Daybreak Growers Alliance

Daybreak Growers Alliance (website, instagram) and CarHop (website, instagram) are teaming up to deliver produce, meats  and other products from 60+ Maine farmers and food producers to homes in the Greater Portland area.

Daybreak represents a group of Maine farms and independently owned food producers working together to bring you the best of Maine’s harvest. A Maine and women-owned and managed company, Daybreak distributes 300+ local and organic products from 60+ Maine farmers and food producers year round to Maine families through their Farm Box program and wholesale to Maine restaurants and retailers.

The new service will launch just in time for Thanksgiving—see the list in the article above for how to order farm and butcher boxes for your Thanksgiving meal through CarHop.

Restaurant Real Estate: November 2021

Welcome to the November 2021 edition of the Portland Food Map restaurant real estate listings sponsored by The Boulos Company. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place the spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business.

Even during the pandemic many people are pursuing their dreams and opening new food businesses. Finding the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new business and hopefully this new resource will make that step just a little bit easier.

West End

235 Vaughan St – the 700 sq ft space most recently occupied by Other Side Deli and which had been the longtime home of Vaughan Street Variety is for lease. Call (207) 650-0846 for more information.

101 York St – 7,391 sq ft of a 15,000 sq ft sub-dividable space in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $15-20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

554 Congress St – 1,621 sq ft former Dunkin’ Donuts space with hood for $17.04/sq ft (NNN).

555 Congress St – the former Five Fifty-Five building is for sale for $2,400,000.

Bayside

170 Anderson St – 2,000 – 3,500 sq ft in East Bayside available for $15/sq ft (NNN).

15 Chestnut St – the 14,000 sq ft building that was the former home of Grace is for sale for $3,730,000.

360 Cumberland Ave – two spaces (900 sq ft on Cumberland Ave and a 1,000 sq ft space in a building set back from the street) are available for $24-25/sq ft (NNN).

31 Diamond St – this 2,800 – 22,034 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is available for $16/sq ft (NNN).

178 Kennebec St – 4 retail spaces (1,800 – 5,314 sq ft) on the first floor of a new building for $30/sq ft (NNN).

Old Port

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 2,494 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

30 Danforth St – 3 units (1,800, 1,881, 2,900 sq ft) are for lease at $2,900 – $3,950/month (MG).

446 Fore St – 1,600 – 3,400 sq ft in the former Pearl space with entrances on Wharf and Fore Streets is available for $30-40/sq ft (MG).

505 Fore St – The 2,996 sq ft former Pizzarino space is available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

40 Free St – A new building is under construction on Free Street by JB Brown. The first floor will have 4/5 storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft. The construction is expected to be completed in 2021. The rate is $30/sq ft (NNN).

5 India St – 1,250 – 2,500 sq ft for $30/sq ft (NNN) in a new building under construction near the intersection wiith Commercial St.

38 Market St – a 1,200 subterranean space near the intersection with Milk Street for $1,175/month (MG).

55 Market St – this 3,700 sq ft space on Market Street was formerly occupied by the Big Easy. It’s available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

111 Middle St – this 1,600 sq ft space has a storied past as the former location of Piccolo and before that Bresca. It’s available for $3,500/month (NNN), the building is also for sale.

157 Middle St –1,071 – 6,356 sq ft for $27.95/sq ft (MG).

1 Monument Square – 1,500 sq ft of first floor space for $3,125/month (MG).

25 Pearl St – 1,689 sq ft former Subway space available for $30/sq ft (MG).

1 Pleasant St – 850 sq ft of space adjacent to Hi Bombay for $4,000/month (NNN).

3 Portland Square – This new building will include 2,500 – 20,000 square feet of retail space for$28.50/sq ft.

3 Spring St – the 2,554 – 3,500 sq ft former Lio space is available at $19/sq ft (NNN).

41 Wharf St – the former Jager space is available; 1,107 sq ft for $43/sq ft (MG).

42 Wharf St – this 3,770 sq ft space in the Old Port includes a 2,000 sq ft patio, $45/sq ft (MG).

India/Washington Ave

100 Fore St – 1,914 sq ft of space that the listing says is “ideally suited for a restaurant use” for $27-30/sq ft (NNN).

