Herald.

The Press Herald also had an article today about a bill before the Maine legislature to legalize home delivery of beer and wine. Maine is one of a minority of states that makes this practice illegal. Blog About Beer just wrote about this issue yesterday and came out in favor of the law.

February 25
By a vote of 8-1, the Portland City Council voted tonight to approve a liquor license for Erik Desjarlais’ new restaurant Evangeline. Evangeline will be located at the former location of Uffa in Longfellow Square. Liquor licenses were also approved for the Cobblestone Grill and G & R DiMillo’s Bayside. Una was granted an extension to their existing license to apply to an expansion into an adjoining space. You can see details on this and other upcoming food and drink establishments on the Under Construction List.

The anonymous writer of Portland Psst! was outed this weekend. Erik Desjarlais had a cryptic post on his blog this weekend that read “Peter Smith, we know who you are!!!” Explanation came today when Psst! indirectly confirmed that he is Peter Smith. Psst!’s latest post explaining the “reasons Psst! exists” ends with “Thank you and goodbye.” This has led some to conclude that this may be the end of the popular blog.

February 24
Walter’s Cafe received 3 stars in a critical review of the Exchange St restaurant published on The review praises the oyster stew but comments that “other combinations and fusion dishes suffered from a muddle of ingredients and ideas. Brie and spinach-stuffed, bacon-wrapped trout, a special, was a meal that resembled a room with too many doors.”

Steve Corry, chef/owner of Five Fifty-Five, gives an interview on his life in 2007 (“It’s been a bit insane.”) as a new dad and being recognized last year by Food and Wine as one of the 10 Best New Chef’s in the country. Corry’s short list of favorite places to eat in Portland includes Back Bay Grill, Fore Street, Hugo’s, Bresca, Bar Lola, and Emilitsa.

Scarborough resident and founder of Kitchen Gardens International, Roger Doiron was quoted in an Associated Press article about the increased interest in home gardens that’s being driven by high food prices. Dorion recently set up a new website called Eat Maine Foods to support the Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine.

February 23
Chow Maine has investigated the state of fine dining restaurants in Portland in light of the current economy and found that they’re faring well. Bresca, Fore Street and Caiola’s are all doing better than they were a year ago. The article also mentions that an essay by Sam Hayward on island sheep will be appearing in the upcoming issue of Art of Eating. has been added to our growing list of blogs that comment on food in Portland.

Type A Diversions has down a bake-off, or should I say bagel-off, comparing bagels from both Mister Bagel and Scratch Baking Co.

February 22
A new sports bar called G & R DiMillo’s Bayside is planning on opening in the former location of Bleachers on Preble Street. You can see details on this and other upcoming food and drink establishments on the Under Construction List.

Una, the tony Fore St cocktail lounge, is expanding into the space vacated late last year by Portland Pie. The additional space will be used to expand the bar and make room for a dance floor.

February 21 PM
Portland 207 and The Forecaster are reporting that Portland is one of three finalists in the Twin City of Bushmills in America contest being run to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. Visit the Bushmills site to vote.
February 21 AM
Hamdi Restaurant and Grocery, a small Somali establishment on Washington Ave, netted its first review today and so has been taken off of the list of unreviewed Portland restaurants and bars.

The Portland Press Herald had a front page article today about the 23% decrease in lobster landings in 2007. One possible explanation is the increase in Cod and Striped Bass which are predators of the tasty crustaceans.

February 20
StarEast Cafe the new Middle-Eastern eatery located in Woodfords Corner, was reviewed by Brian Duff in this week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix. Brian was complimentary of the food and summed up StarEast by saying, “overall the experience at StarEast was more a pleasantly odd surprise than a disappointment. If the space were busier some of its quirks would become less glaring.”<br
The Maine Switch this week includes an interview with John Regas, the owner of Emilitsa, the new Greek restaurant in town, and a review of the Brazillian steakhouse Gauchos Churrascaria. Reviewer Karen Beaudoin advices, “When it comes to the food at Gauchos, you need to come hungry to get your money’s worth . . . The food was good, but maybe not $240 for four people good (including drinks and tip). You pay for the variety (there are 12 meats in all, including chicken hearts – we passed – lamb, flank steak and sirloin) and the experience which is like none other in Portland.” </br
February 19
“As a loyal Pom’s fan” Type A Diversions was looking forward to visiting Pom’s new restaurant Pom’s Thai Taste on Congress St in Portland. Type A wraps up her latest review—a mix of praise and criticism—by asking “Is Pom’s spread too thin? . . . To be the best, or the biggest…that may be the question for Pom as she grows her Thai restaurant empire in Maine. I vote for quality over quantity.”
February 18 PM
Chris2fer and friends visited Katahdin where they found everything from the decour to the drinks to the food to their liking. Chris2fer sums it up this way “Katahdin is one of the best restaurants in Portland. I have never been unhappy with what I have ordered. It is always cooked perfectly, and seasoned expertly. The wait staff is charming and they pay attention, but they don’t hover, which is a pet peeve of mine.”
February 18 AM
The Bollard has a new review of Brea Lu Cafe. “It’s a marriage of convenience. Brea Lu has decent food and it’s a nice, friendly place. If the greater-USM area happens to be your neighborhood, it’s a perfectly good spot to call your own. But if you have to get in your car to get there, as we do, there are plenty of better breakfasts in town.”
February 17
The Frog and Turtle received 4 stars the Taste & Tell column published on
February 16
Portland 207 wrote up a review of his visit to Empire Dine and Dance, noting that the “food needs few improvements” and that the “slider-style mini-burger received rave reviews and the veggie lasagna was over-sized but damn delicious”.

The 15th annual Great Chili and Chowder Challenge was held last weekend. The Atrium at The Cedars, a retirement community, won top honors from the judges in both the Best Chili and Best Chowder categories.

February 14
Thanksgiving’s, a Thanksgiving themed restaurant in Westbrook, was reviewed today in the Go Magazine section on “Almost everything on the menu is built around rotisserie turkey meat. In addition to several turkey sandwiches, most of them $7.99, there are entrees of turkey pot pies, turkey croquettes, turkey stir-fry and – of course – a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.”

