Freedom’s Edge Opening

Freedom’s Edge Cider (websitefacebookinstagram) will be holding the grand opening of their new tasting room at 31 Diamond Street in East Bayside on Thursday, April 4th, noon to 8 pm.

The tasting room will serve eleven Freedom’s Edge ciders (see above) on draft as well as can and bottle pours. Also available will be cider cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, and a draft beer.

The Freedom’s Edge food menu is expected to grow this spring to include cheese plates, charcuterie, olive bowls, mixed nuts and other light snacks. In a collaboration with their 31 Diamond building neighbors, customers will also be able to electronically order from the full Bite Into Maine menu to enjoy at the tasting room.

For the grand opening they will have a fondue option served with bread, apple slices, and brussels sprouts, and other items for dipping into a melted blend of Pineland Farms cheeses including an aged cheddar and a gruyere prepared with Freedom’s Edge cider.

Owners Andrew Kaplan and Ned Ervin have built out a 55-seat tasting room with space for barrel aging and bottle conditioning of their limited release ciders. An additional 35 seats of outdoor seating will be available as warmer weather arrives.

The regular hours for Freedom’s Edge will be Tuesday/Wednesday 2 – 8 pm, Thursday through Saturday noon – 8 pm, and Sunday noon – 6 pm.

31 Diamond Street is also home to Orange Bike Brewing and Bite Into Maine, and is next door to the Three of Strong distillery and tasting room, and Coffee by Design’s roastery and coffee shop.

The wall mural was painted by artists Pat Corrigan.

Mobile Food Pantry

The Press Herald reports that the Maine Med food pantry is getting a food truck.

“The idea is to bring free healthy food to people who are food insecure, whether they are unhoused or have a difficult time affording food,” said Barbara Ginley, MaineHealth’s director of community health for Greater Portland. Ginley said some people who need help getting food can’t get to the hospital-run pantry, which is open Thursdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 950 Congress St., the site of the former Greyhound bus station, because they lack transportation or have a medical condition that makes it difficult to stand in line.

Don’s Lunch Now Open

Don’s Lunch (facebook) opened today in Westbrook. They’re located at 616 Main Street in the space that had been the home of River’s Edge Deli.

Don’s will be open Monday through Friday 6 am – 3 pm and Saturday 7 am – 3 pm. The menu (see above) includes breakfast sandwiches, omelettes, pancakes, French toast, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and more. Shown here is the Full Breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, and wheat toast with strawberry jelly.

Upcoming Events

MondayDon’s Lunch in Westbrook is scheduled to open, 6 am – 3 pm.

Tuesday – There will be a 5-course sake dinner at Miyake, The Honey Paw will be featuring  Brooklyn Kura Sake with specials on the menu to pair with with 3 Brooklyn Kura sakes, and Chaval is holding a 5-course sake dinner.

WednesdayChaval will be holding a Spanish vegan wine dinner.

ThursdayThe Good Table (reservations) is reopening. Ballast will be hosting a murder mystery dinner. Author Lidey Heuck will be at Viand Mercantile for a signing of her new book Cooking in Real Life.

Friday – Oxbow Brewing is hosting a launch party for Handshake Persian Digestif Bitters (website, instagram), a Portland-based company founded by Shahin Khojastehzad.

Friday/SaturdayVintage Dogs is launching at Argenta Brewing.

April 1The Lost Kitchen begins calling people who have sent in a post card for a reservation request.

April 3 – The Beard Foundation will release the 2024 list of restaurant and chef awards nominees. There are 10 semifinalists from Maine this year.

April 16 – Award-winning chef and restaurant owner Marilou Ranta from The Quarry in Monson will be taking part in a Maine Voices Live interview at One Longfellow Square. Tickets are now on sale.

April 19-28 – The 6th annual Maine Seaweed Week is taking place.

April 20 – It’s the first day of the summer session of the Portland Farmers’ Market. The market will be in Deering Oaks Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays (7 am – 1 pm).

April 27Portland Chowderfest is taking place.

April 28 – The Casco Bay Chef’s Association is holding their 2024 annual dinner.

April 29 – The Good Food Awards winners will be announced. Eight Maine food producers are finalists in the 2024 Good Food awards program.

May 11CiderFeast, an “all-inclusive tasting event celebrates craft ciders from some of the top cider makers in New England and beyond” is taking place.

May 18 – The Maine Wild Wine Fest is taking place in Freeport.

