Welcome to another food filled week in Portland! This week, the focus is all about restaurants reopening in new locations, like Petite Jacqueline and El Rayo, as well as the introduction of summer happy hours and brand new spots to try! A new food truck has rolled onto the scene serving Korean-Mexican cuisine, and gourmet meatballs are seemingly on the horizon courtesy of the Portland Meatball Company.
Petite Jacqueline reopens on Market Street
Since January, there’s been a void in Portland for authentic French cuisine, because Petite Jacqueline closed their popular State Street location. However, just this weekend, Petite Jacqueline quietly reopened inside of the Portland Patisserie, which are both owned by Michelle and Steven Corry, who are also the co-owners of Five Fifty Five. Those that were a fan of their comforting French fare will not be disappointed, because menu favorites such as steak frites and the chocolate pot de creme will still be featured, according to Meredith Goad of the Portland Press Herald. To start, Petite Jacqueline will only be open five days per week, but seven days a week service is anticipated in the next week or two. As for Petite Jacqueline’s former spot? It currently lays empty, though Ocho Burrito is expected to open there in the near future.
El Rayo anticipates reopening new location on Free Street at the end of July
Another favorite spot in Portland is close to reopening. El Rayo closed their Portland location at the end of September, due to the developer having mixed-used plans for the property. As a result, there’s definitely been a shortage of delicious and filling tacos in Portland, but that all ends at the end of July. The new and improved El Rayo takes the spot of Paperie, a local stationary store. Expect a 40 seat raised deck, plentiful seating, and, as first reported by Kathleen Pierce of The Bangor Daily News, breakfast! Hungry patrons will be able to grab breakfast burritos, coffee, frittatas, and fresh fruit, making El Rayo a prominent player in the breakfast scene once they open. They'll likely dominate another market with their delicious tacos, burritos and breakfast fare.
Binga’s adds Summer Happy Hour
Love wings at Binga’s Stadium? Now, there are more oppurtunities to love them, because their summer happy hour is back! Look for happy hour from 4-6 pm on weekdays, featuring $3 craft beers (including local favorites), $3 wine, $5 flights and mugs and a $5 food menu. If you can’t make it in for the summer happy hour, you can stop in for the Everyday Happy Hour from 9 p.m. to close, featuring $5 craft beer pints. After all, excuses are never necessary to enjoy great craft beer and wings that induce warm tummies and finger smackin.
Caiola’s switches hands to Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez, owners of Piccolo
Rumors have been swirling for a few months, and this week, it’s official: Caiola’s in the West End has been handed over to Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez, of Piccolo fame. According to Meredith Goad of the Portland Press Herald, Caiola’s was owned by Lisa Vaccaro and chef of the restaurant, Abby Harmon before selling. Don’t expect to see dramatic changes being made, because Sansonetti and Lopez plan to keep Caiola’s exactly the way it is, original staff included. There will be gradual changes to the menu, but fans of Caiola’s will still be able to experience the restaurant that they know and love.
Portland Meatball Co. begins construction at former Pierre’s of Exchange Street
It feels like Portland already has everything, but another restaurant will fill an even more specific food niche. Portland Meatball Company's will proudly emerge on the scene. Construction on the new restaurant has finally begun, now that Pierre’s of Exchange Street has moved out, according to Portland Food Map. Details on the restaurant are slim, but expect seating for more than 30 customers and a bar with 12 seats. No word yet on when Portland Meatball Co. will be opening, but it will likely to become a safe haven for meat lovers.
Tacos Del Soul joins the Portland food truck fleet
There’s no such thing as too many food trucks, especially when the focus is Korean-Mexican cuisine, which is something Portland didn’t even know it needed, until now. Tacos Del Soul has been open since April but they’ve only been out since June, so the buzz is starting to grow around them as the weather gets warmer and summer begins. They can be found at the Eastern Prom on most days, serving bowls, burritos and other Korean-Mexican classics. They’ve already made an appearance at the 2016 Funjoy Fest on Munjoy Hill, and as they become more well known, will probably be seen all across Portland this summer.