Sarah Gelber

Sarah Gelber

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

Bite Sized Food News

Loving food is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. In Portland, the holidays are coming, but more importantly, new restaurants are opening. The recently opened Bamboo Bistro in Westbrook, Pho & Co. in Portland’s Public Market and Barista’s & Bites in Westbrook are all new players in the food game. In addition to these newly opened spots, Portland’s fantastic restaurant scene gets recognition from Spoon University, Eater and Edible Manhattan. Want to find out more? Just keep reading!

Spoon University Gathers Up Portland’s 13 Best Restaurants

The number 13 may be considered unlucky to some, but not Spoon University which has compiled a list of Portland’s 13 best restaurants. Restaurants named include The Holy Donut, Becky’s Diner for comfort food, Street & Co. for seafood guaranteed to charm any and all tourists, and Silly’s for wacky cuisine, among many others.

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Eventide’s Brown Butter Lobster Roll

Eventide Achieves Hall of Fame Status on Eater Best Restaurant List

Tired of hearing about Eventide Oyster Co? Turn the page, because they’ve achieved hall of fame status on Eater’s best restaurant list, compiled each year to showcase their top restaurant picks in the country. Restaurants are inducted into the hall of fame when they’ve made it on Eater’s Best Restaurant list 3 years in a row. Eventide makes the list for their consistently delicious oysters, along with other surprises like dashi chowder and green curry lobster stew. No matter what season, locals and tourists agree: Eventide is one of many culinary gems of Portland.

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Beef Pho at newly opened Bamboo Bistro

Bamboo Bistro Opens In Westbrook

Those in Westbrook have one more culinary option to choose from: Bamboo Bistro on Cumberland Street. Bamboo Bistro recently opened, with a focus on Thai and classic Southeastern Asian cuisine. I recommend those working downtown to pop in for lunch and try their beef pho with crab rangoons. 

Maine Craft Distilling Moving To Larger Space On Washington Ave

Beer lovers rejoice because Maine Craft Distilling is moving into a larger space on Washington Ave, according to the Portland Food Map. Their new space will include a tasting room and distillery, with more room for socializing and drinking. With the new space comes a liquor license, allowing them to serve full cocktails, not just their own spirits. Maine Craft Distilling hopes to be open by early summer, just in time for tourist season.

Pho Co. Open At The Public Market

December is cold, and it’s only going to get colder as winter progresses. Luckily, the new Pho Co. is now open for business at Portland’s Public Market. When noodle soup is on your mind and Kamasouptra gets a little dull, the new Pho Co. could be a great option to try. With pho, pork buns, and ca phe (Viet coffee) there are plenty of options to get warm, inside and out. Check them out on the second floor of the Public Market!

Baristas & Bites Is Now Open

The holidays are a great time to indulge, especially for those with a sweet tooth. The already controversial (they’ve eliminated tipping to pay their servers a living wage instead) Barista & Bites is now open on Fore Street. They are serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as baked goods around the clock. For those with food sensitivities, many of their options are gluten free and vegan-friendly, making Baristas & Bites accessible to just about anyone who stops by in Portland.

Jager Is Now Under Construction & Has Applied For Liquor License

As previously reported by the Portland Food Map, Jager is now under construction on Wharf Street and has applied for a liquor license. No word yet on when Jager is opening, but they’ll be in good company: the extremely popular craft beer bar Mash Tun will be expanding and are expected to be open by early 2017.

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Miyake’s Bento Box

Edible Manhattan Noshes In Downtown Portland

Even New Yorkers can’t stop talking about Portland, as evidenced by a recent article in Edible Manhattan about where to eat in downtown Portland. Though the article is about where to eat in Portland, it’s clear that Edible Manhattan is taken by Portland’s culinary charm, referenced as a “marriage of old school and new." Some of their must-trys include Eventide for oysters and traditional New England comfort food, The Honey Paw for fusion fare that delights the palate, Miyake for sashimi and duck breast, Paciarino for classic Italian, and The Holy Donut for their delectable classic, the Maine potato donut.

Bite Sized Food News

Welcome back, fellow foodies! Yes, we've survived another chilly week, but at least we're that much closer to warm Christmas feasts. As December is upon us, it's time to say goodbye to Bibo's Mad Apple Cafe and note that Urban Sugar has won the Dessert Food Truck of the Year contest held by Mobile Cuisine; Art Of The Menu highlights Rhum; and a new Thai vendor is calling the Public Market home. Want to learn more? Just keep reading!