22 Hancock St – 978 sq ft for $2,300/month (MG).

Forest Ave

333 Forest Ave – a 2,468 retail space is available for $16/sq ft (MG).

701 Forest Ave – this former Rite Aid building is being converted and has 4 retail spaces available for $16-20/sq ft (NNN).

945 Forest Ave – 500-5,510 sq ft of space in the former Photo Market building for $12/sq ft (NNN).

1190 Forest Ave – located right in the center of Morrill’s Corner. 3,000 – 5,082 sq ft at $12 – 20/sq ft (NNN).

1569 Forest Ave – a 1,400 sq ft “soon to be completed restaurant/retail building” is available on outer Forest Ave.

Other

170 Brighton Ave – a 2,173 sq ft free-standing building which most recently was home to D Ajan’s Market, includes parking; $22/sq ft.

865 Brighton Ave – a 1,232 sq ft former gas station/quick market is for sale for $400,000.

437 Congress St – 1,000 sq ft for $20/sq ft (MG).

441 Congress St – The 2,400 sq ft former home of Guitar Grave across the street from 1 Monument Square is available for $20/sq ft.

1020 Congress St – a 3,374 service station that is going to be “redeveloped as part a planned mixed use development”. The finished space will be available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

88 Danforth St – a 1,231 sq ft free-standing building on Danforth Street is for sale for $269,000.

155 Riverside St – the Season’s Bar & Grille and Banquet Center is for lease. The 23,750 sq ft facility includes parking and all furniture, fixtures and equipment.

240 Saint John St – 1,600 – 10,000 sq ft in Union Station Plaza for $12-14/sq ft (NNN)

Westgate Shopping Center – two spaces are for lease at $17-37/sq ft (NNN).

158 Pickett St, South Portland – the former home of 158 Pickett Street Cafe is for lease. Call (207) 615-2858 for more information.

23 Lincoln St, Biddeford – a 12,600 sq ft space divided equally on two floors, each floor has a kitchen with hoods is available for $11/sq ft (NNN). Contact Tony Delois for more information at anthony@uncommongroups.com.

Gather, Yarmouth – Owner Matthew Chappell has put his Yarmouth restaurant, Gather, up for sale.

Biscuits & Co, Biddeford – Biscuits & Co is closing on October 16th and the business and equipment is for sale. Contact Biscuitsandcompany@gmail.com for more information

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner. Check the closing announcements for the latest information.

Glossary

MG – Modified Gross which indicates that the operating expenses (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.) for the property are included in the lease rate. The tenant would pay its own utilities, which sometimes includes heat.

NNN – Triple Net which indicates that operating expenses are not included in the lease rate, and the tenant will pay them separately. They are often referred to as CAM (Common Area Maintenance) charges and taxes, which are expressed as $/sf. The tenant is also responsible for utilities.

Gross – Gross indicates all expenses including utilities are included in the lease rate. The tenant would be responsible for phone and internet access, as well as interior janitorial.

Portland Pizza

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram takes a look at the range of pizza styles and options available in Portland today.

Talk to restaurateurs about the bounty of pizza options in the Portland area today, and they use words like “blessed” and “spoiled.” Yes, the pandemic fueled the demand for inexpensive take-out food and launched a nationwide pizza boom that helped keep Portland’s pizza restaurants open, but the city’s pizza scene was on the rise even before the coronavirus came to town. And it’s not just pizza places that serve it.

Eating Guide to Portland

Eater Boston has published an eating guide to Portland. written by former Portlander Stasia Brewczynski.

Visiting Portland, Maine, at the height of tourist season is a worthwhile challenge, but a challenge nonetheless — which is why taking an off-season day trip to Vacationland is so appealing. The onset of colder weather can mean more limited hours at top restaurants, but it also means shorter lines and ideal conditions for harvesting oysters and brewing spontaneously fermented beer. Here’s a guide for a short yet sweet off-season adventure in and around Portland.

