Sarah Gelber

Sarah Gelber

Bite-Sized Food News

Greetings, food lovers! As we've been digging ourselves out from all the snow, the world of food news in Portland has continued on. This week, James Beard Award nominations have been announced, an old favorite in South Portland has unexpectedly reopened, and several under-construction restaurants opening this spring have made progress.

 

Taco Trio’s South Portland Location Reopens

 

After months of waiting, there's good news for taco lovers: Taco Trio has reopened. Reasons surrounding Trio’s closing of both locations were unclear at the time, but the owner said he was diagnosed with cancer, and was taking care of a sick family member.

 

Owner Manuel Pena said his cancer is now under control, allowing Taco Trio’s South Portland location to reopen. The reopening is happy news, but also bittersweet. Taco Trio has closed their Portland location, leaving only the Ocean Street location in SoPo. Expect the same dedication to quality, with tacos, margaritas, and other Mexican food staples, along with new food specials like chimichangas and bite-sized tamales in addition to their original menu. Happy to have you back, Taco Trio!

 

119 Ocean St., South Portland | Wed-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., with plans to open six days a week in March | taco-trio.com

 

Flat iron steak at Drifters Wife.

 

Portland Restaurants Receive James Beard Nominations

 

It’s February, which in the food world means one thing: James Beard nominations are out. This year, it seems James Beard was extremely kind toward Portland, along with Maine.

 

Oysters from Eventide Oyster Co.

 

Nominations for Portland institutions include Drifters Wife for Best New Restaurant; Standard Baking Co. for Outstanding Baker; Portland Hunt & Alpine Club for Outstanding Bar Program; Piccolo for Outstanding Pastry Chef; Fore Street for Outstanding Restaurant; and Eventide Oyster Co.’s Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor for Northeast Best Chef.

 

Finalists for 2017’s James Beard Awards will be announced March 17 in Los Angeles, and the winners of the prestigious awards will be announced in May at Chicago’s Lyric Opera.

 

Tasting Table Names Timber On Best Steakhouses List

 

There really is something for everyone in Portland, and that includes steak. Yes, Portland does have a bit of a hipster reputation but that's a good thing. In a recent Tasting Table article, the best steakhouse in every state was named. With Maine being locally lauded for fresh fare and high quality, it only makes sense for Timber Steakhouse and Rotisserie to be listed. Why Timber? Local, impeccably cut steaks, as well as a bourbon selection that rivals Kentucky’s best. Owner Noah Talmatch is already a seasoned restaurateur, having opened The North Point along with the new Portland Meatball Company. Timber is the crown jewel of his Portland restaurant empire.

 

106 Exchange St., Portland | Mon-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri 4-11 p.m.; Sat 3-11 p.m. Sun 4-9 p.m. | timbersteakhouse.com

 

Several Planned Portland Restaurants Move Forward With Construction and Menu Plans

 

In addition to James Beard Award nominations, February in Portland is when we get a sneak peek at the new restaurants and establishments that are opening in the spring.

 

After a very long delay, it's been reported that Lazzari, a wine bar going into Mesa Verde’s old spot at 618 Congress St., has completed most of their construction and renovations and plans to open sometime in the spring.

 

Other notable openings this spring include the highly anticipated Mami, setting up shop in what was formerly a Mainely Wraps location. Mami will serve a menu similar to what is served at their food truck. Both Mami’s brick and mortar location and the food truck will be open, allowing the public to have ample opportunity to eat their inspired Japanese cuisine.

 

Lazzari: 618 Congress St., Portland | Mami: 339 Fore St., Portland | mamifoodtruck.com

 

LB Kitchen Is Now Open On Congress Street

 

Congress Street has one more hip spot to check out. LB Kitchen is now open, operating in the former spot of Figa. LB Kitchen is serving breakfast and lunch bowls, playing off a trend of healthy, local food that also tastes great.

 

249 Congress St., Portland

Bite-Sized Food News

It’s hard to believe, but February is already halfway over. Spring is slowly approaching, and that means there’s more food news to learn about in Portland! This week, Thrillist names Samuel’s the best wings in Maine, Cafe Crepe is opening a second location at the Public Market, Chad Conley of the Palace Diner has leased Brea Lu’s former space in Portland, and David Levi has reopened his Italian restaurant under its new name, Trattoria Fanny. There’s all this and more to digest, so just keep reading!

 

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Dishing Park City Reviews Bite Into Maine

When it’s cold and snowy during a classic New England Nor’easter, it never hurts to start thinking about summer. And with that thought comes the inevitable musings about fresh Maine lobster. Especially when that fresh Maine lobster is being rolled into delectable lobster rolls, provided by Bite Into Maine. Dishing Park City recently reviewed Portland’s eponymous lobster cart, praising BIM for their fresh lobster meat and many choices. Their pro tip? If you want to try all 6 styles: Maine, Picnic, Connecticut, Wasabi mayo, Curry mayo, and Chipotle mayo, pick up a stranger at a bar to help sample them all. Bite Into Maine returns to Fort Williams Park in April, which gives us two more months to daydream about their lobster roll return.

