Tuesday, June 30

Red's Dairy Freeze

Portland Rum Riot

Know where the Rum Riot was? One amateur historian hopes to uncover historical sites that have been relegated to anonymity.
Mr. Carroll begins his 50-state expedition with a trip to Maine to explore the sites of the 1855 Portland Rum Riot against Neal S. Dow, the prohibitionist mayor, via New York Times.

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Friday, June 26

A couple weeks in review

Allagash paired well with mussels (1) and the brewery was listed as one of the top 50 food finds in the Boston Globe (2). A music blogger drank a Michelada at El Rayo (2), Slashfood listed the beers on tap at the Great Lost Bear (3), and Shipyard featured the lobster on its label (4). A man broke into Portland Lobster Co., stole money, ate 11 prepared lobsters, drank some white wine, and passed out on a bench (5).

Mark Bittman called Maine lobster sustainable (6). The governor planted an organic garden (7), new rules went into effect for aerial crop spraying (8) and fishing management (9). Saco considered backyard chickens (10), a watermelon-eating contest was held in a parking lot (11), and raw foodies were displeased with Brian Duff's interpretation of history (12). The Bramhall Pub closed (13).

John Golden, fresh up from The Hamptons, said, "Ouch!" at Hugo's (14) and compared Local 188 to Fore Street, largely because of the ambient volume of the two restaurants (15). Standard Baking Co.'s scones appeared in Bon Appetit (16), Steven Lanzolatta's Diet Code book was being given away free on the streets of New York (17), and a Brunswick farmer said, "At the end of the day, if I ever were to question what I'm doing, I think you can't question the importance of producing good food" (18).

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Restaurant Grace

Restaurant Grace announced they plan to open next Thurs.-Fri., July 2-3:
"Look for us the first week in July, however, we will be closed July 4, 5 & 6 on purpose with a reopen date of July 7th."
More on the place via Mainebiz and previously on Psst.

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For Sale: Terroni's

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All clam digging areas have been closed. No fresh clams can legally be dug in the state because of the rain, which means it's open season for fecal coliform and red tide.

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Thursday, June 25

Lobster economics

Corby Kummer at The Atlantic talks with Trevor Corson about falling dockside lobster prices:
Corson says that it doesn't look like Maine lobster will go the way of Maine wild salmon or Cape Cod cod--but, if they don't change their fishing and marketing strategies in ways he describes, they could go the way of the textile mill workers who have left such lovely, sad relics in the Connecticut of my childhood and the Massachusetts I live in now.
And Corson explains the problem further.

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Fish Light

Wednesday, June 24

Sakatoon serviceberry

Are Saskatoon serviceberries (Amelanchier alnifolia) the new blueberry? via Mainebiz.

[Updated] More on the berries, sort of, from a Leischen Stelter interview with Caiola's owners:
Last year, for example, a farmer called excited about a large harvest of saskatoon berries, which take several years to bear fruit after planting. "He brought in bucket loads and I wasn't prepared, but we got on it and ended up with some great desserts and this year I can't wait to get them in," she said.

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Monday, June 22

Summer reads

Sam and Don's book recommendations:
My Life in France
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
The Man Who Ate The World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner
How To Cook A Wolf, via Portland Daily Sun.
More food-related summer reading suggestions:
Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way
The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant
Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking From Donald Link’s Louisiana
Vefa's Kitchen
Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Meals Every Day
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
The Best Skillet Recipes
Mix Shake Stir: Recipes From Danny Meyer’s Acclaimed New York City Restaurants
Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More
Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking
Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods, via the New York Times (+ 20).
More and more and more:
via Chow.
via NPR.
via Foodinista.
Rabelais plans to have a sidewalk sale June 28: their first catalog is now online.

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Photo: Ashley Earl

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Sunday, June 21

Lobster industry

Sunday Read: Dolphin-safe tuna

Why some dolphin-safe tuna is an ecological disaster, or “Hippie Hypocrisy: People who try (but fail) to help”:
By trying to help dolphins, groups like Greenpeace caused one of the worst marine ecological disasters of all time. Few other fisheries are as bad for groups like sharks and sea turtles as the purse seine fishery, and none are as large in scale, via Southern Fried Science (via 3QD):

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Saturday, June 20

Photo: Samuel Blake

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Friday, June 19

El Rayo

The Portland Press Herald samples El Rayo Taqueria, which may be opening a mobile taco truck downtown by the end of the summer.
The one I ordered included shredded pork and salsa verde ($6.95) and was unlike anything I'd had in a restaurant. I mean that in a good way.