For those of you who have delayed buying your significant other a Valentine’s Day present comes some advice from The Maine Switch and Type A Diversions on purchasing Valentine’s Day chocolates.

February 13
Brunch at The Frog and Turtle was reviewed by Accidental Vegetables. While not a big fan of their Bloody Mary “I kept sipping it, hoping the flavor would grow on me, but no dice”, she was quite taken with the freshly made doughnuts, “They were, quite simply, incredible. It’s worth the drive just to try them”.

This week’s edition of The Maine SWitch includes a review of The Front Room. “Though it may be crowded, the Front Room’s good reputation is well-deserved. On the slightly expensive side, the food was well-worth the cash, and the waitstaff and customers are so friendly that it’s easy to forgive the noise and accept it as a part of the neighborhood feel that the East End does so well.”

February 12
The Frog and Turtle was featured in a review appearing in the latest edition of Portland Magazine.
February 11 blogger Jim Britt published a post today about his recent interest in single bean chocolate. The article includes a list of some local chocolatiers and chocolate vendors. I’d also add Haven’s Candies and Dean’s Sweets to the list local chocolatiers, and Old Port Candy and The Cheese Iron to the list of local stores that sell good chocolate.

Portland 207 wrote a review comparing his experiences Sunday at two “2 hip Congress Street eateries”, Local 188 and Downtown Lounge.

February 10
Ri-Ra Irish Pub received 3 stars today in the review published on According to the review, at Ri-Ra “Sturdy, straightforward dishes discover the right compromise between mother Ireland and the modern America, nourishing diners both substantially and well.”
February 9
Type A Diversions paid a visit to Emilitsa, the new Greek restaurant on Congress St that opened just last Friday. She had this to say about the experience, “Our expectations were exceeded on the night we dined; we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, the exceptional service and the upscale decor. We look forward to our return.” It looks like Emilitsa is off to a good start.
February 7 PM
Accidental Vegetables has posted her impressions of a revisit to Empire Dine and Dance. While the space still felt ” a little ‘off'” to her, she did say that “All in all the food at Empire is fine. If you’re out and about and want to grab a bite, you could find something pretty tasty at a pretty reasonable price.”

After a long hiatus while he remodeled his Portland home, has returned to life with two recipes: one for Moroccan-style Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Orzo “Risotto” and a second for Scallop and Pancetta Pizza.

February 7 AM
The burgers at Vivian’s Drive-In were called “moist and juicy, fresh and succulent” in the review appearing in today’s Go Magazine section on

The Bollard has an update on the changes taking place on Fore and Wharf Streets, including more information on the Oktoberfest International Taphouse and Club Onyx, and news that Cobblestone Grill will be going into the spot formerly occupied by Cake. You can see details on these and other upcoming food and drink establishments on the Under Construction List.

February 6 PM
This week’s edition of The Maine Switch includes a review of Uncle Billy’s Resto-Bar and an article about the CSA Fair taking place this weekend.
February 6 AM
Today’s Press Herald includes an article on the CSA Fair being sponsored in Freeport this Sunday by Slow Food Portland, MOFGA, and the Maince Council of Churches. There’s also news that SMCC will be hosting a five-week wine appreciation class.
February 4
The City Council voted tonight to grant a liquor license to the Oktoberfest International Taphouse. The taphouse will be moving into the location formerly occupied by Diggers/Liquid Blue. Consideration of the liquor license for Evangeline was deferred until the meeting on February 25. You can see details on these and other upcoming gastro-business on the Under Construction List.

Market Street Eats will be moving a few doors up the road to 36 Market St. They plan on moving to the new location on March 3.

February 3
Nancy English gave Beale Street Barbeque, 3½ stars in the review published today on According to English, at Beale Street the “tender ribs and melting pulled pork and brisket, even the crab cakes, are barbecue classics, but some of the other dishes seem off-track.”
February 2
Portland Food Map now has a page for all the brunchaholics out there. It’s a list of all the places listed on this site that are open for Sunday brunch. It’s still a work in progress so if you know of any place missing from the brunch list, then please email me at and let me know.
February 1 PM
Chris2fer has reviewed Spirited Gourmet giving it a rating of 3 out of 10. He found it sadly lacking in both spirit and gourmetness and wrote “I will not be going back.”

The Good Egg Cafe, the breakfast avatar of Pepperclub, was reviewed by Type A Diversions. Type A calls The Good Egg a “vegetarian-friendly version of Becky’s” and declares that, “it fits the bill for a casual and affordable breakfast spot with friends.”

Blog About Beer, by Portland resident Luke Livingston, has been added to the site’s list of local food and drink blogs.

The Press Herald ran a story today about the collection of ethnic restaurants located on Forest Ave opposite Baxter Woods.

February 1 AM
The 10 restaurants viewed most often on Portland Food Map during the month of January were:

  1. Bresca
  2. Caiola’s
  3. The Frog and Turtle
  4. Five Fifty-Five
  5. Green Elephant
  6. Gauchos Churrascaria
  7. Fore Street
  8. Back Bay Grill
  9. Blue Spoon
  10. The Front Room

According to the Portland-based Blog About Beer a second high-end beer cafe is planning on opening in Portland. The establishment will be called The Pannepot Brewpub and Cafe and is hoping to open in the March/April time frame near the intersection of Forest Ave and Congress St. This comes hard on the heels of news last week that Novare Res Bier Cafe will be opening this Spring in the Old Port.

January 2008 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from January 2008 here.

January 31
Emilitsa, the long anticipated addition to Portland’s line-up of Greek restaurants, is having a soft opening tomorrow night with a limited menu.

This week’s issue of The Maine Switch has an article about ice wine—a wine made by pressing frozen grapes. According to the article, ice wine is on the menu at Five Fifty-Five, Hugo’s and Mims Brasserie.

January 30 PM
The Portland Phoenix‘s Brian Duff checked out North Star Cafe and Fat Baxter’s as part of an article on the sandwich options in the East End, “As the economy slides into recession it is time we started to think more seriously about the sandwich.”