Brunch Truck 207

A new food truck called Brunch Truck 207 (instagram) recently launched in South Portland. The truck is located at 121 Sawyer Street in Ferry Village in the parking lot of Evelyn’s Tavern.

Brunch Truck 207 promises “breakfast and lunch favorites without gettin’ too fancy” with a menu that includes breakfast sandwiches, omelletes, breakfast burgers, steak bombs, burgers and hot dogs.

Dila’s Kitchen at the Market House

A new business called Dila’s Kitchen (instagram) is under construction in the Public Market House, located on the second floor in the space formerly occupied by Coco Cones.

Owner Dila Maloney plans to tap into her Turkish heritage and family recipes to produce a kebab-centered menu. Maloney hopes to launch Dila’s Kitchen on December 3rd.

Follow them on instagram to stay up to date on their menu and opening plans.

My Kitchen Your Table: Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind

Welcome to the November edition of My Kitchen, Their Table, an interview series with the chefs and culinary professionals who work hard to satisfy our small city’s big appetite. This month we’re featuring an interview with Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind from LB Kitchen. Photos and videos will continue to expand on the story throughout the rest of the month on instagram, so stay tuned.


Lunch and breakfast. Life and business. Lee and Bryna. The ‘LB’ in LB Kitchen has many meanings. Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind, partners in both life and business, opened the daytime eatery in 2017. The two met five years prior, just before Lee closed her former restaurant Figa. She listed the space for rent, but there was a part of her that wasn’t ready to let it go. On the way to the third meeting with a potential tenant, she looked at Bryna and said, “If they’re not going to take the space, I want you to shake my hand, and then let’s open something.” Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.

The partnership was a recipe for success. Bryna had the business experience while Lee had the kitchen experience. Lee went to culinary school at The International Culinary Center (ICC), formerly The French Culinary Institute, and then spent a decade cooking in prestigious kitchens throughout New York City. She perfected her craft at Balthazar, Tabla, and al di la Trattoria. Bryna also lived in New York City, though the two didn’t know each other then. She was a band manager for ten years before a career change to the natural foods industry. Bryna’s knowledge of single-origin superfoods largely influenced LB Kitchen’s “healthy-ish” menu — think blue-hued chai lattes made with spirulina and gluten-free pancakes laced with turmeric, cardamom, and ginger topped with grass-fed butter and real maple syrup.

On February 21, 2020, LB Kitchen turned three — right before the city went on lockdown. Lee and Bryna didn’t waste time though. They quickly transitioned to takeout and even launched a special menu called LB x Home. The new menu was a deconstructed version of their best dishes and offered everything from pints of bone broth and miso slaw to smoothie kits and raw cookie dough.

However, LB’s second location remained empty for months. In May 2020, Lee and Bryna announced the permanent closure of the West End location only ten months after its debut. What appeared to be a huge setback at first turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “We were back in our original location with our core group of people and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more secure. The pandemic was eye-opening in terms of the direction we wanted to go,” Lee explains.

With a clear vision of their business model and brand, LB Kitchen introduced a fresh new logo in November. The new logo is more graphic, less bowl-centric, as they transition away from a traditional restaurant model and into a lifestyle brand. “It feels like we’re going somewhere, even if we continue operating this way for years to come. It feels like our brand has progressed,” Bryna explains. LB Kitchen is currently open for takeout, limited patio dining, and delivery via CarHop, 2DineIn, and DoorDash. You can order online from the regular menu as well as “market” items like house made ferments, sauces, spreads, and other prepared items.

Continue reading to learn more about how Lee and Bryna’s food philosophies clashed at first, the secret ingredient in Lee’s famous wild boar dish, which Scarborough restaurant they’re ordering takeout from nearly every week, and where they go in Portland to celebrate special occasions.