 

1000 Shore Rd, Cape Elizabeth, Maine | Open April-October

 

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Spinach, mushroom, and onion pizza from Samuel’s

 

Samuel’s Named Best Wings In Maine By Thrillist

Talking about the best wings in Maine can get a little bit dicey. Everyone has a personal favorite, so how does the best get chosen? According to Thrillist’s recent roundup of wings, state by state, Samuel’s dirty wings deserve the honor. The wings are simple, double fried, and seen as the highlight of an extensive menu with other favorites like the calzone, nachos, or amazing 5 cent mimosas for Sunday brunch. Another reason Samuel’s is the place for wings in Maine? All wings are 50 cents on Wednesday and Thursday nights, making it the perfect opportunity for elastic waistbands and settling in for the long haul. Your tastebuds will thank you.

 

1160 Forest Ave, Portland, Maine | Open 11:30 am-1:00 am seven days a week

 

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French toast from Hot Suppa’s brunch menu.

 

Hot Suppa Praised As Best Brunch By Celebrity Comedian

One of Portland’s best brunch spots has found validation with an unlikely celebrity comedian. In comments recorded during his Merrill Auditorium show, Lewis Black made it very clear that Hot Suppa is his favorite place to grab brunch in Portland. Though Black is usually known for his wit and sharp tongue, his love of Portland was easy to see. Black remarked that Portland’s food scene was on par with other bigger cities, and that Hot Suppa’s brunch was one of the best in the country. Want to check out Hot Suppa? Black claims it’s a heart attack waiting to happen. Worth it!

 

703 Congress Street, Portland, Maine | Open Tuesday-Saturday 7 am-2pm and 4 pm-9:15 pm, Monday 7 am-2 pm, and Sunday 7:30 am-2pm

 

Cafe Crepe Is Opening A New Location In Portland’s Public Market

Lovers of crepes, rejoice, because a new vendor is coming to the ever popular Public Market. Cafe Crepe announced that they will be opening a second location on the first floor of the Public Market. Cafe Crepe will be taking the spot that was formerly occupied by K. Horton Specialty Foods, which recently closed after 18 years of selling cheeses, specialty foods, and local products. Cafe Crepe is already well loved at their Freeport location, located in the heart of Freeport’s downtown. Cafe Crepe will open in March, serving both sweet and savory crepes.

 

28 Monument Square, Portland, Maine | Opening March of 2017 with seating

 

Co-Owner of Palace Diner Leases Former Brea Lu Spot In Portland

For fans of Maine’s oldest diner, Palace Diner, a little piece of it is coming to Portland this summer. Co-owner of the Palace Diner, Chad Conley, has leased the former space where Brea Lu was located in Portland before a fire last year. Conley has refused to release details of what the restaurant will serve, but the menu is supposed to be different from what is served at the Palace Diner. The restaurant hopes to be open by this summer, just in time for Maine’s tourist season.

 

428 Forest Ave, Portland, Maine | Opening Summer of 2017

 

Trattoria Fanny Is Now Open

The wait is over: a new Italian restaurant has opened where short-lived Rossobianco once stood. Trattoria Fanny is now open to the public, named after owner David Levi’s grandmother, Fanny. Trattoria Fanny is aiming to be more affordable than the chic Rossobianco, with reasonable lunch offerings, authentic Italian cuisine, and a welcoming atmosphere for all. Trattoria Fanny is serving lunch, dinner, drinks, and coffee.

 

3 Deering Ave., Portland, Maine | Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dinner Tues-Sat 5–9 pm

Bite-Sized Food News

Greetings food lovers, and welcome to the month of love, AKA February. This week, Otherside Delicatessen’s new West End location has finally opened, as well as Izakaya Minato on Washington Ave. Standard Baking Co. has been named one of the best purveyors of croissants in the country by Food & Wine, Korean food is coming back to Portland, and ice cream is now available for delivery via text message. Learn all about it in this edition of Bite-Sized Food News.

 

Otherside Delicatessen West End Location Now Open

West Enders in Portland now have another option for their deli and butcher needs. Otherside Delicatessen’s West End location is now open in the former space occupied by Vaughan Street. Though it’s hard to recreate amazing soups and sandwiches like those at Vaughan Street, Otherside Delicatessen is well-loved by its patrons at its original East Deering location. Expect deli sandwiches, quality cuts of meat, and a great neighborhood gathering spot.

164 Veranda St. | Mon-Fri 8 am-7 pm; Sat-Sun 8 am-6 pm

 

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Ramen from Nearby Ramen Suzukiya in East Bayside.

