Sunday, June 29

Recycled plywood

Joe’s New York Pizza, a chain pizza joint, opens in the old Granny's location on Fore St., via tB.

The Clown closed, via PFM. What, no sad faces?

The Meat House, pretty much self-explanatory, planned to opened at 185 Ocean Ave., via PPH.

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Saturday, June 28

Sour cherry (Prunus cerasus)

Photo: Jon Levitt.


Friday, June 27

Week in Review, June 27

John Baldacci praised Locally Known (1). Cat food failed to lure a wild pig (2), prompting editors to call it "squirrelly" (3). A bunch of pigs finally Tasered the pig (4) and sent it to a preschool (5). The invasion of soccer moms led one writer to consider fudge (6).

A wild 'stang named ShoGun headed to Harmony (7) and "drunken noodle with beef was excellently seasoned, the tender rice noodles a pleasure to chew" (8). China prepared for the Olympic games by offering better translations of restaurant menus (9).

Harpswell and Brunswick prepared to fight a border war over clam flats (10) and eating blueberries was said to help your neighbors (11). Shrimp increasingly went free-range (12). Bluefin tuna was basically extinct (13), coral trout benefited from two-year non-fishing zones (14) and federal research on climate change was cut in order to save money (15).

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Wednesday, June 25

Fort Kent, Me. (1942)

Photo: John Collier.

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It's summer time.

That means Sweet Tea from MickeyD's. And MereG's.

BBQ from Tofu is Too Fun. And Smokin' Bones.

Road trips to Dumonts and Pear's.

Ah, too much iced coffee.

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Paradise lost

ADAM: Paradise has arbitrary dietary restrictions?

DEVIL: They're really more like guidelines.

GOD: Incorrect.

Abridged versions of Lit 101 classics in three lines, via McSweeney's.



HAL, the talking computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey, has been in two articles recently; one about developing speech recognition software and another in a piece about Google's desire to surpass human intelligence. As for the depictions of food, the '2001' film seems oddly like an average day at the office:

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Sunday, June 22

El Camino (Brunswick, Me.)

Photo: Elizabeth Atterbury.


Saturday, June 21

'The Last Fish Tale'

Fishing in the Altantic might be a vanishing activity. From Gloucester, Massachusetts, here's what Mark Kurlansky writes in his book, The Last Fish Tale:
"Today in Gloucester an old proverb has a new twist. They now say, 'If you give a man a fish, you feed him. If you teach a man to fish, he will starve.' "

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Friday, June 20

Week in Review, June 20

Unity College won 3rd place for its vegan stuffed chard leaves with red pepper tomato chutney (1) and a veganic farmer in New Mexico disavowed all animal fertilizers (2). While Peter Singer suggested going meat-free (3), critic Jay Rayner struggled on five days of rabbit food (4). "Chicken without sexual life" was translated to "pullet" on Chinese restaurant menus (5). Residents in Blue Hill planned to fast in protest of Star Wars (6).

Maine's endangered wild ginger was stalked (7), an Orono woman suggest big box roof gardens (8), and a Russian was sentenced for diverting a plane during a inflight drunken rampage (9). The Ice House was still for sale (10) and a customer at Mark's said the competition was sagged out (11).

Chinook salmon invaded South America (12) and Jonah crabs eating baby urchins showed a marine scientist the problems of overfishing cod (13). George Smith said saltwater anglers wanted to fish free or die (14). "We will have to import fish from other states or other countries," said Ron Odlin, a commercial fisherman. "Won't that be something for the tourist magazines to try and spin?" (15)

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Thursday, June 19


Field Gallery is two - and famous too. Chocolate truffles and such tonight, 6 - 9 p.m.


Lobster Boy (Bar Harbor)

Photo: jkirlin.

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I crashed my friend's car on a sandwich run and to top it off, I brought him back the wrong sandwich, via onesentence.



Summer beers updated, via tB.

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Wednesday, June 18

Beach-fresh condom strips

Photo: Matt Cobleigh/
Saatchi & Saatchi, via VN.


Breaking news ground

Roger Doiron hopes to convince the next president to plant the White House lawn with a Victory-style garden, via Mainebiz.