June 10-16Portland Wine Week is taking place.

June 17 – The 3rd Annual ChopTails Competition will be taking place at Batson River.

June 22 – The Great Falls Brewfest is taking place in Lewiston.

June 26 – Secret Supper (instagram) is holding a dinner in the Portland area.

June 29 – The 3rd Annual Mast Landing Wavy Days Festival is taking place.

July 25/26 – The Kneading Conference is taking place in Skowhegan.

August 30September 1Maine Apple Camp is taking place.

September 20-22 – The Common Ground Fair will be taking place.

Bom Dia Opens Thursday

Bom Dia Cafe (website, instagram) plans to open on Thursday. They’re located at 47 India Street in a space immediately adjacent to Dok Mali.

Owner Fletch Moffett and his team are serving a menu (see below) of acai bowls, coffee, smoothies, and bagels. Their signature Bom Dia Bowl will contain an acai blend with gluten free granola, topped with banana, strawberries, blueberries, peanut butter, and cacao nibs. Their coffee is being sourced from Frontside Coffee Roasters from North Conway in New Hampshire and the bagels from Union Bagel Company in Portland.

The 26-seat cafe has a short bar near the entrance and a long banquette of seating along the wall and a large booth in the back corner. Floral arrangements and plants by Lemon and Tullips decorate the shop. Their hours will initially be Thursday through Monday, 7 am – 2 pm.

4½ Star Review of Duckfat

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a 4½ star review of Duckfat.

Sure, some of the appeal comes from Duckfat’s co-owner, James Beard Award winning chef Rob Evans. But alongside stellar gelato-based milkshakes, luxuriously gravy-drenched poutine and well-composed salads with house-made add-ons like smoked, spice-rubbed duck breast, there’s another attraction: the service. For that, co-owner Nancy Pugh deserves credit.

The Good Table Opens Next Week

The Good Table (websitefacebookinstagram) in Cape Elizabeth is set to reopen on Thursday, March 28. They’ll initially be open Wednesday through Sunday, 5 – 9 pm.

Executive chef Matt Ginn and chef de cuisine Jim Stein are serving a menu (see below) that includes appetizers like brown bread, fish chowder and crab cakes. Entrees range from a halibut served over a white bean salsa verde, to roast chicken with farro and broccolini, and to a Pineland Farms strip steak. Cookies, a pudding pie and an ice cream sundae round out the menu with dessert. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options are available.

The beverage program (see drinks list below) includes house takes on classic cocktails, draft and packaged beer, and wines by the glass and by the bottle.

Tony and Lisa Kostopoulos opened The Good Table in 1986 and their niece Jessica Kostopoulos became a partner and the Good Table’s chef in 2018. They sold the restaurant to the Prentice Hospitality Group in October. Prentice also operates  Evo Kitchen + Bar, the Chebeague Island Inn, and Twelve.

The restaurant seats 100 across the bar area, a sunny enclosed porch and the main dining room. Reservations are available online and there will be seating available for walk-in customers as well. Lunch and weekend brunch hours will be added in the future.


CarHop Expands to Kentucky

CarHop (website, facebook, instagram), a Portland-based food delivery company, has announced an expansion into Kentucky.

The development of this new delivery region for CarHop was made possible through the acquisition and licensing agreement with the owner of three Kentucky delivery companies: Colonel Delivery, Berea Delivery, and Bluegrass Local. The three companies deliver the Richmond and Berea areas.

CarHop was founded by Thomas Brems in 2019. This is CarHop’s second out of state expansion—they established a delivery capability in the Cambridge/Somerville area in Massachusetts in 2022.

Luke’s Lobster at Fenway

Mainebiz reports that Luke’s Lobster will be opening a pair of concession stands at Fenway Park this season.

The deal, announced on the MLB website, gives the seafood wholesaler and restaurant group two locations at Fenway, one situated inside the first-base concourse and the other on Jersey Street near one of the entry gates.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Boston Red Sox and bring our lobster rolls to Boston’s beloved ballpark, Fenway Park,” said Luke Holden, CEO and founder of Luke’s Lobster.

Vintage Dogs

A new food truck called Vintage Dogs (instagram) is set to launch later this month. Owners Zac and Emily Eklund will be serving a menu (see below) of specialty hot dogs popular in different regions of the US along with a variety of styles of fries and some dessert options too.

The debut of Vintage Dogs will take place at Argenta Brewing in Bayside on Friday/Saturday March 29th and 30th.