 

New Japanese Restaurant Izakaya Minato Opens On Washington Ave.

Portland's up-and-coming Washington Ave. neighborhood recently opened a new restaurant. Izakaya Minato, a Japanese restaurant, seats 36 and is serving traditional Japanese fare such as udon noodles, Japanese fried chicken, and fried rice balls. Izakaya Minato joins other favorites of the East Bayside neighborhood including Maine Mead Works, Silly’s, Terlingua, Ramen Suzukiya and Tu Casa.

54 Washington Ave. | Mon-Thu 5 pm-10 pm; Fri-Sat 5 pm-11 pm

 

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Pulled Pork Benedict from Terlingua, located next door to Izakaya Minato.

 

Standard Baking Co. Named One Of The Best Croissants By Food & Wine

Love Standard Baking for their delectable and flaky croissants? It's not just you, because Food & Wine has named them one of the best croissants in the country. What makes these croissants so special? A recipe including 83 percent European-style butterfat and croissants that are rolled by hand, each and every day, and unique flavors like the prosciutto and asiago (a ham and cheese) and the classic pain au chocolat.

75 Commercial St. | Mon-Fri 7 am-6 pm; Sat-Sun 7 am-5 pm

 

Korean Restaurant YOBO Scheduled To Open This Spring

When one restaurant closes, it's usually just a matter of time before a new one opens. In this case, Portland’s Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe closed on January first after one last New Year's Eve celebration. Lovers of Korean cuisine will rejoice, as Portland Food Map reports that it will be the new home of YOBO, a Korean restaurant. YOBO will serve comfort food cuisine, as well as local wines. The new space is expected to open this spring.

23 Forest Ave. | Hours TBD

 

Ice Cream Is Now Available By Text Message

If ice cream being delivered by boat on hot days seemed outlandish, ice cream that's available via text message just seems out of this world. Rosana’s Ice Cream — named after that Toto song — does just that. If you live in the downtown Portland region, Cape Elizabeth, or Falmouth, text 207-450-3259 and one of Rosana’s Ice Cream 30 flavors can be delivered to your door. Delivery takes about 15 minutes to an hour, depending on where you're located. Each batch is part of three to six pints, which are prepared at the new Fork Food Labs in Portland. Have a flavor that needs to be created? Owner Salli Wason is incredibly passionate about her ice cream and takes suggestions on flavors and new creations on social media.

Bite-sized Food News

Welcome to another tantalizing edition of Bite-Sized Food News! This week, Biddeford’s Palace Diner is named one of the best diners in the country, dessert lovers are ready to flock to newly opened Sticky Sweet in the Public Market, 3 local business are named winners at this year’s Good Food Awards, a new brewery is opening in East Bayside, and Fyood Kitchen is raising money on Kickstarter. Ready to learn more? Just keep reading below for the latest food news!

 

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Pancakes from the Palace Diner

 

Tasting Table Names Biddeford’s Palace Diner One of the Best in the Country

Portlanders looking for a heck of a diner listen up: Biddeford’s Palace Diner is one of the best. Not just the best in Biddeford or Maine, but according to Tasting Table, it’s on the list of the 50 best in the country. In 2014, it was named by Bon Appetit as one of the 50 best restaurants in the country, proving the team at Palace Diner knows exactly what they're doing. From enormous fried chicken sandwich concoctions to hardy tuna melts and heavenly potatoes, the Palace Diner knows how to please the palate. For those who have yet to visit Maine’s tiniest (and best) diner, make sure to get there early. Palace Diner can seat about 10 people at a time, so there’s sure to be a wait, but it’s worth it.

18 Franklin Street, Biddeford, Maine | Open every day from 8 a.m. — 2 p.m. for breakfast and lunch

 

Sticky Sweet Is Now Open In The Public Market

Have a sweet tooth? There’s a new place in town to enjoy the sweeter things in life. Sticky Sweet has opened in the old Granny’s Burrito space, serving sticky rice with mango, blueberry and banana. Fans of Thai food will recognize the same flavors as the popular sticky rice and mango dish, but owners (and sisters) Ashley and Kelly Dow are switching things up a little bit. Expect sticky rice topped with fruit, with Maine sea salt and a dash of maple syrup to make the traditional dish all theirs.

28 Monument Square, Portland | 10 am-5 pm, Monday-Saturday

 

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Chai Latte from the Speckled Ax

 

Three Local Maine Businesses Win At The Good Food Awards

Out of 2,059 entrants, just 3 local Maine businesses were winners at the 2017 Good Food Awards. Nominees were named last year, and Maine winners include Speckled Ax for their Ethiopia Bekele Dukale coffee, Bard Coffee for their Hambela Estate coffee, and Gold Star Honeybees for their Gold Star Honey. Good Food Award winners are chosen based on their commitment to food communities, as well as their use of responsible food systems to produce their product.