It's been at least six months since 555 and Local 188 started offering brunch. Perfect time for that long-awaited review from Professor Duff.

Take a staycation. Staying at home by driving to Camden, via Type A. Like duh.

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Tuesday, June 17

Oakville, IA

Photo: Scott Olson/
Getty Images, via
The Big Picture.


Monday, June 16

'This is what the water war looks like.'

"Fryeburg, for all its out-of-season torpor, once bustled with economic activity: sawmills and timber operations, a shoe manufacturing plant, a couple of machine shops, corn shops, and dozens of thriving dairy farms. Now, it has the water-extraction business, which contributes nothing to the town's long-term economic welfare," Bottlemania, via LAT.
A new book by the author of Garbageland, Elizabeth Royte, chronicles the front lines of the water war:
Fryeburg bears the burden of living at the other end of the giant green Poland Spring pipe.... Fryeburg residents try to repel the water company. They demand tests, throw a Boston Tea Party by dumping Poland Spring in a local pond, take the issue to Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court and hold a town meeting straight out of Norman Rockwell, via NYT.

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Presidential cookie bake off is nutty

To be the First person in the White House, you've got to have a cookie recipe, at least according to HuffPo. Here are the candidates:


DIY wine and moonshine

The elderberry (Sambucus ssp.) is a blooming. While elderberry wine ain't exactly the makings of moonshine, it's making me thirst for some backyard boozing. Especially with the apparent increase in the number of microdistilleries popping up. Moonshining is the new urban nerd sport, via Wired.

Still, much of the Maine wine industry appears to focus on agritourism, not about doing it yourself on a tight budget. And, inexplicably, not about making ice wine either.
Vintners say they can pull in as many as 50 to 200 visitors on a busy day, tapping into the deep reserves of tourists who flock every summer to Maine, via Mainebiz.
Forget the possible hangover. DIY booze makes good dollars and cents. Freakonomics says the economics of DIY don't add up in the garden and it's obvious the economics of growing wine grapes making north of the 42 parallel don't add up, but that bathtub full of booze or the carboy full of wine is tax free and gallons of fun.

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A recent ad for caviar at Browne Trading got me thinking about bubbly. Before you go for the old Ms. Clicquot, consider the debate about effervescent alcoholic beverages labeled champagne: Was it invented in England? Should a town in la Suisse be able to make it? And why is France expanding its zone of origin beyond the region of Champagne?


Sunday, June 15

Bagaduce Lunch (Brooksville)

Photo: Grass Doe.


Saturday, June 14


This one goes out to everyone in the front of the house. A short visual history of automated food service, via Wired.

Organic milk

Organic milk, for what it's worth, last longer on the shelves because of ultrahigh temperature processing, via SA. The reason?
...the milk needs to stay fresh longer because organic products often have to travel farther to reach store shelves since it is not produced throughout the country.


Friday, June 13

Summer reading

You can cook with joy and distraction or follow the instructions to the letter, like a terrified parent responding to a detailed kidnapper’s note. Too often the result is mediocrity, food that just sits there on the plate, undercooked, overcooked, not rich enough, broken or, worse, boring, via NYT (Thanks RB!).
The glut of cookbooks reflect nearly 300 years of excess, which can only mean that we need more small bookstores with discriminating tastes.


Diane Cowan

Photo: Unknown,
via PM.


CSF redux

Catch a Piece of Maine and other CSFs in Gourmet (PDF). See also Springwise.


Regional road snack

Maine munchies featured in Saveur.

Wild blueberry (Vaccinium ssp.)

Photo: Sandy.

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Kraft's Pilot Cracker

Oh, Pilot, my Pilot (cracker). The NYT covers the brewing cracker battle. From Chebeague:

“What if the Southerners had to go without their hominy grits? There’d be a big uprising there... Now all of the sudden we can’t get Pilots any more. What else are we to do?”

The cracker has been saved before, via PPH. While it's no Tab or new Coke, the cracker is one instance consumers petitioned a manufacturer successfully to continue a product planned for a phase-out. Next up, Postum?


Week in Review, June 13

Tomatoes were pulled from restaurants and supermarkets (1), a couple scavenged for dandelion roots on Munjoy Hill (2), and workers saw what Tom Allen called "a heartbreaking number of bare cupboards" (3). The foreclosure crisis led to more urban farming outside Detroit (4). "Despite the economy, we are doing well," said a Skowhegan brewer (5).

