Friday, October 29

Traitor Joe's

It's open. Before you go, read this:
Trader Joe's business tactics are often very much at odds with its image as the funky shop around the corner that sources its wares from local farms and food artisans, via Fortune.


Wednesday, October 27


Photo: David Needleman


Friday, October 8

This is Nutz

The owner of Living Nutz raw food was arrested on charges of intent to distribute marijuana after federal agents allegedly saw him unload two duffels weighing 64 pounds.
Seth Leaf Pruzansky, who goes by the name Seth Leaf, has been a champion of the raw food movement in Maine. He also has been an advocate for the legalization of hemp production. The Pruzansky family owns Maine IntelliHemp, a company that makes lip balm and skin salve from hemp seed oil, via PPH.


Thursday, October 7


What does the world's best chef and his buddy David Chang want you to know about?
His team prepared 300 goodie bags — the brown ones they use at Milk Bar and other Momo establishments — filled with carrots, radishes, herbs, and a wild kiwi from Maine that was absolutely bonkers, via Eater.
And by bonkers, he means bonkers.

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Saturday, October 2

The Baumer

Mark Baumer walked across the country and blogged about it. Now, he's eating pizza every day and blogging about it. He was on TV and he blogged about it:
Rob Caldwell came into the studio. He was wearing pants. I asked him what kind of burrito he ate at Wild Burrito.

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Sunday, September 26

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Saturday, September 25

Ice cream

Of all the ice cream nonsense published this summer, only one story was really worth reading. John Thorne's ode to eating with his mother in Maine:
You have to exercise special care when you tear open the wrapping to keep the loose peanut bits from spilling all over the rug. Once you catch these in your hand and eat them, you carefully bite into the hard chocolate coating, the curve of which keeps you from taking a large bite, via Bittman.

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Wednesday, September 22

Where the evil pixie kings roam

The Common Ground Fair is a source of inspiration. At least according to the author Carrie Jones:
As we were walking in, there was this guy wearing corduroy: corduroy pants, shirt and blazer, all in earth tones. That’s kind of freaky in itself, but he also had this huge fabric tail scrounging out from the back of his coat. I kept staring at it and staring at it. He smelled really bad too, like clothes that hadn’t been washed in ages and ages and ages, via PW.

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Tuesday, September 21

Alien Land…

Photo: Kris Larson,
via The Maine Blog

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Thursday, September 16

Now Open: Little Seoul

Little Seoul restaurant, at 90 Exchange St., plans to opened in the space that was once The Greek Corner. Let's hope they skip an attempt at stop with the sushi and stick with the bibimbap and kimchi.

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Wednesday, September 15

Now Open: Pai Men Miyake

Masa Miyake's noodle shop at 188 State Street is now open. Cash only until Friday. [Update] Photos here.

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Friday, April 23

Turkey Legs

Photograph: Anna Low


Tuesday, April 20

Coffee Bar Lola

Bar Lola's Guy and Stella Hernandez have reportedly purchased Hilltop Coffee, via PFM. Let's hope there's Bard Coffee and breakfast sandwiches at Coffee Bar Lola. [Updated 4/21] More on the move here.

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One Fifty Ate

Serious Eats visits 158 in South Portland and finds some bagel-shaped baguettes. And concludes:
Bagels plus Maine plus tattoos equals delicious.


Thursday, April 15

Phoebe's thumb

Photo: Lewis Hine/LOC

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Monday, April 12

Plywood: Ramen edition

Masa Miyake has signed a lease on 188 State St., the old Local 188, for what will probably be a noodle bar sometime this fall. [Updated 4/21] More on Pai Mei Miyake.

Eric and Nancy Zhou, of Bubble Maineia are also reportedly opening a noodle bar at 15 Temple Street, the old Morrison's Chowder House.

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Friday, April 9

Image: Rachel Sperry/MECA

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Monday, March 29

What's missing in Portland

In case you missed what's missing in Portland (and even if you didn't, the Portland Daily Sun didn't exactly highlight these choice bits):
1) Josh Peck and Sue Taylor, Sous Chef Training, Bar Lola: "We could also use a good raw bar that showcases the 15 to 20 types of oysters that you can get here in Maine."

2) Pete Sueltenfuss, line cook at Fore Street: "Late-night dining. This town rolls up its sidewalks at 11."

3) Nicholas Nappi, Chef de Cuisine at Local 188: "Chinese food that hasn't been Americanized. We joke that Portland ought to put a moratorium on Thai restaurants until we got one good dim sum place."