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Brunch at Bibo’s

Bibo's Madd Apple Cafe closing Jan. 1

It seems that all good things must end sometime. Yes, even those things that you've come to know as solid Portland fixtures. This time, Portland's staple Bibo's Madd Apple Cafe has announced on Instagram it is closing its doors for good Jan. 1. There will be a farewell dinner on Dec. 16, and they plan to be open for New Year's Eve. Some of the things to miss at Bibo's: the legendary mead mimosas, apple fritters and a traditional eggs Benedict in a truly casual and warm atmosphere. As a Portland institution, open since 1999, it will be greatly missed.

Urban Sugar named Dessert Food Truck of the Year by Mobile Cuisine

As previously reported, Urban Sugar was nominated for Mobile Cuisine's Dessert Food Truck of the Year contest. With over 1,300 votes, Urban Sugar won and will be featured in an article on Mobile Cuisine. Why did it win? It's probably those sweet and petite doughnuts that can be found in Portland, and at Sugarloaf during the winter. Urban Sugar also recently announced it will be serving their delectable mini-doughnuts at Thompson's Point all winter, so for those that work up an appetite while skating or tubing, there will be doughnuts to enjoy!

New Thai food vendor Sticky Sweet coming to Public Market

The Public Market recently announced that The Pho Co. is joining its list of vendors, and the list keeps growing! Portland Food Map reports that new Thai food vendor Sticky Sweet will be joining the vendors at the Public Market as well. Sticky Sweet will be serving traditional Thai desserts that feature a Maine twist. Sticky Sweet is scheduled to open this month.

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Sweet Kaya Toast at Rhum

Art Of The Menu highlights Rhum

Not only does Rhum have killer cocktails and delicious bites, but its menu, designed by Might & Main, is receiving acclaim from website Art Of The Menu. The menu is described as being "dark and stormy," which perfectly complements the mood that tiki bar extraordinaire Rhum inspires. Want to see it? Just stop by Rhum and order one of its many tantalizing cocktails off their menu, complete with beautiful photography that's tightly bound and feels like a work of art.

House Of Bacon arriving in Auburn

There aren't many reasons to leave Portland, but sometimes, it is nice to get out and see other parts of Maine. Especially if that reason involves a House of Bacon. Yes, it's true: Auburn will be opening a bacon-themed restaurant in just a few months. The House of Bacon will be conveniently located next door to the soon-to-open Lava, which will be a fondue restaurant. Regardless of how you feel about leaving Portland and visiting Auburn, bacon and fondue are very good reasons to take a short road trip.

Bite Sized Food News

Hello everyone, and welcome to another tasty edition of Bite Sized Food News. Yes, we’re all full and couldn’t possibly think about food after surviving Thanksgiving, but here we are. There’s no turkey or cranberry sauce to be found here, only an exciting update on the world of food in Portland. This week, Urban Sugar gets nominated for Food Truck of the Year by Mobile Cuisine, 3 local Maine companies have been named finalists in 2017’s Good Food Awards, Harding Lee Smith is opening a new restaurant at Sunday River, a Saco restaurant leases a second location in Portland and USA Today gives a shout out to New England.

Urban Sugar Nominated For Dessert Food Truck of the Year

Though everyone’s favorite mobile donut truck, Urban Sugar, has been traveling around Thailand (check out their Instagram for pictures of their search for donuts) they’ve also been named a nominee in Mobile Cuisine’s 2016 Food Truck Of The Year contest. Voting closed on November 25th, with the winners being announced that Monday. Before publication, Urban Sugar had a significant lead in the contest, but as everyone knows, voting isn’t finished until the contest ends. The winner of the contest gets featured on Mobile Cuisine in a feature article, giving readers background information on the vendor, how they got started and why they started serving up such tasty treats.   

3 Maine Companies Named As Finalists In Good Food Awards

The Good Food Awards have announced their list of finalists for 2017, with companies named from all over the country. Three Maine companies have made the list. The first two are for coffee, with Bard Coffee and Speckled Ax noted for their ethically sourced coffee. The 3rd nomination in Maine is for Gold Star Honeybees and their local and delicious honey offerings. Before tabulating the finalists, there were 2,059 entrants, with just 291 companies who made the finalist list. The Good Food Awards are given to companies who contribute to an authentic and responsible food system that supports their local food economies. The winners of the Good Food Awards will be announced on January 20, 2017.