The Maine Switch published two reviews. The first of Pom’s Thai Taste, “Everything we’ve eaten at Pom’s bursts with a perfect balance of sweet and savory and contains the crispy freshness that only comes from high-quality ingredients properly sauteed.”; the second on Spartan Grill, “while the menu may be Spartan, the flavor remains deliciously complex”.

The Bollard posted a review about the restaurant-turned-nightclub that is 51 Wharf.

January 30 AM
Today’s Portland Press Herald has an article about the impact being felt in the organic food industry with the growth in demand now far out-stripping the growth in supply.
January 29
Type A Diversions has reviewed Caiola’s. She comments that it is “one of the best examples of a neighborhood restaurant that I’ve encountered”, and that “I’d be hard pressed to go anywhere else if I lived nearby.”
January 28
Today’s newspaper has an article about John Bunker and his book Not Far from the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo, Maine 1804-2004. Bunker was in town last fall when he did a book reading and apple tasting at Rabelais Books.
January 27
Nancy English gives Sapporo, Portland’s original sushi restaurant, 3 stars in her review published on According to English, Sapporo “caters to a wide range of tastes, but its offerings themselves cover too wide a spectrum, some not as good as they should be.”

Winter Cache Project, Blueberries and Lobster, and Carolyn Stephens Handmade Desserts have been added to the site.

January 26
Francisco’s Blue House Cafe is going out of business. Brunch on February 3 will be the last meal they serve.

The Portland Harbor Hotel, home of Eve’s at the Garden, is having their annual Ice Bar this weekend. 7,000 lbs. of ice have been carved into a working bar which includes a “martini luge”. The Joan Kennedy Trio will provide music for the bar tonight.

The Portland Phoenix is gathering nominations for their annual Best of Portland reader’s poll. Go to the Phoenix’s website to nominate your favorite bars, restaurants, etc. You have until February 10 to get your nominations in. The actual voting on the nominations starts February 14.

January 24 PM
According to a report from Portland 207, the Spartan Grill has opened up a temporary location on the first floor of the Public House while the construction of their new digs on the second floor is underway.

Type A Diversions has published a review of Burrito!. “Burrito! is an affordable lunch spot for those who work in the vicinity, and probably a fun place to enjoy a pitcher of margaritas and a plate of nachos after work or before a movie. Cleaner and less grungy than Granny’s ever was, the decor is cheery with lots of color, though this time of year the small space heater is not quite enough to take the chill out of the air.”

January 24 AM
The Maine Switch has an excellent profile of Homegrown Herb Tea, a herbal tea shop located in the East End. Terra Cotta Pasta was featured in a review in today’s Go section on
January 23 PM
Brian Duff at the Portland Phoenix calls the Green Elephant a “big step in the right direction”. He goes on to comment that the restaurant is “Elegant but affordable, progressive but pleasurable, pan-Asian but not dangerously eclectic, a touch didactic (a glossary chalked on the wall defines tempeh and soy), but charmingly so, with affordable wine and interesting tea – Green Elephant is something Maine could use.”
January 23 AM
The Portland Culinary Scribbler, a cooperative food writing effort, launched this week. The first set of postings “all turn on a common theme: the various writers’ subjective reactions to a wine and cheese pairing.”

Local Foodie reports that a buying club is getting set-up for people to make purchases from alternative food suppliers like the Crown of Maine Co-op.

Novare Res, is the name of a new beer cafe that will be opening at 4 Canal Plaza this Spring. With all the recent announcements, we’re now up to a count of 12 food and drink establishments that are on the Under Construction list.

Chow Maine has shared some insight on Maine slaughterhouses and where their beef comes from.

January 22
Be sure to save a spot on your calendar this week for the Slow Food Portland Writers’ Night. On hand will be writers Margaret Hathaway, Sandy Oliver, James Peterson, Melissa Pasanen and Rick Gencarelli. More info on the event and the writers can be found on Slow Food Portland’s website. Portland foodies should also be aware that tickets are now on sale for the PSO Wine Dinner and Auction. The event usually sells out and with good reason: great wine and great food prepared by Maine’s top chefs.

Rachel’s L’Osteria is the focus of a new review from Type A Diversions. While she enjoyed some aspects of the meal, she sums up the overall experience this way, “It’s the kind of place that when you look in from the sidewalk, you are drawn inside. Once inside, however, it is a disappointment, with prices to match.”

January 21
Delivery service 2 Dine In and local menu library were profiled in today’s Press Herald. Also in today’s paper, Don and Samantha Lindgren, owners of Rabelais Books, were featured in the weekly Favorites column. Portland Food Map was listed among their favorite websites.
January 20
The Maine Sunday Telegram has an interview with foodie and local food photographer Russell French.

The Bollard has a new article with the lowdown on changes in the Wharf St bar scene. “Five nightclubs and bars have either closed or will soon close . . . ”

Type A Diversions calls Scratch Baking Co. in South Portland “worth the trip” for their bagels and other baked goods.

January 19 PM
Wild Oats closed its doors for good yesterday and Whole Foods was packed today. The parking lot was so full it was like trying to find a space at the mall the week before Christmas.
January 19 AM
The Commercial St seafood restaurant formerly known as Crab Louie has re-invented itself as One Eyed Jacks Pizza. The menu includes meat and fish tacos, a short list of specialty pizzas, and a daily dinner special. Those of you who remember the Crab Louie sign will recognize the new one for Jacks—the boy is now grasping a slice of pizza instead of a fish.
January 18
Type A Diversions, a self-confessed “huge Five Fifty-Five fan”, raves about the brunch at the Congress St restaurant in her latest review. After polishing off a main dish of wild rice, Gruyere cheese, duck confit and poached egss she reports she “felt like I had died and gone to Heaven”.
January 17
Micucci’s in-house bakery get’s nothing but praise in the latest review. “Micucci’s Grocery in Portland has only one prepared lunchtime offering: pizza. But that’s all it really needs.”
January 16 PM
Cafe at Pat’s was reviewed in today’s edition of The Maine Switch. According to author, “The experience at Pat’s was much better than I imagined . . . and we’ll be back for the Sunday brunch, which I’ve heard is fantastic.” It’s a banner day for PR at Spelt Right. In addition to the article in the Press Herald linked to below, The Maine Switch has also profiled the local spelt flour bakery.
January 16 AM
Spelt Right, a Portland bakery that uses spelt flour in its cooking, was profiled by Meredith Goad in today’s issue of the Press Herald. Also from today’s newspaper comes news that Wolf’s Neck Farm is offering a four-part series of classes on local food; USM and Whole Foods are teaming up to offer a four-part series of classes on chocolate, cheese, and olives. The editorial page of today’s paper, comments on the results of recent research into the connection between price point and wine enjoyment.
January 15
With all the restaurants, bars and other food service venues in Portland for which there’s no review available online, local bloggers and food writers have a target rich environment to work in. Here’s my top 10 wish list of reviews I hope will be written in the new year:

January 13 PM
Erin at Type A Diversion has done a review of The Wine Bar, which takes it off the unreviewed list. Erin comments that When “fresh out of college” she and her husband thought the Wine Bar “was a cool place to spend a Saturday night”, but now finds that it’s not living up to those memories. My memories of The Wine Bar are also very positive . . . perhaps it’s time for me to make another visit.
January 13 AM
The Press Herald is running their 22nd annual reader’s poll. The poll includes categories for Best Restaurant, Best Cheap Eats, Best Lobster Roll, Best Coffee, Best Bakery, Best Pizza, Best Bar and Best Beer. You can participate in the poll by filling out the survey online at the Press Herald‘s website.
January 12
In response to the posting of the word Pastarazzi by From Way Away in the Uban Dictionary, Type A Diversions has explained the guidelines she uses to when taking pictures at restaurants.
January 11
Local blogger, From Way Away, has posted a new word in the Urban Dictionary: Pastarazzi. According to the dictionary, Pastarazzi are “Foodie bloggers who insist on taking pictures of their meal at nice restaurants.” I wonder if he had anyone in particular in mind?

There’s an excellent post on the eGullet Forums about four Maine farms that have banded together to deliver farm produced goods to Portland during the off-season of the farmers’ markets. The posting includes a list of all the items available which range from parsnips to moogurt. The four farms are Thirty Acre Farm, Freedom Farm, Goranson Farm and Townhouse Farm.

January 10
Silly’s is the focus of a review in this week’s issue of The Maine Switch. The article touts Silly’s universal appeal, “You can bring your 8-year-old nephew, your foodie aunt and your meat-and-potatoes dad and the whole crew will be happy (if a little bit silly).” Hard on heels of yesterday Portland Phoenix article on Rabelais and the Slow Food Portland Writers’ Night comes this list food book recomendations from TMS food critic Avery Yale Kamila.
January 9 PM
Today’s Portland Phoenix includes an article which is a mashup of Rabelais and Slow Food Portland. The result? Slow Food Portland Writers’ Night which is taking place January 24 in the SPACE gallery.
January 9 AM
Mesa Verde is the focus of an review published today by Type A Diversions. She sums up her impressions this way, “Mexican is not difficult to do well, but you won’t find it done well at Mesa Verde.” The Portland Press Herald is reporting that Bresca will be expanding its wine list with 40 new wines from Spain and that changes to the menu are also in the works. Additionally, the Press Herald reports that Hugo’s will be discontinuing its prix fixe menu in May in favor of “a more casual, a la carte style”.
January 8
Erik Desjarlais, has posted an update on his blog about the upcoming opening of his new restaurant Evangeline. With regard to what Desjarlais refers to as “The Magic Question” aka When will you be opening Evangeline?, all Erik has for answer is “soon”. In his words, “It will be 2 years in February since Bandol [Erik’s last restaurant] closed its doors. A few extra weeks won’t hurt.”
January 6
Nancy English gives Chabba Thai Cuisine II 2½ stars in her review of the Forest Ave restaurant published on According to English, Chabba II is “another good option on crowded Thai landscape”.

Accidental Vegetables has published a review on her New Year’s Eve visit to Fore Street. She sums up her experience by saying, “All in all it was a lovely dinner, and not outrageously priced. So why do I say we probably won’t be adding it to our rotation? I think, honestly, it’s the philosophy of the restaurant: simplicity . . . I really have no complaints about our meal, which was masterfully prepared within its merits, or the service, which was truly outstanding. It just didn’t excite the hell out of me.”

Type A Diversions has published another in her ongoing series reviewing Portland’s sushi restaurants. This time around she writes about Benkay, “The service is so-so – never stellar, but not poor enough to keep me from returning. I’ll hold out hope that Yosaku will get their act together in time for summer, when it is so nice to enjoy sushi on their patio. Until then, when I have a sushi craving, you’ll find me at Benkay.”

January 5
Today’s Press Herald is reporting that Bleacher’s, the Bayside sportsbar that closed recently, may reopen in the future in another location. The article goes on to report that another restaurant probably will be going in to the former Bleacher’s location on Preble St.
January 4
Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe was rated 7 out of 10 by local blogger Chris2fer, and has a review of Portland’s newest Thai restaurant, Pom’s Thai Taste.
January 3
Bleachers, a sportsbar located on Preble St, has thrown in the towel. According to Portland Psst!, StarEast Cafe had it’s grand opening today. The Maine Switch‘s Avery Yale Kamila has written a very good overview of the past year’s food highlights and upcoming changes in the Portland restaurant scene.
January 2
Passage to India has netted it’s second review in as many days, this one is from The Maine Switch. Nancy English has posted an article on her site Chow Maine Guide about bitters and bitter ingredients in food. Todd Richard at The Phoenix has written an article about shopping at Fat Baxter’s, a market located on Munjoy Hill.
January 1 PM
Blogger Type A Diversions has published a review of Passage to India, Portland’s newest Indian restaurant. This brings the count of restaurants and other food service businesses without reviews down to 80. Tic Tac O, Salads, etc., Clock Tower Cafe, and Five Seasons Cooking School have been added to the site.
January 1 AM
The top 10 restaurants viewed most often on Portland Food Map during the month of December are:

  1. Bresca
  2. The Frog and Turtle
  3. Empire Dine and Dance
  4. Five Fifty-Five
  5. Blue Spoon
  6. Green Elephant
  7. Caiola’s
  8. Back Bay Grill
  9. Fore Street
  10. The Front Room

Bresca has remained in the top spot for the past 4 months running.