 

Good Fire Brewing Under Construction In East Bayside

As if we couldn’t possibly get enough of the epic brewing scene in Portland, a new brewery called Good Fire Brewing has announced plans to set up shop in East Bayside. The brewery expects to open by June, just in time for tourist season. Good Fire Brewing has leased space on Anderson Street for the brewery, as well as a 39 seat tasting room.

 

Fyood Kitchen Kickstarter Now Underway

Home cooks and chefs alike, there’s a new Kickstarter campaign for you. Cooking competition Fyood Kitchen is now available to back on Kickstarter. Fyood Kitchen aims to close a gap in Portland for those that have always wanted to test their skills in the kitchen, in a fun and competitive environment. Fyood is hoping to raise $16,100 by February 10th. Incentives for backers include handwritten recipe cards, foodie starter kits, a Fyood party of 10, and many more unique pledges. If backed, Fyood is a member at Fork Food Lab and will be organized there.

Bite-sized food news

Welcome, food lovers. Strange times are ahead, but the food news never stops. This week, food trucks are dominating the conversation, Drifters Wife has racked up another accolade, and Time Out Magazine has named Emilitsa one of the best Greek restaurants in the country. Want to learn more? Of course you do; that's what you're here for!

 

Maine Food Trucks Actively Converting To Restaurants

For foodies in the know, it feels like there's been a lot of news about food trucks converting into restaurants, and the reason why makes sense. It's no coincidence that popular food trucks like Mami, Bite Into Maine, and Love Kupcakes have all either announced plans for, or opened their new restaurants. In Portland and southern Maine, food trucks are serving as a testing ground of sorts, where flavors can rotate and battle for popularity. They're also cheaper, which matters a lot to first-time business owners. When a food truck hits that tipping point of devotion, it's hard to continue operating out of the confined space and meeting the increased demand. One thing is for sure: if food trucks stay popular, more and more are going to convert to a brick-and-mortar set up.

 

Drifters Wife Named Best Wine Bar By Boston Magazine

Everyone along the East Coast is quickly realizing that staying in Boston or other nearby cities isn't necessary for a great meal, or in this case, a great wine bar experience. Boston Magazine has put out a list of the best wine bars in Boston, and just one from away that’s perfect for a road trip: the Drifters Wife. By day, the small wine bar on Washington Ave. is a natural wine shop, but by night, it's an adventure of culinary delights with an amazing wine list. Timing is everything, as they recently announced that they will be taking limited reservations.

63 Washington Ave., Portland | Tues-Sat 4-10 pm | drifterswife.com

Time Out Magazine Names Emilitsa A Best Greek Restaurant In America

Greek food is a quiet part of the culinary scene in Portland, but it really shines at Emilitsa. Time Out Magazine has named Emilitsa one of the best Greek restaurants in the country. The menu is authentic, but filled with modern flair, like lamb ribs glazed with coriander or fresh swordfish topped with sweet peppers. Emilitsa opened in 2008, but the reigns of the kitchen have recently been handed over from owner Chef Demos to his son Niko, resulting in authentic Greek fare that both locals and tourists rave about.

547 Congress St., Portland | Tues-Thurs 5-9 pm; Fri-Sat 5-10 pm

Former Rossobianco Space Opening As New Italian Restaurant Next Month
Though Rossobianco opened to mostly critical acclaim last fall, many food lovers were surprised when it closed just three months later in November. Originally, it seemed that Rossobianco planned on reopening, but a new report from Portland Food Map proves this is no longer the case.
The new home of Trattoria Fanny, located on 3 Deering Ave, was named for owner/chef David Levi's grandmother, who was born and raised in Milan and later immigrated to the US in 1939. Trattoria Fanny aims to capture the true Italian trattoria essence, making it more affordable than counterpart Rossobianco could have been. A new chef, Siddharta Rumma, has been brought on board at Trattoria Fanny. Fanny plans on serving lunch and dinner initially when it opens next month, and will eventually add a weekend brunch as well. 
3 Deering Ave, Portland | Opening February 2017 for Dinner Tuesday-Saturday, lunch on weekdays.

Bite-Sized Food News

It seems crazy to think about, but February is already almost here. And that, food lovers, means that the height of opening (and closing) season is ongoing. This week, the owners of Central Provisons opened a new Italian restaurant called Tipo, Bite Into Maine is going brick and mortar, and Roustabout unexpectedly announced that they closed (via Instagram). There’s a lot to digest this week, so just keep reading below to catch up on the latest Bite-Sized Food News.