THE INTERVIEW

AA: Lee, what was it like being the daughter of a Pan American airline pilot?
LF: I grew up in Kentucky, but was well-traveled starting at a young age. I was exposed to things that most people still aren’t even exposed to. I got to travel and taste other cuisines. The trip that changed my life was to France and Spain when I was fifteen years old. Having Mediterranean seafood on the coast of Spain was completely mind-blowing and being in Paris trying escargot for the first time was a game-changer. I knew then that I wanted to do something with food.

AA: How did your food philosophies differ prior to your partnership?
LF: It took a couple of years for us to get on the same page. (Before our relationship), I had a lot of meat and potatoes in my life. Then I dropped red meat and got rid of gluten. We started eating a ton of seafood, which is now my favorite food. It was different and enjoyable, but I also lost a lot of weight and just felt better.

AA: How did you come up with the concept for LB Kitchen?
BG: I don’t think either of us ever had this pipe dream of opening a health food restaurant. We didn’t want to put ourselves in a box or category that was limiting. The concept was born out of Lee and I as a couple and at a time and place in our lives. It’s something we are still so grateful for and oftentimes even still surprised by how much people are into it.

AA: How is LB Kitchen transitioning away from the traditional restaurant model?
BG: We decided to take the banquettes out of the dining area because they take up a lot of space. The difference between having twenty-one seats versus limitless pick-up is significant. The next phase includes constructional changes like redoing the facade, moving the door, adding sliding windows, and refining our operations inside.

AA: What are your favorite dishes at LB Kitchen?
LF: I used to do a wild boar dish at Figa that I carried over to LB Kitchen. It’s wild boar shoulder braised in a tomato-based sauce made with over twenty spices and served with coconut rice. My hidden weapon is jaggery. It’s concentrated sugar cane. It has a citrusy sweetness that is completely different from, say, brown sugar.
BG: Hands down for me it would be the avocado toast with our smoked African spice blend and truffle oil on Standard Baking Co. five-grain sourdough bread. It’s been on the menu since we opened. We’d eat it at home and be like, “We need to put this on the menu.” No one was serving avocado toast back then. You can also have it on our homemade gluten-free bread.

AA: Do you ever indulge in sweets?
LF: I have a big sweet tooth. One of my all-time favorite desserts is the chocolate tofu pie at Green Elephant. It’s absolutely freaking incredible!

AA: What are your go-to restaurants?
LF: Evo is in my top three. The chickpea fries and hummus are phenomenal. We’ve gone to a bunch of wine dinners there too. Kelly Nelson did an incredible job (selecting the wines). Also, Pai Men Miyake. When we first got together, we must have eaten there at least two times a week because we had to have the daikon carrot salad, Brussels sprouts, and tofu buns.

AA: Where do you go for takeout?
LF: Sushi is our weekly treat. We live in Scarborough now and there’s an amazing place on Route 1 called Kirin.
BG: Takeout is hard! A lot of food is meant to be experienced at a restaurant, but sushi is always good. Kirin’s tuna tataki is incredible. It’s seared, smoky, and spicy. It feels decadent for Scarborough. Also, the ratio of fish to rice is perfect. You don’t want too much of either.
LF: If we’re in Portland, we’re going to Mr. Tuna. Jordan Rubin is so talented. I’ve honestly contemplated asking him if I can see how he butchers fish just to hone my own skills.

AA: Where have you had an exceptional dining experience?
BG: We love David’s Opus Ten. They do an incredible job with small bites and pairings. That’s how I love to dine; a long meal, lots of bites, and lots of wine. We went there the day we got engaged.
LF: And Back Bay Grill! We did our baby’s gender reveal there. Larry Matthews is the salt of the earth. He is a very warm and genuine person. I always get the foie gras. Bryna loves the salmon dish and their Caesar salad.
BG: Also, Drifter’s Wife was another one of our favorite special occasions spots.

