Food (32)

Công Tử Bột Elevates Without Sacrificing Authenticity

For better or worse, inner Washington Ave. and the neighborhoods it connects have experienced a great deal of change in recent years. While rising rents and the inevitable displacement of lower-income families represent the darker side of change, a shining light can be seen in the drive and passion shared by those who are actively working to revitalize the Nissen building and its neighboring storefronts. In just a few short years, the landscape has morphed…

The Green Spot in Oakland is a Camp Favorite

Scheduling an interview with Brenda Athanus, owner of the epicurean grocery store The Green Spot in Oakland, Maine, was no easy task. The Green Spot operates six days a week and she’s there from dawn to dusk. I was able to pin her down for a Tuesday meeting — her only day off. Brenda suggested we meet at the A-1 Diner in Gardiner; she adores diners and loves fried oysters.   I have a copy…

Trattoria Fanny is Well-Poised to Survive Doomsday

Did you read the New Yorker’s feature this January titled "Doomsday Prep For the Super-Rich" about how tech-billionaires are preparing to (luxuriously) survive the collapse of global institutions that their disruptive greed perpetuates? They are buying islands, building bunkers, stockpiling medications, and surgically correcting their vision. But the billionaire’s most sinister maneuver has been to outsource the funding of key aspects of their preparation to the rest of us. Our purchases pay for the development of…

How I Ate My Summer Vacation — New Eateries Continue to Flood the Peninsula and Beyond

Summer in Maine is a short window. It’s a time to slow down, get outside and soak up the warm weather before it inevitably disappears just a few months later. It’s also a time to give your oven a rest and sample some of the newer eats that are popping up around town on a weekly basis, and there’s plenty to look forward to. Not sure where to start? Here are a handful of spots…

Albanian Pastries and Smiles: The Coffee ME Up Experience

Coffee is the only beverage, that I have tried and failed, to give up. When sleep has been elusive, I have always attributed it to caffeine, and I don’t see the point in drinking coffee without caffeine. I have since decided any attempt will be futile, so I drink coffee every day and I do it in moderation – never after 2 p.m. The other gripe I have with coffee is that when I drink…

Tiki Take Two — Rhum Revamps Its Menu

The Portland restaurant scene is so competitive that it often takes a creative approach to opening a new eatery.   Last year, two seasoned industry vets teamed up with two local developers to form the 5th Food Group. Jason Loring and Michael Fraser sat down with Jed Troubh and Chris Thompson to figure out how to keep track of each of their existing investments while venturing forward in two new fooderies—Rhum Tiki Lounge on North…

Sichuan Kitchen and the Cult of Authenticity

Was it a Chinese proverb that said there is “no true art without a strong dose of banality … nothing is less endurable than the uniformity of the exceptional?" Perhaps it was Cioran.   Either way, it’s an insight that is confirmed at the new Sichuan Kitchen on Congress Street, where they don’t try to dazzle you with anything except the food on your plate. The space is simple. There is no art on the pale…

My Top Five Dishes from Portland Restaurants

With over 300 restaurants in this little city of ours, there is no shortage of mouthwatering, memorable dishes. But despite our many choices and the respect I have for chefs, I don’t usually rush to restaurant openings. Even if it’s a chef I know and food I love, I wait. Because I prefer to allow a chef to work out the kinks in her or his menu. I think some people rush to new restaurants…

Mami Restaurant Opens, Offering Quick, Affordable and Delicious Japanese Street Food

Austin Miller always loved to cook, but it wasn’t until he met his partner Hana that he found a cuisine he wanted to stick with. Hana’s family is Japanese, and she schooled Austin early on to some staples of that country’s diverse street food. “She was the catalyst. We were both working restaurants. We were at the Eastender, and when that sold we were both in a weird ‘what do we do now’ phase?” Hana…

Stories Through Food: An LB Kitchen Love Story

I’m a sucker for a good love story. I get all weepy when I’m alone with a novel and love wins out over evil. I watch young couples embrace at the cinema and imagine a lifetime love affair that has only just begun. When I see an elderly man tenderly kissing his wife of 60 years, my faith in humankind is restored. And when I stumble upon a love affair unexpectedly, I can’t help but…
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