4) Declan McGough, Sous Chef at The Blue Spoon: "My dad works on the waterfront and I know how much seafood comes across so I'm surprised that there aren't more exclusively seafood restaurants, like cevicherias."

5) Karl Okerholm, kitchen manager at El Rayo Taqueria: "We need more affordable places and fewer high-end restaurants."

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The Maine Restaurant Scam

No, not Restaurant Week. It starts with a phone call:
The caller claims to be a bail bondsman and says the employee got in a fight with her boyfriend, drove drunk, got in an accident and was arrested for OUI. The caller says the employee is too drunk to come to the phone. The caller then tells the person at the restaurant to wire money to a special account through Walmart to bail the employee out, via WCSH.

Sunday, March 28

Blueberry Harvest

Friday, March 26

Does Moxie taste like tar?

Robert Dickinson, a Southern guy, gets his hands on one of the country's oldest continuously produced sodas, the polarizing bitter tonic invented by some druggist in Maine and now made in New Hampshire.
At first sip, Moxie is reminiscent of a weak root beer. Not bad, but not memorable either. Then the bitterness takes hold. Like medicine. Like the tar on a telephone pole. Like the sludge at the bottom of the barrel that you’re supposed to just throw away. But Moxie is a complex beast and once the initial shock wears away, the bitterness mellows, and one is left with a bittersweet taste that isn’t so bad and may even quality as, dare I say it…pleasant, via Gastronomica (PDF).


Wednesday, March 17

The Court Room

If the Emergency Room and the Quiet Room weren't enough:
Inspired by these events, Harding Smith is rumored to be planning a fourth Portland restaurant: The Courtroom, via The Bollard.

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Jordan's Meat

Photograph: Rob Hyde

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Saturday, February 27

Winter market

There's a winter market today at 85 Free Street, from 10-1. The market got a late start because of additional permitting required in Portland, where the market is exclusively designed for farmers:
Larry Bruns of Hanson Field Flower Farm, who coordinates the Portland Farmers Market, said, "I don't know if at the time this was established there was a lobby from the fish markets on Commercial Street that didn't want competition, or if the city didn't want to regulate temperatures. As far as baked goods are concerned, there's always been an emphasis on keeping it farmers, via Press Herald [not live].
State legislators are also moving in the same direction with LD 1586, which would require 75 percent of vendors to grow 75 percent or more of what they're selling.

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Thursday, February 18

What the Presidents ate

Sandy Oliver talked to the Boston Globe:
Q. Thomas Jefferson had a great interest in food. He was a real gourmet?

A. That’s his reputation. He really liked good food. I don’t think that Washington has quite that same reputation.

Q. Maybe the wooden teeth hurt.

A. I know. Poor guy!

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Tuesday, February 16

Pandalus borealis

Best of

Friday, January 29


Nosh looks like it will open tonight. The meat-centric sandwich joint looks like it will be open until 1 a.m.

Along with the expansion at Otto, does this signal a revived late-night Portland?

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Wednesday, January 20

Micucci Grocery Co.

Photo: Rose Marasco

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The Fox News

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

Outside the Front Room, Portland police say that Jome Murphy, a self-employed contractor who occasionally works for Harding Lee Smith, threw fox urine at ROC protesters. As the Press Herald reports, "Murphy now faces seven assault charges (and a lifetime of backwoods humor)." Smith had this to say:
"Everyone who lives in the building was pretty irritated by [the protests.] I think everyone on Munjoy Hill is," via Portland Daily Sun.
Smith also allegedly bailed out Jome and bought him drinks at the Front Room.


Monday, January 11

Harding v. ROC

Saturday, January 9

Friday, January 8

Now open: Sonny's

Nope, not Sonny's Variety on Commercial Congress. Sonny's is Jay Villani's latest addition to the Local 188 empire building. It's open.

Sonny's has lunch from 11-2, weekdays, and dinner from 5-10. You can reach them at 772-7774.

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Thursday, January 7

Still open: Market Street Eats

Due to a reporting error in our Tuesday edition, Market Street Eats was listed among eateries closing last year. Actually, it remains very much open at 36 Market St. and is doing quite well, its owner notes, and intends to remain so for quite some time. We regret the error, via Portland Daily Sun.


Saturday, January 2

Is Portland Maine the most underrated?

The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema chatted about restaurants—and apparently he hasn't been keeping up with the Times or Bon Appetit:
WP: What's your vote for the most under-rated restaurant town in the country?

TS: Portland, Maine?