December 2007 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from December 2007:

December 31
Rabelais Books is hosting an event with David Wondrich, an “internationally-recognized authority on cocktails and their history” and author of IMBIBE!, this Friday from 5-7 pm. Blogger Accidental Vegetables has posted comments about her recent visits to Thanh Thanh 2 (“I continue to be favorably impressed”), Empire Dine and Dance(“I really wanted to like Empire”), and Pom’s Thai Taste (“Overall our experience at Pom’s was outstanding”). Portland Magazine has published a new review of Green Elephant.
December 30 PM
Artist Stephen Quirk has begun a project photographing local kitchens. Photos of Zu BakeryWest End Deli, and Bresca are available so far.
December 30 AM
Gauchos Churrascaria opened for business this week at 100 Commercial St, former location of Oolong. has a new review by Nancy English of Ribollita. Alison LePage, author of the Local Foodie locavore blog, will be a guest on WMPG’s (FM 90.9) show Big Talk on Thursday January 3, at 7:30 pm.
December 27
The Phoenix‘s Brian Duff has published his food predictions for 2008The Maine Switch has a new review of Bull Feeney’s, as well as tips on buying Champagne and dealing with New Year’s Day hangovers.
December 25
According to The Bollard, the new owner of the Chestnut Street Church plans on turning the historic building into a restaurant.
December 23
According to a recent post on the eGullet Forums, Gauchos Churrascaria, a Brazillian steakhouse, will be opening for business on December 27.
December 22
Type A Diversions has published reviews of Tandoorand of Fore Street.
December 21
Passage to India had its grand opening this week. They are in the spot formerly occupied by Soffrito on Wharf Street.
December 20 PM
Empire Dine and Dance is the focus of an article from The Forecaster on the changes taking place on Congress Street.
December 20 AM
Siam Orchid, a “Thai takeout place” located in One City Center’s food court, was reviewed in the Go section on
December 19 PM
Empire Dine and Dance and Bintliff’s American Cafewere reviewed in this week’s issue of The Maine SwitchThe Portland Phoenix has a new article from Brian Duff on the growth and diversity of online information sources focused on the Portland restaurant scene. Along with Portland Food Map, Duff mentions Portland Psst!Type A Diversions, From Way Away, Accidental Vegetables, and The Breakfast Club.
December 19 AM
Blogger From Way Away has filed another report on his quest to sample all locally available poutine. You may recall, his first stop back in October was Duckfat; he gave them an overall scrore of 3.66. This monthhe reported on a visit to The Frog and Turtle which got an overall score of 1.8 for it’s interpretation of the classic fries and gravy dish.
December 17
Binga’s Wingas has closed its Portland St. location. A sign on the door explains, “Due to repeated vandalism, this location will only be open for parties and private functions.”
December 16
Nancy English gave Whole Foods Trattoria 2 out of a possible 5 stars in the review published today on English writes, “With the enormous range of food steps away, I imagined the corner of Portland’s Whole Foods Market that serves hot meals would be worth trying out. For the most part, I was wrong.” The Bollard is reporting that the owner of Digger’s and Liquid Blue has lost his appeal for an entertainment license and that the decision may spell the the end for the two local bars.
December 14
Today’s Press Herald reports that Freeport has given Gritty’s the go ahead to build a 24 foot tall silo to store barley malt. The silo will hold up to 50,000 pounds of grain.
December 13
There’s a new review of the Flask Lounge in the Go Magazine section of Also in today’s paper is a Community Voices article by Chichun Tsou about the role of rice in East Asian cultures. The Portland Phoenix has an article by Lindsay Sterling on her experience cooking with West Ender Sally Ng.
December 11
Fog Cutter Coffee had its first day in the old Maine Roasters location at 529 Warren Ave yesterday. To celebrate their new location coffee was free to everyone who stopped by. Nancy English has published a new installment of her holiday shopping series on Chow Maine. The three articles so far have covered caviarholiday breads, and, my favorite, chocolate.
December 10
The Breakfast Club has published a new review. Benny Girl, Wild Toast and the rest of the Breakfast Club crew visited Ruski’s on Danforth St. They gave it an overall rating of a B.
December 8
Fog Cutter Coffee plans on opening their new location on Warren Ave Monday morning.
December 7 PM
Empire Dine and Dance opened their doors to the public today. They’re running a cash bar and a limited menu at the moment. Credit card processing and a full menu are expected to come online next week. A group called Sacarrapa Boys is going on stage tonight at 9pm. On an unrelated topic, Downtown Lounge has opened back up.
December 7 AM
Today’s Press Herald has a detailed article about Freaky Bean and its purchase of Maine Roasters. The article mentions that Freaky Bean plans on opening additional locations next year in South Portland and Scarborough. It goes on to say that the Maine Roasters location on Warren Ave has been closed and is being sold to Fog Cutter Coffee “which owns drive-through operations in Cumberland and South Portland.” According to Fog Cutter, their new location will be open by the end of the year.
December 6
The Maine Switch has published a review of Casa Novello, an Italian restaurant located in Westbrook. The Portland Phoenix has an in-depth article on the ongoing development of the Portland Food Co-op. There’s a new review on of Leonardo’s Pizza.
December 5
On November 30 Freaky Bean Coffee entered into an agreement to purchase Maine Roasters Coffee. The acquisitions spreads their reach northward into Falmouth and Yarmouth. Freaky Bean VP, Andrew Kessler tells me that they anticipate a slow transition as they take the time to learn more about the neighborhoods and their new customers . . . The Bollard is reporting that a restaurant called Chef et al will be moving into the former Venue Bar & Grill location on Forest Ave, and that Granny’s Burritos has unexpectedly closed . . . Portland Psst!is reporting that the owner of The Front Room will be opening a new restaurant called The Grill Roomat the former location of Natasha’s. Also according to Psst!Pom’s Thai Taste opened today which pushes the official count of Thai restaurants in the city to 11. Quite day for restaurant news in Portland.
December 3
The Downtown Lounge is temporarily closed for renovations. Chris2fer has been added to the list of local food bloggers. The latest print edition of The Bollard includes recommendations on family friendly restaurants. Among those that the author recommends are O’Natural’sFlatbreadThree Dollar Deweys and Mekhong Thai. Also in The Bollard is an article on forgotten cocktails by John Meyers, the bartender at Local 188. You can pick up your free copy of The Bollard at Coffee by Design and many other local locations. Blogger Type A Diversions has posted a review of Duckfat; a recent visit changed her previously negative impressions of the Middle St sandwich shop.
December 2
Nancy English gave Bonobo 4 fours stars in the review published today on English sums up her impressions of the West End pizzeria by writing “The craftsmanship here assures you of an exceptional thin-crust pizza; ask which are the lighter ‘new generation’ pies if you like more of the crunch.” Also in today’s paper is an article on the closing of the Village Cafe.
December 1
The top 10 restaurants viewed most often on Portland Food Map for the month of November are:

  1. Bresca
  2. The Frog and Turtle
  3. Back Bay Grill
  4. Caiola’s
  5. Five Fifty-Five
  6. Dogfish
  7. Green Elephant
  8. Blue Spoon
  9. Local 188
  10. Ribollita

Bresca has remained in the top spot for the past 3 months running while the other nine slots have been somewhat fluid.

November 2007 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from November 2007 here.

November 30
This week’s issue of The Forecaster has an article on the imminent closing of the Village Cafe, a mainstay of the Portland restaurant industry for 71 years. Natasha’s closed up shop for the last time earlier this week. As mentioned in last week’s issue of The Forecaster, this will now provide owner Natasha Durham the freedom to focus exclusively on her Commercial St restaurant Mims Brasserie.
November 29
This week’s issue of The Maine Switch features reviews of the Flask Lounge and Terra Cotta Pasta. has another review of Uncle Billy’s Resto-Bar; they must really like Uncle Billy’s because that’s the second review they’ve done this year on the Congress St barbeque restaurant.
November 28
Brian Duff from The Portland Phoenix has done a round-up review of the newest pizzerias in town—Bonobo, Siano’s, and Leonardo’s. The article also reports that Haggarty’s has been experimentin with making Indian pizzas which they plan on adding to their menu in 2008.
Portland Food Search
There’s now another way to use this site to find the information you want. In addition to the Map View, List View and street maps, there’s now Portland Food Search. Portland Food Search is a customized search engine that simultaneously searches more than 200 local food orriented websites. You can access this new search service by clicking on the new Food Search tab at the top of the page.
November 25
Food Factory Miyake picked up another positive review today. Nancy English gave the Spring St sushi restaurant 4 fours stars in her review published today on Eric Desjarlais has written on his blog about the progress he’s making in opening Evangeline, his new State St restaurant. Portland Pie Company has completed their move from Fore St to 51 York St.
November 24
The new Forest Ave location for Mexico Lindo is now open for business.
November 23
Erin from Type A Diversions has published a new review of Street & Co., the Wharf St seafood restaurant.
November 22
This week’s The Maine Switch includes a review of Bruno’s Tavern, as well as articles on the Good Eats Boutique, and Maine Brewing Supply. The review of Bruno’s takes another place off list of restaurants without a review.
November 20 PM
Lindsay Sterling from the Portland Phoenix has written a reivew on Bogusha’s Polish Restaurant and Deli.
November 20 AM
The Bollard has published a review of Al-Amin Halaal Market which is located on Saint John St. “The food is worth the effort”, writes Zachary Barowitz, author of the review. Izzy’s Cheesecakes has been added to the site. The Portland Press Herald has an article today about the Maine shrimp season which will run this year from December 1 through the end of April.
November 19
The front page of today’s Portland Press Herald features an interview with Makara Meng, the owner of Mitpheap Asian Market on Washington Ave. The article tells the story of Meng’s surviving the Khmer Rouge regime and her imigration to America in 1984. Also in today’s paper is an article about Backyard Farms, a commercial tomato growing operation in Madison, ME. Backyard Farm’s tomatoes are called the Backyard Beauties and are available at Hannaford.
November 18
Thanks to a review by Erin at Type A Diversions, Sala Thai is off the list of restaurants without a review.
November 15 PM
Today, The Forecaster published a rundown of recent and upcoming changes in the Portland restaurant line up. The article includes a note that Crab Louie will be undergoing a name and menu change, and that sadly Natasha’s will be closing down for good.
November 15 AM
Karen Beaudoin from The Maine Switch has written a reivew of La Familia. With Thanksgiving just a week away there have been a trio of articles published recently by Chow Maine, The Maine Switch and Maine Today with advice for shopping and/or cooking for the holiday.
November 13
Flask, a sports bar located on Spring St next to Katahdin, has opened for business. A new food delivery service called 2 Dine In has been added to the site. To use their service it looks like you just place an order with them online and they’ll pick up the meal and bring it to your door. Passage to India, a new Indian restaurant that will be located on Wharf St, has been added to the Under Contruction list.
November 10
The Good Eats Boutique, a bakery/candy store on Stevens Ave, had their grand opening today. Additionally, blogger Type A Diversions published a review of Ribollita. In her words, “I highly recommend putting Ribollita on your “must try” list. Romantic, cozy and intimate, they serve excellent Tuscan comfort food at a fair price.”
November 8
Avery Yale Kamila from The Maine Switch has reviewed Siano’s. It’s the the first review published on the new Stevens Ave pizzeria. That leaves just 82 places in Portland without a review. There’s also a new review of The Frog and Turtle by Brian Duff at the Portland Phoenix.
November 5
Benny Girl and the rest of the Breakfast Club crew have published a new review—this week they visited Francisco’s Blue House Cafe. Vivian’s Drive-In and Maine Brewing Supply have been added to the site.
November 4
Local 188 has been written up in the November issue of Portland Magazine. Blogger From Way Away has weighed in on Bonobo. Nancy English has written a review of Brian Boru that appeared in today’s newspaper. The review of Brian Boru takes the list of restaurants and bars without a review down to 83.
November 3
Blogger Type A Diversions has written up a review of the North Star Music Cafe.
November 1
Avery Yale Kamila from The Maine Switch has reviewed the Green Elephant. It’s the the first review published of Portland’s newest vegetarian restaurant. That leaves just 84 places in Portland without a review. There’s also a new review of La Familia by Brian Duff at the Portland Phoenix. In today’s Press Herald there’s an interesting interview with Peter Haggarty. Peter is the owner of Haggarty’s, a “Brit-Indi” takeout restaurant on Forest Ave.