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Commerical St. coffee

Portland Coffee Roasting, 111 Commercial Street, is apparently closing and the Maine Bean Bakehouse and Deli plans to offer soups, sandwiches, and Coffee by Design coffee in the same location by early July, reports Portland Fodder.

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Goat meat

Photo: Kelsey Robinov/Salt

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Thursday, June 18

Maine Road Food

Road foodies, Jane and Micheal Stern, have a new book, 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late. In Maine, Becky's Diner, Moody's Diner, The Clam Shack, Hodgman's Frozen Custard, Red's Eats, and Shaw's Ridge Farm make the list. The Wall Street Journal interviewed the couple:
Any concerns about your recommendations from a health point of view? You've got hot dogs "piled high with mayo" at Flo's in Cape Neddick, Maine...

Mr. Stern: This isn't a book for sick people. This is a book for people fundamentally healthy. I don't recommend eating hot dogs at Flo's seven days a week, but a vast majority of the food that is unique and beloved by Americans is nutritionally incorrect.

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Maine Mead Works

Eli Cayer and Ben Alexander provide another reason to head to Portland this summer, says the NYT's The Moment blog:
In a garage in the city’s east end, Cayer and his team of beared, flanneled distillers brew their special brand of mead — an alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey and water — using local yeast, berries and other ingredients.

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Wednesday, June 17

"Blueberries for Sal"

Illus.: Robert McCloskey

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Tuesday, June 16

Otto's Pizza

[Updated 6/18] Otto's Pizza opened at 576 Congress Street. Any info on who's baking the pies? Mike Keon, the former head of Crab Louie/One-Eyed Jack's Pizza, was seen serving slices inside. Open 'til 1:30 a.m. on weekends, 773-7099.

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The Corner Room: June 25

The Corner Room Kitchen & Bar, Harding Smith's third "room," plans to open June 25, via WMTW. (Thx anon!).

His website says, "With the same comfortable rustic ambiance as the first two Rooms, The Corner Room will feature fresh housemade pastas and artisanal breads – affordable rustic Italian-inspired food at its best." Menu via Portland Fodder.

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Maine Farms at Work

Photo: Bridget Besaw

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Monday, June 15

EAT in Maine

Robert Indiana's electric EAT sign (previously on Psst!) will be back on display, says the Associated Press.
[Updated 6/18] Do you think hungry people will again gravitate to this image? There is going to be a hot dog stand very nearby. That's just good luck. The Farnsworth has no restaurant, via BoGlo.

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Sunday, June 14

The Sunday Read: Post-Pasteurian Cultures

Heather Paxson has an intelligent, scholarly look at the fears about germs, the microbiopolitics of raw milk:
Many blame colds on germs, demand antibiotics from doctors, and drink ultra-pasteurized milk and juice, while politicians on the campaign trail slather on hand sanitizer. Yet there are post-Pasteurians in their midst: dissenters who insist that not all bugs are bad, not only that microbes are a fact of life but that many also enhance human life. Resisting the hyperhygienic dream of Pasteurians, post-Pasteurians... may fashion informal social-economic channels to procure unpasteurized milk, via MIT.

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Waiting topless [NSFW]

Photo: Briget Ganske/Salt

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Saturday, June 13

The Papaya King

The home of the Sausage of Mass Destruction, Papaya King at 5 Dana Street, gets a look from Margo Mallar:
The hot dogs have a natural casing, supposedly imported especially for Papaya King from Germany, giving it a distinctive snap when you bite into it. They’re flavorful—especially with the kick that Captain Mowatt’s Snakebite Mustard adds, via Portland Daily Sun.
Bonus article fact: The 14th Dalai Lama is not a vegetarian.

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The scoop in Willard Square

Mount Dessert Island Ice Cream (salt caramel, Nutella, and Jack Daniels, along more conventional flavors, frappes and sorbets) is being scooped inside Willard Scoops, a bright little ice cream shop in Willard Square. Open hours: 12-9, Friday & Saturday; 12-8:30, Sunday; and 2-8:30 Monday through Thursday.

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Coffee and repartee

(via DL!)

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Friday, June 12

Greening up the fire escape

How to garden as a renter, via Vigorous North.