AA: Why do you think Portland is such a great restaurant city?
BG: The amazing thing about Portland, and Maine in general, is that there is someone nailing every category of food or cuisine. For example, Krista Desjarlais makes an incredible bagel — and a number of other things.
LF: There are a lot of talented people here. And the camaraderie of chefs in this town surpasses anything I’ve ever known in my life and I’ve worked in kitchens all over the place.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

A few notes on the restaurants mentioned in this article: the Back Bay Grill is open for on site dining, Green Elephant, Evo Kitchen + Bar, Mr. Tuna, Kirin, and Pai Men Miyake are open for on site and takeout. David’s Opus Ten is closed indefinitely and Drifters Wife is no longer in business.

Previous editions of My Kitchen Their Table have featured Courtney Loreg, Chad Conley  Atsuko Fujimoto, Matt Ginn, Jordan Rubin, Cara Stadler, Thomas Takashi Cooke, Ilma Lopez, Bowman Brown, Brian Catapang, and Kelly Nelson.

The My Kitchen Their Table series is brought to life through the talent and hard work of food writer Angela Andre, and the generous sponsorship by Evergreen Credit Union and The Boulos Company.

Butcher Burger Now Open

A new restaurant called Butcher Burger (instagram) has opened at 7 Union Street in the space formerly occupied by the Royale Lunch Bar. You can see from the menu below (click to enlarge) that they serve a wide assortment of burgers, plus sandwiches, lobster rolls, salads and fries by the pound or half pound.

Butcher Burger plans to be open Monday 11:30 – 9, Tuesday through Thursday 4 – 9, Friday and Saturday 11:30 – 10 and Sunday 11:30 – 9. This is  the third Butcher Burger location. Owner Kevin McAllister operates a location in Bethel and the original Butcher Burger in Old Orchard Beach.

10 Maine Good Food Awards Finalists

Congratulations to the 10 Maine food producers that are  finalists in the 2022 Good Food Awards in these 9 categories:

  • Beer – Wolfe’s Neck IPA from Maine Beer Co.
  • Chocolate – Vanilla Crème Brûlée from Bixby Chocolate
  • Coffee – Ethiopia Duromina from Bard Coffee, Kenya Nyeri Kiandu AA from Coffee by Design
  • Elixirs – Elderberry Syrup from Timberwolves BBQ
  • Fish – Ready-Cut Kelp from Atlantic Sea Farms
  • Grains – Liberation Farms Cornmeal from Maine Grains
  • Preserves – Strawberry Preserves from Josh Pond
  • Snacks – Cran-Raisin Orange Cookie with Walnuts from My 3 Sisters Italian Cookies
  • Spirits – Barren’s Sugar Kelp Vodka from Blue Barren Distillery

This year’s finalists were “selected from 1,966 entries to the 12th annual Good Food Awards, these 351 products represent 42 states plus D.C. and have passed vetting for category-specific sustainability standards”.

The winners will be announced on January 14th.

Upcoming Events: Pasilla, Harvest on the Harbor, MOFGA, Wine Dinners, Thanksgiving List

Monday – Chef Ryan Nielsen is holding the first of his Pasilla (instagram) pop-up series. He’ll be serving a menu of tacos, tortas, tostadas, agua frescas and desserts. The pop-up will be taking place at the Mr. Tuna space in the Public Market House with takeout and limited seating. Quanto Basta, Devenish Wines and Maps are collaborating on a Italian wine, pizza and pop music event at Maps on Market Street. The kitchen at the Washington Baths is kicking off their monthly Bread Soup Cake dinner series (7-10 pm) serving “heaps of bread, soup, and cake” for $20 per person and as an optional addition wine.

WednesdayHarvest on the Harbor is taking November 3 -6.

Thursday – the launch party for MOFGA’s new book The Organic Farming Revolution is taking place at the Art Museum, and North 43 Bistro is holding a wine dinner featuring wines from Roederer Vineyard.

FridayRuby’s West End and sommelier Coco O’Neil are collaborating on a 5-course wine dinner.

SaturdayKalamata’s Kitchen will be holding a reading and book signing at Oxbow Brewing 2-3 pm with snacks from Chaval and Duckfat.

SundayMaillard Kitchen will be holding a taco pop-up at Foundation Brewing.