October 2007 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from October 2007 here.

October 31
Nancy English has published her monthly calendar of wine tastings that are taking place in Maine during the coming month. The schedule includes many events right here in the Portland area as well as some more further afield.
October 29
Portland Food Map was the subject of an article by Justin Ellis in today’s Portland Press Herald.
October 28
A new sports bar called Flask is planning to open on Spring adjacent to Katahdin.
October 27
Fat Baxter’s had it’s grand opening today. The small East End market was crowded with customers when I stopped by to pick up some lunch (a prosciutto and apple sandwich and a bottle of peach lambec).
October 24
Today’s issue of The Maine Switch has a new review of the Dogfish Cafe and an article about Fat Baxter’s which “is scheduled to officially open on Saturday”. The weekly newspaper also has a very interesting article about the cultivation and consumption of oysters including a long list of local restaurants that serve the tasty shelfish. For those of you interested in going to the Green Elephant, you can take a look at the lunch and dinner menus posted on their new website.
October 23
There’s a new review of Viet Bankok Cuisine by local blogger Accidental Vegetables.
October 21
Mims Brasserie garnered 3½ stars from N.L. English in a review published today on There’s also a new review of Miyake by local blogger Type A Diversions.
October 20
Siano’s, a brick oven pizzeria, has opened up on Stevens Ave next to Pat’s Meat Market. Fat Baxter’s, the highly anticipated East End market, are now predicting that they will open next weekend.
October 18
A new ethnic market called International Market has opened up on Vannah Ave in the location formerly occupied by Portland Spice Co.
October 17
The Green Elephant, an Asian inspired ‘vegetarian bistro’, has opened up on Congress St across from the State Theater building. The Breakfast Club has come back from a long Summer break with a critical review of Becky’s Diner, and Brian Duff has written a critical review of Local 188 in the latest issue of The Portland Phoenix.
October 13
A Brazilian steak house is planning to open at 100 Commercial St—the former location of Oolong and Portland’s Restaurant and Bar. The restuarant will be called Gauchos Churrascaria. The reviews that I’ve read on their existing location in Manchester, NH have mostly been positive.
October 12
The blogger at Type A Diversions is asking for her readers to vote on what restaurant she does her next review of. So far there’s been one vote for King of the Roll. Two new restaurants-in-the-making have been added to the growing list of new start-ups, Star East Cafe and Mexico Lindo. Goodfellas, a bar on Warren Ave, has also been added to the site.
October 11
Todd Richard has covered Fresh Approach in the latest article in the The Portland Phoenix‘s Twenty$pot column. Also, Avery Yale Kamila from The Maine Switch has reported on the purpose and plans of the Portland Food Co-op.
October 9
Take a look at the newest section of the PFM website. This new area is home to a growing number of street maps that show where the restaurants, bakeries, markets and other food businesses listed on the site are located. About half of the maps have been created already, covering 23 categories from Bakeries to Wings. The remainder are being worked on and will launch over the next couple weeks. The street maps are intended as a supplement to the links to reviews and other commentary already on the site. The new maps are set-up in a way that is easy to bookmark and link to so you can share them with others. If you have any comments on the new feature, please email me at
October 8
Cultivating Community, a local non-profit that makes sustainable farming a core part of its mission, has been added to the site. There’s a new review of Yosaku from Type A Diversions that’s critical of recent changes at the restaurant. Also, a new halal market, Al-Mustaqim Halal Market, has opened up in the West End, located next to Binga’s Wingas on Congress. That makes at least four halal markets in Portland; they add to the depth and variety of the ethnic food scene in the city.
October 7
The From Way Away blog commented on an over population of Thai restaurants in Portland (9 soon to be 10). Here are a few other numbers: Italian restaurants (13), Chinese restaurants (8), sushi restaurants (9), variety stores (22), pizza (12). What do you think? Too many, not enough, just right?
October 4 reviewed the Bar of Chocolate Cafe. It’s the the first review published of this small Wharf St bar/cafe/desert destination. Also, the Blue Spoon was reviewed in The Maine Switch.
October 2
Leonardo’s Pizza has opened a store on Forest Ave within a block or two of two other pizzerias, Stavros Pizzeria and Deli, and Pizza Joint. There’s no place to sit down inside, just a small counter for ordering. They primarily run a pizza delivery service although you can call in an order and pick it up yourself.
October 1
A new review of Bonobo has been published in the October issue of Portland Magazine. The author refers to the new space as “whimsical” and decries “Bonobo Bellissimo!” about the pizzeria’s signature pie.

September 2007 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from September 2007 here.