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Thursday, June 11

Papou's Kitchen

Chris Zoulamis, who used to run The Kitchen, is serving Greek food in Woodford's. He plans uses pita from his son's bakery, Mother Oven, in Bowdoinham.
Zoulamis first deep fries the falafel bites until they are crispy on the outside but soft inside so that you can still taste the chickpeas.... The falafel bites are stuffed into a white pita, then Zoulamis adds lettuce and chopped tomatoes and cucumbers. The crowning touch is his homemade tahini, made with tahini paste, lemon juice, water, paprika and garlic, via Portland Press Herald.

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Live chicks

Photo: Margery Niblock


English translated

The following Nancy English translation provided courtesy of Joe Ricchio, at Portland Food Coma:
Prosciutto crudo e melone ($11.75) doesn't shirk on expensive, mountain-air-dried ham, with several thin slices overlapping three fat wedges of cantaloupe, which improved after losing its refrigerated chill.

[Translation:] Prosciutto Crudo as You Know Makes Me Go Bonkers and Go with the Flow and Slap the Ho.
Part of a regular feature.

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Wednesday, June 10

Maine lobster rolls

In light of the 61-foot lobster roll slathered with Miracle Whip, here's a couple of chasers: lobster roll photos from eGullet.

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Harbor Works Gallery (Cundy's Harbor)

Photo: Barbara Mensch/
Bonni Benrubi

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Tuesday, June 9

Down at the Docks

Telling it like it is:
"He raised his drink in one hand and raised the other to shake. Welcome to New Bedford, dickhead," via Working Waterfront.

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Monday, June 8

Farmer's brunch

The Bollard has reviewed brunch (and the Bloody Mary) at the Farmer's Table:
The Farmer’s Table is exemplary of the ongoing trend toward upscale-yet-casual restaurants that focus on simple preparations of local ingredients. The prices are a little high compared to some similar options around town, but I suppose you’re paying extra for the location, via tB.

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"I am what I ate"

Postcard: Scott Hullinger

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Sunday, June 7

The Sunday Read: The case against the term 'molecular gastronomy'

Portland Chef Rob Evans has been said to use "the contemporary techniques of molecular gastronomy," but the case against the term "molecular gastronomy" appears to be gaining traction. On the French Culinary Institute's Cooking Issues blog, Dave Arnold and Nils Norén address the term's shortcomings:
Why would you describe anything you are going to eat as molecular gastronomy? Either word alone is bad – together, horror, via Cooking Issues.

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Edible Obsessions

Uke Mochi blogs about making moose stew and whatnot over at Edible Obsessions, another worthy add to the blogroll.
It's hard being food obsessed when you basically live pay check to pay check in a town like Portland, ME. But, it is a hell of a lot easier when you don't have a mortgage to pay, kids or a meth habit.

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Saturday, June 6

How to be a dilettante

Drinking and lawnmowing

Friday, June 5

Week in Review, June 5

Eliot Coleman preferred rose hips over orange juice (1), a soap maker said she should qualify under the state guidelines for selling 75 percent farm products at farmers markets (2), and a motorcyclist who collided with a moose died (3). "Frankly," said a MOFGA official, "most of the people who are interested don't have much experience with agriculture or even rural living" (4).

Chef Rob Evans doubled the number of foodies dining out at Hugo's (5). Maine representatives passed a calorie counting bill to the Senate (6), and although Maine voters rejected a soda tax, the idea appeared to be gaining traction nationwide (7). Restaurant Grace planned a dessert menu to capture the after-Merrill crowds (8) and the inner quiet of pasta was broken when Nancy English ate at Paciarino (9).

The founder of Stonington Sea Products was called a fish head (10), Katy Perry wore a sushi dress in Japan (11), and 6,400 pounds of bait was stolen from Sturdivants Wharf (12). A company named Shipwreck Galley made salsa (13), Great Diamond Island lobsters were available at the Skowhegan farmers' market, but not in Portland (14), and The Misses sank after being hit by a 46-foot dragger (15).

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Tuesday, June 2

Hardscabble Harvest

Illus: Dahlov Ipcar/Islandport

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Monday, June 1


Teen Boy #1: "Dude! Dude, wait!"

Teen Boy #2: "Huh...?"

Teen Boy #3: "Man, we're in Maine. You gotta recycle that!"

(Overheard by the trash & recycle bins at Whole Foods), via MH at Overheard in Portland.

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