 

Bite Into Maine Lobster Rolls

 

Bite Into Maine Dominating Top Sandwich Lists

For those that keep track of food news on social media, it seems pretty likely that Bite Into Maine has been popping up all over your newsfeed. Bite Into Maine’s lobster rolls were acclaimed and praised by nationwide publications many times. It started when TimeOut magazine named the 15 best sandwiches in the country, where Bite Into Maine was named #8 for their amazing lobster rolls and beautiful views of Fort Williams Park. Then Maxim picked it up, which means Bite Into Maine must have some pretty sexy lobster rolls, am I right? The New York Post was the last to jump on the bandwagon, but by then, it seemed like everyone was talking about their lobster rolls.

 

And just when it seemed like things were dying down, Bite Into Maine announced plans to open a brick-and-mortar lobster shack, as well as a second food truck that will hang around Allagash Brewery. Owner Sarah Sutton has been teasing Facebook followers for months about construction, but the lobster trap was never opened until Portland Food Map published a post about their new brick and mortar plans in Scarborough on 185 US Route 1 #2. As of right now, the Sutton’s hope to have the new space open to the public by summer, coinciding with the opening of a new lobster truck as well.

185 US Route 1 #2, Scarborough | Hours & Opening TBD

 

Jalapeno Cornbread at Central Provisions

Jalapeño Cornbread at Central Provisions

 

Tipo Opens To Critical Acclaim

When opening a second restaurant, it definitely helps if the first is well loved by food critics and foodies. Portland’s Central Provisions certainly fits the bill, as it was named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit in 2014. Owners Christopher and Paige Gould announced plans last year to open a second restaurant with a focus on Neopolitan-style pizzas and homemade pastas. Named Tipo, it had a quiet opening on January 11, although reviews from food bloggers like The Blueberry Files are already beginning to pour in. Want to try Tipo? Expect the same quality of food and preparation that’s found at Central Provisions, but with a warm, neighborhood kind of feel.

182 Ocean Ave., Portland | Wed-Sun 4 pm–10 pm

 

Eggplant Parm From Roustabout

Eggplant Parmesan from the now closed Roustabout

Roustabout Announces They Are Closing

It seems when one Italian restaurant opens in Portland, another one closes. Fans of local favorite Roustabout were shocked when they announced January 9 on Instagram that they were closed for good. Although there was critical acclaim for Roustabout, the restaurant never seemed to find its footing in an up and coming location on Washington Ave. that could often be unreliable. There’s no word yet on what will be taking Roustabout’s now vacant space.

 

Mainely Wraps Reopening In South Portland

It was a sad day when Mainely Wraps announced they were closing their doors at their Old Port location, especially for downtown workers. The Portland Press Herald reports that Mainely Wraps will be reopening in South Portland, in a larger space that’s able to accommodate their loyal fan base. Wrap and sandwich lovers of South Portland will be in luck with Mainely Wraps as a new go to lunch and dinner choice, with hours open until 7:30 pm most nights.

1422 Broadway, South Portland | Mon-Fri 7 am-7:30 pm, Sat 8 am-4 pm

 

Foulmouthed Brewery Receives Acclaim From Beer Advocate

To be a brewery in Maine is no longer an easy thing to do. At one point, the brewery scene in Portland and Maine was small and unknown, unlike the way it is today. Now, it seems a new brewery is opening every week, and beer drinkers in Maine and beyond can’t seem to get enough of them. One recently opened brewery, Foulmouthed Brewing in South Portland, was named one of the 34 best new breweries in the country by Beer Advocate. That may not seem like a lot, but that’s the 34th best brewery out of a total of 861 breweries that opened in the entire country. Foulmouthed is joined by others like River Roost Brewery in Vermont, Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Co. in Massachusetts, and Industrial Arts Brewing Co. in New York. What makes Foulmouthed Brewing so special? Their “experimental brewing philosophy” which has lead to them brewing over 25 unique beers in just the first few months that they’ve been open.

15 Ocean St., South Portland | Mon-Fri 3 pm-11 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am-11 pm

Bite-sized Food News

Welcome, food lovers! 2017 is off to a great start, and it’s not even a month in.

This week, another popular food truck has jumped on the brick-and-mortar bandwagon, Oxbow Brewing Company has been named one of America’s best beer artisans, the long-awaited Sichuan Kitchen opens in the arts district, and K. Horton’s is closing after 18 years of business. Some good, some sad, and some just plain interesting info is in store for this week’s edition of Bite-sized Food News.

 

Yaki Soba from casual Japanese food truck Mami

 

Mami Food Truck Announces Plans To Open Brick and Mortar Restaurant

Another food truck has joined the ranks of the brick-and-mortar restaurant. Mami Food Truck announced on Instagram, plans to open a restaurant in the former spot where Mainely Wraps used to be located. Mami follows the path of Mainely Burgers, Small Axe to East Ender, Love Kupcakes to Barista & Bites, Hella Good Tacos and CN Shawarma to Bhaharat (soon to open). The new Mami restaurant is reportedly planning to be open by mid spring, so stay tuned for further updates!