September 30 PM
A vegetarian restaurant called Green Elephant is opening in the Congress Street location formerly occupied by Portland Hunan. I got a glimpse inside and it looks nearly ready. I’ve heard that Green Elephant and Bangkok Thai are owned by the same people so we may be in for some Asian inspired vegetarian fare. Emilitsa, the Greek restaurant that was first reported on by Portland Psst! in April, is almost ready and they hope to open in late October. The Portland Forecaster had reported that Fat Baxster’s would open this weekend but it looks like they still have a little more left to do. Based on the state of construction I can see through the window, my guess is that they still have another week or two to go.
September 30 AM
Two Portland businesses that cater to those of us with a sweet tooth have been added to the site. Katie Made is a bakery that sells made to order cakes and pies, and Dean’s Sweets is a chocolatier that makes 17 different flavors of truffles including Tequilla Lime and Cayenne Pepper. Maps have created for the Indian, Ice Cream, Candy, Gelato, Tea, Wings, and Pizza sections of the site. Now you can easily find the business that’s closest to you.
September 27
The Maine Switch called Morrison’s Maine Course “hot and hearty” in a review published today. Additionally, reviewed Shokudo Teriyaki. It’s the first review of the new Japanese restaurant located on Saint John Street. The review of Shokudo takes one more place off the list of unreviewed venues, there’s now just 82 left to go.
September 26
Erik Desjarlais’ new restaurant is to be called Evangeline and will be located at 190 State St. If that address sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s the former location of Uffa. And as Uffa fans know, Uffa changed it’s name to The Frog & Turtle and moved to Westbrook into the former location of Chicky’s Fine Diner. The musical chairs of Portland restaurant locations. See the Under Construction page for more information on all new food related businesses starting up in Portland.
September 23
David’s 388 in South Portland has garnered another positive review. N.L. English from the gives it 3½ stars.
September 21
The Portland Forecaster has published a mixed review of Bresca. It also has published an interview with the owner of Fat Baxster’s East End Market indicating that the new Munjoy Hill store plans to open next weekend. Also Siano’s, the brickoven pizzeria on Stevens Ave, is planning to open October 1. See the Under Construction page for a full list for new food business that are starting up in Portland.
September 20
The Bollard has published a review of Kathy and Dave’s Cafe. The Maine Switch has published new restarant reviews for The Frog & Turtle and King of the Roll. They also had some kind words to say about in their Web of the Week column. Thank you TMS!
Category Maps
A new feature is starting to take shape, and I’d like to get your feedback on it. You may have noticed that over the past few days, I’ve started creating maps that show the location of all the entries in a particular category. For example, there’s a map that shows the location of all the Italian restaurants. So far, I’ve created category maps for the bakeries, burrito shops, coffee houses, and the Italian, sushi, tapas, Thai, and vietnamese restaurants. To see them just click on one of the links listed above and then click on the “find the locations nearest you . . .” link. I’d like to know what you, as a visitor to the site, think of this idea. If you have any thoughts on it, just email me with your feedback.
September 16
The Frog & Turtle, the Westbrook-located new incarnation of Uffa has opened its doors.
September 15
There are new entries on the site for the Epicurean Auction Benefit and the Stephen Cooks blog. Also, the Press Herald has published the first review of Morrison’s Maine Course so Morrison’s is now off the Unreviewed list. A sign in the window of the old Portland Spice Co. location announcing that a new business called International Market is planning to set up shop there.
September 13
The Maine Switch has published a new restaurant review for Caiola’s, as well as an interview with Toni Fiore who is the host Delicious TV. Delicious TV is a vegetarian cooking show that airs on PBS and is produced here in Portland.
September 10
Viet Bangkok Cuisine was graced with it’s very first review and so has now been removed from the Never Been Reviewed list. has launched two new food blogs, Enjoy Your Meal and Yankee Fare. These take the place of Food for Thought. I’ve also added several overlooked food businesses to the map: Portland Lobster Pound, Allagash Brewing Co., and D.L. Geary Brewing Co.
September 7
Several new additions have been made to the site: Shack’s Pub, Shokudo Teriyaki, Calder’s Clam Shack, Doughty’s Island Market, and Kaah Express. Two of them (Shack’s and Shokudo) are also on the never been reviewed list—which can now be found linked from the List View page. There are two new restaurant reviews, one for Espo’s Trattoria and one that discusses Black Tie and Micucci’s.
September 6
The Bollard is reporting that a liquor license for a new “restaurant and live music venue” at the corner of Congress St and Forest Ave has been approved. It’s going to be called Empire Dine & Dance. The Under Construction list has been updated to reflect the news.
September 4
Eric Dejarlais has taken the first step in re-opening Bandol by signing a lease. With new restaurants popping up all the time, you need a score card to keep track of them. With that in mind, I’ve created a list of new food businesses that are under construction that I’ll update as new information becomes available.
September 3
Thanks to Portland Psst!, Kim’s Sandwich Cafe has received its first review. Many Portland restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc. have never been reviewed even once, while others get visited and written up repeatedly. Here’s a full list of all that are still waiting for their first review. My hope is that local food writers will take up the challenge and use this list to guide the editorial choices in the near future. Other updates: Marya Baron’s blog Accidental Vegetables has been added to the map, and my effort to make sure every entry lists good contact information and a link to their company website is nearly complete.

August 2007 Blog Posts

The process of converting all the past blog posts into the new system will take some time. I will chip away at it as time allows. In the meantime you can read the posts from August 2007 here.

August 31
Maple’s Organics have opened a second location. They’re located on Middle street in the same building as Anthony’s Italian Kitchen and Videoport.
August 30
There’s a new review for Food Factory Miyake, Portland’s newest sushi house. Also, several eateries located on Peaks have been added to the map: Jones Landing, Peaks Cafe, Peaks Island House and The Inn on Peaks Island. They join other island-based restaurants, Cockeyed Gull and Diamond’s Edge.
August 26
Uffa! served their last meal today, and with regret I’ve removed them from the map. They’re scheduled to open their new venture The Frog and the Turtle, a gastro-pub in Westbrook sometime in mid-September. Kim’s Sandwich Cafe was added to the map.
August 23
Morrison’s Maine Course, a chowder house, has opened its doors on Temple street. A new review for Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe was added. Several additional entries were added to the Non-edibles>>Publications section.
August 22
New reviews for Andy’s Old Port Pub, Ribollita, Vignola and Maria’s Ristorante were added.
August 19
New reviews for K. Horton Specialty Foods, Bonobo,and Local 188 were added, and there was yet another new review for Bresca. All sections and subsections now link to the items they contain. Address, phone number, and a link to Google Maps are in place most places listed on the map.
August 14
New reviews for Bresca and the Commercial Street Pub were added, as was a new entry to the Non-Edibles>>Blogs section for the Rabelais Books Blog.
August 12
Chaba Thai Cuisine II added; several new reviews were added; comments and rankings of entries for La Familia and Daily Thymes.
August 7
After many months of research and construction, the site is officially launched!