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Happy Hour at The Corner Room

Harding Lee Smith of The Rooms Opening Restaurant At Sunday River

Love The Rooms in Portland? Harding Lee Smith, owner and chef at The Rooms, including The Front Room, The Corner Room, Boone’s, and The Grill Room, is opening a new room at Sunday River, reports Kathleen Pierce of The Bangor Daily News. The new Room at Sunday River will be called The Mountain Room, and will open at North Peak Lodge on December 20th. The Mountain Room will open in two phases. The first phase opening offers a full-service bar and small plate appetizers. In 2017, the second phase plans to offer full entrees for both lunch and dinner, which will complement the culinary offerings currently found at the other Rooms.

Luis’s Arepera & Grill Leases Second Location In Portland

Portland is adding Venezuelan cuisine to its culinary melting pot with the leasing of 945 Forest Ave to Saco restaurant, Luis’s Arepera & Grill, according to Portland Food Map. The Forest Ave location will be the second location for Luis’s, which classifies itself as a gluten free Venezuelan restaurant on their website, specializing in the arepa. There’s no word yet on when Luis’s Arepera & Grill will be open to the public.

New Pho Company Opening At The Public Market

There’s one more reason to come check out Monument Square’s Public Market House: a new food vendor called the Pho Company is planning on opening on the second floor. The Portland Food Map reports that Pho Company will serve “authentic Vietnamese cuisine” and are hoping to be open by December. With a name like Pho Company, one can only hope that there will be pho to be found as well, which are perfect on cold afternoons in the Old Port.

USA Today Sponsor Toyota Camry Travels New England

Even cars can’t resist the allure of New England, and Portland. USA Today’s sponsored story about the 2017 Toyota Camry writes about the beauty of the East Coast, and its constant allure. Writer Jennifer Franklin says that she is from New England originally, though she tends to forget about its appeal, because she’s been to 24 countries and counting. In the story, she resolves to take a crash course in exploring New England and takes a quick stop in Portland. She doesn’t stay long, but of course she stops at Bite Into Maine, remarking on the simplicity and flavor of their Picnic Style Lobster Roll. She continues to peruse Portland, and remarks that Tandem Coffee Roaster’s malted ice coffee is a must try. 

Bite Sized Food News

Welcome readers, to another exciting edition of Bite Sized Food News! This week, we creep closer and closer to Thanksgiving, one of the biggest celebrations of food. Several restaurants are gearing up to open before the New Year, including Big Poke in Westbrook, Izakaya Minato in Portland, and Otherside Delicatessen with a second location in the West End. Another foodie city, Austin, Texas has reviewed Portland’s food scene, and meanwhile, the Little Jamaican food cart is finally upgrading to a food truck. Let’s jump right in!

 

Maine Shrimp Still Closed For Fisherman In 2017

Sad news for Maine shrimp lovers: interstate fishery managers have voted to continue the shrimp moratorium into 2017, meaning Maine shrimp will not be available on the market. The Portland Press Herald reported that Maine shrimp have had a higher amount of shrimp approved for research purposes. This means that more shrimp will be available to the public but only in very limited batches throughout the season. Shrimp is extremely popular throughout Maine and other Northeastern states, which increases the demand. Maine shrimp may be opened back up for fishing in the next two years, when the 2013 fish have matured enough and are spawning.

 

American Journal Provides Update About Big Poke

A love for seafood and all things sushi leads to anticipation over the  December opening of Big Fin Poke on Main Street in Westbrook, as reported in an update by American Journal. Big Fin Poke will be the only poke restaurant in the entire state, making it a one of a kind Maine destination. Poke has quickly become a favorite in food communities all across the country, including in California. Big Fin Poke will serve fresh, sushi grade ingredients, similar to the format of Chipotle’s popular burrito bowl format. Big Fin Poke is sure to be a welcome addition to the burgeoning Westbrook food scene once it opens next month.

 

 

Second Location For Otherside Delicatessen Coming To West End

There’s another reason to visit the West End: a second location for the Otherside Delicatessen is being planned for the former Vaughan Street Variety spot, writes Portland Food Map. Vaughan Street closed earlier in the year, where it was known for being a spot for sandwiches and soup near Maine Medical hospital. The owner of Otherside Delicatessen, Pete Sueltenfuss, plans to open this second location for Otherside by January 2017. The Vaughan Street shop will reportedly be a combination butcher shop and deli selling sandwiches, similar to the original Otherside Delicatessen, which is located on Veranda Street in outer Portland.