339 Fore Street, Portland | Hours: TBD

 

Becky’s Diner On Condé Nast Traveler Best Diners For a Hangover

According to Condé Nast Traveler, Becky's Diner is obviously the best place to cure a hangover in Maine. Becky’s Diner was named on their list of the 10 best diners to visit to cure a New Year’s hangover. Yes, New Year’s has passed, but in the meantime, there are 300+ days of 2017 to drink, be merry, and recover from hangovers. Recommendations include the homemade corned beef hash and their legendary blueberry pancakes. Made it to the hangover cure spot late? No worries, because they serve breakfast for 12 out of the 24 hours they're open.

390 Commercial Street, Portland | Hours: 4 am-9 pm

 

K. Horton Announces Closing In Public Market After 18 Years

Cheese lovers, it's a sad day in Portland. After 18 years in business, K. Horton’s has announced plans to close. Portland hipsters will now have one less place to get their cheese connoisseur fix, as K. Horton’s was one of the premier places in town to get quality cheeses and fine meats from all around the world.

Before closing, K. Horton’s is having an ongoing cash-only clearance sale. This is the last opportunity shoppers will have to purchase from K. Horton’s before closing.

28 Monument Square, Portland Public Market | Monday-Saturday 8 am-7 pm, Sunday 10 am-5 pm

 

2017’s First Restaurant Is Now Open

It seemed that it would never happen, but much anticipated Chinese restaurant Sichuan Kitchen is the very first restaurant of 2017 to open.

Sichuan Kitchen serves authentic Sichuan cuisine — meaning no egg rolls, crab rangoons, and other popular Americanized "Chinese food" to be found here. Instead, there’s a focus on authenticity, and serving food that stays true to the Chinese culture. Want to check it out? Portlanders are already clamoring for spots at the brand new restaurant, so don’t be surprised if there’s a wait, or even a line out the door.

612 Congress Street, Portland | Sunday-Wednesday, 11:30 am-9 pm, Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 am-10 pm

 

Catbird Creamery Now Closed For Business

In sad ice-cream news, Catbird Creamery has announced that it is now closed for business. Catbird Creamery is well known for their unique ice cream flavors, as well as their build-your-own ice cream sandwiches. Catbird recently moved to a new location in Westbrook, which they funded through an incredibly successful Indiegogo campaign. There’s no word yet on who may be buying the business.

 

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Blueberry Cornbread Off Slab’s Sunday Brunch Menu

 

Slab Named Best Pizza In Maine By First We Feast

Slab pizza lovers, rejoice: there are even more people falling in love with the doughy delights of Slab. First We Feast compiled a list of the best pizza in each state, with Slab being the best in Maine. The pillowy bread that the pizza is baked with is praised, along with the unique flavors and varieties of slabs customers can order. For pizza lovers, or just beer lovers, Slab hits all the right notes.

25 Preble Street, Portland | Monday-Saturday 11 am-11 pm, Sunday 11 am-7 pm

  • Published in Food

Bite-Sized Food News

Welcome to the first edition of Bite-Sized Food News in 2017! A new year has begun, and the restaurant scene in Portland couldn’t be hotter. Several new restaurants in Portland and Westbrook have opened their doors, as well as a community favorite in Scarborough closing theirs to focus on their sauce business. Learn about all this and more below!

Little Giant Market Opens In West End

What was once known as the Clark Street Deli in the West End is now the Little Giant Market. Owned by Portland Hunt & Alpine Club’s Briana and Andrew Volk, the market sells a combination of yummy products from Vermont, Oregon, and of course, Portland. Kathleen Pierce of the Bangor Daily News writes, “Little Giant is ... the extended, well-stocked pantry of friends with great taste that you have access to seven days a week.” Conveniently located across the street from popular Ruski’s, Little Giant will be the market that West Enders can peruse seven days a week. Look for their restaurant by the same name opening sometime in May, just around the corner from the market. Little Giant Market is open seven days a week from 8 am–8 pm. 

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Twin lobster rolls from Anjon’s

Local Italian Favorite Anjon’s Closing

Love Anjon’s for their tasty Italian fare and homestyle cooking? Their days are numbered, because owner John DiSanto has put the restaurant up for sale. Anjon’s has been in business in Scarborough for the last 60 years, and was opened by DiSanto’s grandparents. According to the Portland Press Herald, Anjon’s is currently on the market for $1.36 million, and is listed with CBRE | The Boulos Company. DiSanto hopes that another restaurant will take up residence in their space, while taking advantage of the “million-dollar view” being across from the saltmarsh affords them. For those that are looking to enjoy one last meal, Anjon’s plans to stay open until the restaurant finds a buyer.