Jones Landing owner received a liquor license (6). Sam Hayward was paired with a violinist (7), a blogger ate weiners (8), and Deathmatchers shilled for the Food NetworkTravel Channel (9). "Historically in Maine, most of the business is tourism, and that applies to wineries," said Bob Bartlett (9).

The Bagaduce Lunch received an Emmy of the food world (10), blueberries, apples, milk, eggs and potatoes were available year round (11), and
fish food was 40 percent vegetables (12). Two hundred beers was more fun than five (13), a man was stabbed in a Lewiston area frequented by heavy drinkers (14), and Allen's Coffee Brandy flavored whoopie pies (15).

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The Little Fisherman

Illus.: Dahlov Ipcar,
via MPBN.

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Wednesday, June 11

Lose the lox

Breaking the techno-sabbatical. Here's a link to salmon sabbaticals.


Friday, June 6

Sabbath week

Taking a brief, week-long technological sabbath. Not unlike electrolicious. Remember, no news is good news.


Week in Review, June 6

Migrant workers were essential for the blueberry harvest (1) and in New York, Maine blueberries were up to $38 per flat from $24 last summer (2). "I think it's a risky basket to put all your economic eggs in," said state representative Herb Adams (3).

"A really wet May is dangerous for incubating birds, because you've got a partridge sitting on a nest, incubating her eggs in May," said a state biologist (4). Granny's Burritos still smelled like dirty hippies (5) and New Hampshire smelled like manure (6). Syria opened the world's largest restaurant (7) and baby seals tasted cute (8).

The case against Fox News for falsely reporting a ham sandwich incident was dismissed (9), PeTA offered to buy a jail to house lobster as a publicity stunt (10), and a unicyclist aimed for world fame and free food (11). "Suddenly," Kate Collins wrote, "his tongue darts like a dancing flame, teasing me a quick hit of epicurean ecstasy" (12)

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Thursday, June 5

Brassica rapa

Photo: Skull-A-Day
(Thanks DL!).


Newish reviews

Novare Res, down an alley, in a basement, under the faint glow of Key Bank, via PPH.

There's a review of Mims. Sorry, I'm not a paperboy and The Bollard doesn't deliver.

Once you see Benny, you go back – even if the batter's thin and the fried clams have soaked the paper towel napkin with hot fryer oil. It's a good thing. A profile in the PPH.

“I say bring the flavor on. People aren’t here for things they can make at home,” Grill Room owner boast to TMS.

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Wednesday, June 4

How to: Samboosas

The Somali samosa, via (a redesigned) The Phoenix.



Photo: MMN,
via MBPN.

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Tuesday, June 3

Mentos + Diet Coke + Pork + Beans

Maine's most famous Internet duo – Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz of Buckfield – appear in the latest Weezer video, "Pork and Beans." It has over 5 million views.

The EppyBird duo certainly didn't invent the Mentos and Diet Coke geyser, nor were they the first to put it online, the two made it a choreographed artform that appealed to YouTubers, glossies, and advertisers alike.

The video takes cues from tons of other clickable mashup sensations from loners around the globe to form a quirky, funny, long-running mimetic joke.

Weezer's album comes out today.

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Monday, June 2

Field goal

Local food critic described one Old Port restaurant's fare as "...chewy... tasteless..." and "like a cross between a raisin and a football"..., via WEN.


Plywood Report

The Village Cafe finally had its date with the wrecking ball, via PPH.

Prost! had planned to open last weekend but ran into a problem: the fire inspector.

At Evangeline, the Duck Press made its debut, via TA.

The Chebeague Island Inn reopened, via WW.

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Sunday, June 1

How to: Seed bomb

Photo: Gina Ferazzi,
via LAT.

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Old Port Festival

If funnel cakes, drunken masses, and the smell of burning flesh isn't your thing – that is, the Old Port Festival – then, head over to Slow Food Portland, which hosts Fiddlefest, today, 4-7pm in South Portland. Filled with wholesome good times, fiddlehead ferns, and tunes in a big sterile cafeteria.

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