 

 

Izakaya Minato Reportedly Opening This December

Long awaited Izaka Minato will reportedly be opening this December, reports Portland Food Map. The owners have applied for a liquor license, and are working on construction for the space. According to the countdown on Izakaya’s website, they plan to be open on December 13th. Izakaya Minato will be joining an incredibly robust food area, with favorites like Roustabout, Drifters Wife, Silly’s and Maine Mead Works right around the corner.

 

 

Little Jamaica Food Cart Upgrading To Food Truck This Spring

In the industry, it’s hard to be a functioning and successful food cart in Portland. One of Portland’s most well-known food carts, Little Jamaica- Portland’s Island Flava, has announced via their Facebook page that they have bought a food truck and will be open to the public by this spring. Little Jamaica can often be found at community events all over Portland, First Fridays, and at Congress Square Park when the weather is warmer. No word on a date of rollout yet, but the owners of the new food truck are looking for help in deciding on a name for their new beauty.

 
 
 

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Dessert at Fore Street’s bar

 

Austin American Statesman Reviews Portland’s Food Scene

In the Austin American Statesman, Portland’s food scene gets the critical treatment. Pretty much every restaurant in Portland that’s revered or well known gets a mention, from oysters at Eventide, artisanal hyper-local fare at Vinland, elegant small plates at Central Provisions, seafood at Fore Street and Scales, craft beer at Allagash, and beautiful dishes that pair perfectly with natural wines at Drifter’s Wife. The outer Portland area gets attention as well, particularly the lobster rolls at Bite Into Maine at Fort Williams Park. All in all, Portland is described as not “the other Portland” but a city to visit all for itself, despite its small size.

 

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Bread and Butter at Central Provisions brunch

 

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Lobster Diavolo at Street & Co

Bite Sized Food News

Well, folks, November is in full swing, and that can only mean one thing: winter is really almost here. Ignore some of the out of season 60 degree days we enjoyed at the beginning of the month, and remember what really counts. Not only is Thanksgiving almost upon us, but restaurants are in the midst of opening all around us. This week, owners of the immensely popular Portland Hunt & Alpine Club have bought a space for a new restaurant in the West End, construction is now under way in Scarborough for Nonesuch River Brewery, and Rossobianco has unexpectedly closed, joining the ranks of Taco Trio for other unexpected closings this month. Shall we begin?

 

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Cocktails at Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

 

Owners Of Portland Hunt & Alpine Club Buy Space For New Restaurant & Store

With all the food news going around, this has to be the one that stopped people in their tracks this week. With no warning, owners Briana and Andrew Volk have announced that they bought the space for 211 Danforth Street to open a bar, restaurant and store. West Enders won’t have to wait long for the still unnamed space, since they plan to have their new space open by the beginning of 2017. The new spot joins the ranks of a pretty popular but low key area, including eatery Outliers, dive bar Ruski’s and breakfast sandwich destination central, Oh No Cafe.

 

 

Construction Now Under Way For Nonesuch River Brewery In Scarborough

Nearby Scarborough has jumped on the craft beer train whizzing around Maine as construction began for Nonesuch River Brewery earlier this month. Owners reportedly hope to have the new brewery open by summer of 2017, according to Portland Food Map.

 

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Tagliatelle a la Bolognese at Rossobianco

 

Rossobianco Is Temporarily Closed

November continues to be the month that breaks hearts. Earlier this month, it was reported that Taco Trio is closing both of their locations temporarily, with hopes to be reopened by the beginning of next year. And now, word has come via the Portland Food Map that Rossobianco has also temporarily closed, with plans to reopen soon. Cryptically worded, the author writes that “key staff have moved on”, suggesting that Rossobianco may be suffering from growing pains, despite being a hot new restaurant according to Eater (as of October) and food lovers in the Portland area. There is no word yet on when Rossobianco plans to reopen.

 

 

Tin Pan Bakery Under Construction On Brighton Ave

As new restaurants continue to open and (temporarily) close, a new bakery is coming to town in Portland. Tin Pan Bakery, located on Brighton Ave, recently began construction. Owner Elise Rich is the founder of Cream and Sugar, and the author of the cookbook, Always in Season about farmer’s market recipes. An opening date has yet to be confirmed.

 

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Lobster Rolls at Bite Into Maine

 

Bite Into Maine Mentioned in The Budget Minded Traveler

Even in the off season, Bite Into Maine gets mentioned. This time, they’ve been named a must stop on a full tour of Maine written by The Budget Minded Traveler. Beautiful views, along with the killer lobster rolls to choose from, make it a no brainer to try out while in Maine. Sadly, Bite Into Maine has closed for the season, and will be back at Fort Williams Park in May of 2017. Until then, the photo accompanying this will just have to do for those random, winter lobster roll cravings.