Lunch at Miyake

The moment you've been waiting for: Miyake (871-9170) will begin serving lunch on January 6. (Thx Joe!).

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Thursday, December 31

Photo: Ron Harrity,

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Wednesday, December 23

Tony's coming to town

Anthony Bourdain is coming to Portland in January. Lydia Tenaglia, Executive Producer says:
We’ve had Maine on the short list for several seasons now. However, picking each season’s line-up is not a matter of throwing darts at a map.... I strongly encourage you to send in a detailed list of people/places that we should visit there. Nothing sells a location more than a list of “What’s Not To Be Missed.” You can send that to contact [at], via No Reservations.
[Updated] He went to Street & Co. and J's Oyster. What can you say? He likes good service.

[Updated] Bourdain tells the BDN that Portland has too many transplants to be considered the real Maine.

[Updated 4/13] Watch the show.

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All your foods are belong to Internets

Brian Duff analyzes the year in food for The Phoenix and gives us this professorial gem:
[T]here will likely be many folks opening restaurants that they simply shouldn't. Anyone who does will confront an online community of food-obsessives who have sometimes gotten downright ugly this year — with personal attacks, off-kilter rants, and ill-advised opening-night reviews. In such an environment, and with so many great restaurants already established in our small city, it's a wonder anyone has the guts to open another, via The Phoenix.
The more acute problem remains the lack of a single restaurant reviewer worth reading. Seriously, where is the Jonathan Gold of Maine?


Friday, December 18

Eat like a Mainer, according to Down East

Down East has a list of 31 food producers and restaurants in its January issue, including Portland's 555, Bard Coffee, Blue Spoon, Bresca, Corner Room, Fore Street, Hot Suppa, and Otto.

The article also includes what has become the most commonly uttered thing about Portland's dining scene, this time from Dana Street:
“In 1988 I read that Portland had more restaurants per capita than the rest of the United States except for possibly San Francisco," via Down East.

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Thursday, December 17

Stocking up, live free or die edition

Al Diamon discovers that Maine not only charges significantly more than New Hampshire for Allen's Coffee Brandy, but also:
I discovered that Maine had been running its alcoholic-beverage operations about as effectively as Tiger Woods managed his social life, via The Phoenix.

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Wednesday, December 16

About Face

Graham Letourney/
Salt, Dec. 17, 5-8 p.m.

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Mead Works

Is mead the new eggnog? NECN thinks so.
Mead has always been popular with the Dungeons and Dragons Renaissance Fair crowd. The challenge for modern mead makers is getting them to try this updated recipe.

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Monday, December 14

Allagash koelschip

Allagash has been experimenting with wild yeasts:
To anyone versed in conventional beer-making, the koelschip process is an exercise in madness. After boiling the wort and adding a dose of aged hops, the steaming liquid is pumped into the koelschip and left overnight, with the windows open. Wild yeasts and bacteria float in on wind gusts or drop down from the ceiling, via The Atlantic.


Friday, December 11

Photo: Shoshannah White/
Photo A-Go-Go, Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m.


Thursday, December 10

DiMillo's Floating Restaurant

Long before Commercial Street meant Standard Baking Co., Bubble Maineia, or Gaucho's, there was a man named David "The Dogman" Koplow, who fed his wild dogs raw fish as they roamed the stinking, falling down waterfront. It was 1978 and DiMillo's was about to be born:
By sea, we moved in the Hercules, a 60-foot, wooden, self-propelled barge with a Bucyrus Erie crane atop her deck, and the Seboomock, a small 32-foot powerful tugboat that had done her previous work on northern Maine lakes; a couple of skiffs with outboards completed the armada, via Working Waterfront.


How to sell a chair

Chef Rob Evans of Hugo's talked with Samatha Hoyt Lindgren from Rabelais about molecular gastronomy, a patron named Herman, and the future:
SHL: So the [Duck Fat]’s doing well?
RE: Yes, it’s doing well—that’s our nest egg, Duck Fat. We look at doing a few more of those and hopefully that will allow me to open up my hobby restaurant. All tasting menus, just twenty seats. I’d love to sell chairs. Instead of buying food, the chair will cost you two hundred dollars for three hours. Along with the chair comes three hours of food, via Gastronomica.

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Wednesday, December 9

Lobster eggs

Photo: Peter Dennen

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Friday, November 20

Shrimp share: Portland

Shrimp season starts December 1. What would it take to get a shrimp CSF in Portland?
“In order to make it feasible, we’d have to have 40 or more people sign up in any location,” Kim Libby told the BDN.
And apparently, there's already a pick-up location in the works.

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