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OhNo Cafe Named One of the Best Breakfast Sandwiches In America By Food & Wine

The locals know it, and so do the tourists: the West End’s OhNo Cafe makes a great breakfast sandwich. According to Food & Wine magazine, OhNo makes some of the best breakfast sandwiches to be found in the country. Spotlighted is their legendary #1 breakfast sandwich, with maple-glazed prosciutto, egg, cheese, and a hit of spicy Tabasco sauce. There’s something for everyone on OhNo’s varied menu, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

food sichuankitchenDandan noodles with pork and greens at the newly opened Sichuan Kitchen on 612 Congress Street.  

Highly Anticipated Sichuan Kitchen Opens on Congress Street

Will 2017 be the year we're all smacking our lips from Sichuanese cuisine? I think so. After almost a year and a half of waiting, the highly anticipated Sichuan Kitchen has finally opened their doors to offer authentic Chinese food. Sichuan food is known for their versatile flavors: sweet, spicy, sour, flowery, bitter and salty. Food lovers that are looking to mix their lunch and dinner up now have a new bold menu to choose from that includes: dandan noodles, twice cooked pork, mushroom soup and fermented beans. 

Union Bagel To Open Second Location on Veranda Street

In exciting bagel news, Portland Food Map writes that popular bagel spot Union Bagel has leased a second location on Veranda Street in Portland, and is planning to be open by the end of February. Having a second location will enable owner Paul Faurell to produce more bagels and expand production.

Westbrook’s Big Fin Poke Is Now Open

Looking for poke? Westbrook’s Big Fin Poke reportedly opened on Christmas Day. Big Fin Poke is the only poke — that's raw fish salad — restaurant in the entire state of Maine. For lovers of fresh seafood and healthy bowls, poke is the dish that everyone will be clamoring for.

Bite Sized Food News

It’s almost the end of 2016, and we’re still finding things to excite us about Portland’s food scene. Yes, a new year is almost upon us, but as the holiday fever winds down, it seems that Portland continues to surprise and inspire us with culinary prowess. This week, Bite Into Maine has been named for one of the best sandwiches in the country, the Green Eyes cocktail at Portland Hunt & Alpine Club is named a favorite of the year by Imbibe Magazine, and Eventide Oyster Co. is planning on opening a second location in Boston. Learn all about these developments and more in this edition of Bite Sized Food News.

 

Everyone loves a good sandwich, but when can one say they've had the best? Time Out Magazine believes that one of the best sandwiches in the country is right here in Portland, Maine. Going up against classics like the Philly cheesesteak, pastrami, and pulled pork, Maine’s claim to fame comes from the ever lauded and delicious Bite Into Maine food cart, which serves lobster rolls from May through October.

Bite Into Maine always keeps things simple and it shows. Their lobster rolls stay true to classic charm and are served on a warm, toasted bun, with ingredients that highlight the flavors instead of hiding them. The result? A lobster roll that is acclaimed from coast to coast that both tourists and locals will wait in line for, again and again.

Take Magazine Covers El Corazon

It may be freezing outside, but that won’t stop El Corazon. Many food trucks close seasonally, taking the winter off to recuperate and reassess how to serve customers better next year. Not El Corazon. The Take Magazine writes that El Corazon is truly devoted to its customers, and it shows. A magazine about New England culture is the perfect venue to read about El Corazon, known for killer burritos and a special hot dog. El Corazon boasts a devout following of foodies no matter what season they may be in. Cold Maine winters don't stop them! In order to be a true fan, it’s almost a requirement to wait in line in the freezing cold and snow for their burritos or legendary tamale orders for Christmas. Find El Corazon hanging around the Old Port to get your authentic Mexican fix.

 

Green Eyes From Portland Hunt & Alpine Club Named Top Cocktail by Imbibe Magazine

We couldn't say goodbye to 2016 without mentioning at least one more article praising the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club. Imbibe Magazine does not disappoint, after naming the bar's Green Eyes as a reader favorite of the year, and most popular. The cocktail consists of gin, foamy egg white, chartreuse and lime. This citrusy concoction is sure to get even the grumpiest of Scrooges into the holiday spirit.

Eventide Oyster Co.

Eventide Oyster Co. Opening Second Location In Boston

The oyster love just keeps on coming for the critically acclaimed Eventide. Portland’s favorite place for oysters has announced that they will be opening a second location in Boston's Fenway neighborhood. Though space hasn't officially been leased, Eventide plans to open the new spot in 2017.

The most popular restaurants that opened in 2016

Wow, what a year it has been. Although some would say it’s been a rough year socially and politically, at least it's been a pretty swell one for the local culinary scene. Several restaurants opened in 2016, but these are the ones I consider delightful. 