November 7/8 – Chef Cara Stadler has launched a pair of event series that run through June. The Science Cafe series “feature a local aquaculture producer or two who will share their story and answer our questions” and the cooking class series will be taught the subsequent evenings focusing on the product highlighted in the previous night’s Science Cafe.

November 8 – Natalie DiBenedetto closed up her West End fried chicken restaurant Figgy’s back in July. She’s now doing a Figgy’s pop-up dinner out of Fork Food Lab next Monday. Fork has a full calendar of November pop-ups by Niyat (6th, 7th, 13th, 20th, 21st), Milk Bottle and Port Box Co (10th, 24th), Little Brother (19th). Maine Beer Company will be releasing Little Whaleboat IPA, a new beer to highlight their support of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust efforts to conserve three in islands Casco Bay.

November 10Evo and Liquid Riot are collaborating on a beer dinner.

November 13the grand opening of The Maker’s Gallery.

November 21 – Lorne Wine is holding a Fete du Beaujolais at Broadturn Farm.

Thanksgiving – a small but quickly growing number of vendors are starting to announce their Thanksgiving offerings. This list will be updated as new info becomes available:

  • Ada’s – boards, baked pasta and desserts; order by the 20th for pick-up on the 24th.
  • Bam Bam Bakery – has a range of gluten-free baked good; order deadline November 19th for pick-up on the 23rd and 24th.
  • BenReuben’s Knishery –  roast chicken, sides, dessert for pick-up on the 24th.
  • Big Tree – Thanksgiving online ordering goes live November 11th and closes on the 19th for pick-up on the 24th in Portland, Biddeford, or shipped out on Casco Bay Ferry.
  • Black Betty Bistro – is offering a roast half turkey with green beans, mashed potato, corn bread, cranberry sauce, gravy to serve six people for $175. Order deadline in November 17th for pick-up on the 23rd or 24th.
  • BlueFin – 4-course dinner for $75 per person.
  • Cakes for All Seasons – order by 21st for pickup in Biddeford on the 23rd or 24th.
  • Coquette – Details are forthcoming.
  • Dandelion Catering – turkeys, sides and desserts; deadline on the 17th for pick-up on the 24th.
  • Friends & Family – appetizer kits; deadline on the 21st for pick-up on the 24th.
  • Lake & Co. – dinner for two, sides, and desserts; order deadline November 15th for pick-up on November 24th and 25th.
  • Monte’s – is taking orders for turkeys; deadline on the 10th for pick-up on 22nd – 24th.
  • North 43 Bistro – a ready to roast turkey along with sides and pie, feeds 6, $235.
  • Other Side – is taking pre-orders for turkeys, sides and dessert.
  • Petite Jacqueline – 3-course dinner for $75 per person.
  • Portland Co-op – is starting to take turkey pre-orders on November 1st.
  • Prairie Baking Co. – has a cake and coffee cake available for pre-order.
  • Rosemont Market – is taking pre-orders for turkeys, sides and baked goods for pick-up on the 23rd or 24th.
  • Ruby’s West End – turkeys, sides, desserts and wine.
  • Salt Yard – dinner for 2, $120; for pick-up on the 24th.
  • Solo Cucina Market – on November 23rd or 24th is a pick-up location for turkey orders from Farmers’ Gate.
  • Sur Lie – turkey, sides, and/or wine for four; ordering deadline November 18th, for pick-up on November 24th.
  • Sweet Woodruff Provisions – ordering starts on the 7th for pick-up on the 23rd or 24th.
  • Tandem Coffee – order deadline 19th, pick-up on 23rd or 24th.
  • Two Fat Cats – has a wide array of baked goods available for pre-order with pick-up on November 23-25th.
  • Wayside – will be serving a prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu for $85 per person, 1-5 pm. Call or go on Resy to make a reservation.
  • Westin – offering a 2-person ‘take and bake’ meal for $80 for pick-up on the 24th, and a 3-course dinner on Thanksgiving day at the Westin for $85 per person (reservations open on October 27th).
  • Yardie Ting – Thanksgiving meals for families of 4-, 6- and 12 and sides; for pickup on the 25th.