 

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Rossobianco

When the owner of Vinland decided to open an Italian restaurant, many of us weren’t sure what the outcome would be. But then we remembered that trend-wise, 2016 has really been the year of the Italian restaurant. Here in Portland, 2016 brought us Rossobianco — though it's currently closed, reportedly until February. But before their closing, Rossobianco brought much needed Italian food to the West End. Fresh pasta, homemade sauces and a killer wine list made Rossobianco the place to be. Here’s to hoping 2017 brings back Rossobianco and their amazing pastas. 3 Deering Ave., Portland

 

 

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Rhum Food + Grog

Portland was in desperate need of something unique and exotic in its bar scene. After all, there’s only so many speakeasy holes and hidden basements that hipsters can go hang out in. 2016 brought something Portland didn't know it wanted until it arrived: a tiki bar. Not just any tiki bar, but a tiki bar owned by restaurateur Jason Loring, a titan in the scene, well known for his popular restaurants Nosh, Slab, and the recently opened Big J’s Chicken Shack on Thompson's Point. Rhum is the ultimate getaway, even if it’s just for a few hours. A raw bar, gorgeous cocktails, and a seriously cool hidden entrance (with octopus doors) help prop up the seafaring, island getaway atmosphere that is Rhum. For those looking for some food to nosh on, their sweet kaya toast is unusual, but will satisfy those that like both sweet and savory dishes, topped with an egg. Magnificent with one of their popular $5 cocktails that can only be found during happy hour (Mon-Fri 4-7 pm). 4 Free St., Portland

 

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Portland Meatball Company

Italian food has been on our brain in 2016. This past year, a camera store was converted into the Portland Meatball Company, which boasts great food, meatballs, and a surprising amount of bar space. Most importantly, the meatballs are far from ordinary. Their contents range from chicken to beef to duck, even vegan chickpea. Yes, Portland has many award-winning James Beard restaurants, but now the city also has meatballs that make people stop and smack their lips. They are simple but decadent. It comes as no surprise, considering Portland Meatball Company is owned by Noah Talmatch, who also owns Timber and The North Point, two popular establishments that Portlanders and tourists flock to. 104 Exchange St., Portland

 

 

Petite Jacqueline

Petite Jacqueline

Portlanders were shocked when it was announced that Petite Jacqueline was closing at the very end of 2015. But in June of 2016, the French bistro reopened, sharing space with their own Patisserie. Petite Jacqueline was formerly housed in Longfellow Square, next to Pai Men Miyake and LFK. After being reopened, Petite Jacqueline’s fans lined up for their burgers, steak frites, boeuf bourguignon, and of course, their legendary chocolate pot de creme46 Market St., Portland

 

 

Solo Italiano

One of this year's new restaurants isn't actually all that new. Solo Italiano has been the talk of the town with both locals and food writers for months, but it was once called Ebb & Flow. It seemed like Ebb & Flow would finally break the curse of their space, but instead, it was reincorporated as a true Italian restaurant, Solo Italiano. A new chef was hired, the menu was changed, and now Solo Italiano is infinitely more popular than Ebb & Flow ever was at its height. Classic Italian fare is served, with a concentration on fresh ingredients, original recipes and a welcoming atmosphere. 100 Commercial St., Portland

 

The Drifter’s Wife

Take a tiny natural wine bar and add an award winning chef and you may find the success of The Drifter’s Wife — but it's very unlikely. Named one of Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants in the country this year, The Drifter’s Wife, with its locally sourced menu, became a hit. 63 Washington Ave., Portland

 

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Big J’s Chicken Shack

2016 has been the year that Thompson’s Point shine in popularity and a big reason for that is Big J’s Chicken Shack. Not only did Jason Loring open Rhum last winter, but in August also opened the immensely popular Chicken Shack at Thompson’s Point. The Chicken Shack features Nashville style hot chicken, sandwiches, and comfort food sides like mac 'n' cheese, Tijuana street corn, and baked beans. For those that enjoy a little imbibing, Bissell Brothers is located next door, as well as the Cellardoor Winery and Stroudwater Distillery. As the only restaurant on Thompson’s Point, the Chicken Shack has earned the cred of a hip place to eat in any season. Expect it to become even more popular in 2017. 4 Thompson's Point, Portland

 

Pho Co.

Pho Co.

For those that love noodle soups that warm the soul, there's a very new provider in town. Pho Co. in the Public Market opened this earlier this month and is serving pho, curries, and other Vietnamese classics. In Portland, there's certainly an abundance of places to find ramen, but pho hasn't been quite as popular. Having a central downtown location that serves pho is incredibly convenient for those that live or work in Portland. The broth is big on flavor, and the menu aims to fill up everyone, one meal at a time. And for tea lovers, Pho Co. is serving artichoke tea, which is unusual but naturally sweet. During Maine winters, tea and pho from Pho Co might be the coolest way to stay warm. 28 Monument Sq., Portland

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