 
 
 

Bite Sized Food News

Fall is almost over! Let’s face it, by now the heaters and heavy blankets have come out. This liminal space between the seasons also beckons the beginnings of new restaurants popping up all over southern Maine. Changes are abounding. This week, tipping is being eliminated at Bao Bao Dumpling House and Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Livingly says the best brunch in Maine is at Local 188, and The Holy Donut has decided to expand to Scarborough to keep up with their overwhelming demand. It’s time to catch up on Maine’s most pressing food news.

 

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Chicken Liver Mousse at Local 188

 

Best Brunch In Maine: According To Livingly, Local 188

There are probably close to a thousand different places to get brunch in Portland, let alone in the whole state of Maine. When it comes to brunch, favorites like Central Provisions and Hot Suppa usually dominate the list. But according to the website Livingly, Local 188 has the best brunch in Maine. They recommend their huevos rancheros or the breakfast paella, along with the ambient atmosphere and comfy, oversized chairs. On a Sunday when the line is out the door at Hot Suppa just down the street, Local 188 is always another great option for satisfying a brunch-time appetite.

 

America’s Best Bagel May Be In Lewiston, Maine

Lewiston doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking of fine dining. Of course, there’s Fuel, which is a diamond in the rough, but beyond that, most people assume that’s where it ends. However, there’s a hidden gem hiding some of the best bagels in America, according to Saveur. At Forage Market, chewy and dense handmade bagels can be found, rivaling some of the most well-known bagels in New York. What makes these different? A “goosebumped crust” that are shattered into layers, deep backed and full of flavor. The difference is how the bagels are baked in the wood-fired brick oven, and the fermenting dough is left to sit for two days before baking, ensuring a deeper flavor. Just 400 bagels are made per day, making this a must stop in Lewiston.

 

The Chai Donut at The Holy Donut

 

The Holy Donut Expanding To Scarborough

Portland’s most delectable potato donuts are expanding to Scarborough. Kathleen Pierce of the Bangor Daily News reports that The Holy Donut has plans to open a new facility in the old Tim Hortons location in Scarborough. With extreme popularity has also come heightened demands for these one of a kind donuts. The new Scarborough location, which will open in March, will finally give owner Leigh Kellis a proper location for “dough and glaze production.” The new Scarborough location also features a drive-thru, which will serve espresso drinks and lattes from Coffee by Design.

 

South Portland Bar & Grill Closes Its Doors

A surprise move resulted in South Portland Bar & Grill closing its doors for good at the beginning of October, writes WGME. Employees were not informed ahead of time, and instead found out about the restaurant’s closing at the same time as the customers. A new restaurant has been slated to replace the South Portland Bar & Grill, but it has not been revealed which restaurant it will be.

 
 

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Bao Bao Dumpling House & Tao Yuan Eliminating Tipping

Following in the steps of Portland’s Baristas and Bites, owner Cara Stadler of Bao Bao Dumpling House and Tao Yuan in Brunswick has announced plans for eliminating tipping at both establishments starting December 1st. By eliminating tipping, Stadler will be able to pay servers a starting wage of $15-16 an hour, which is significantly higher than the average wage most servers are currently making. Some people in the community are in favor of the new arrangement, but others, including some former servers, are against the controversial move. All bills at Bao Bao and Tao Yuan will eliminate the line for tipping on the bill, instead adding an 18% charge to the bill to cover the increased wages.

 

Taco Trio Announces Indefinite Closures

On Friday, October 28th the Portland Press Herald published an article announcing that popular local taco purveyor Taco Trio will be closing both their South Portland and new Portland locations indefinitely. There are rumors that they hope to be reopened by January, due to a family illness. The closures will begin on November 2nd.

 
 
 

Bite Sized Food News

 Another week of fall has passed us by as we get closer and closer to winter's chills. But in the world of food, things are heating up: El Corazon goes viral, The Honey Paw receives accolades for their play on the classic poke, Maine’s best hot dog is served in a park in Portland and new restaurants are opening in Portland and nearby Westbrook. Get ready for another tasty update on Portland's culinary scene.

 

El Corazon’s Bad Hombre Burrito Goes Viral

Anyone who watched the final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump knows that it was basically an intense, sometimes cringy, circus of words and insults. But from the awkward tension of the debate, a new meme was born, and El Corazon has gone viral by taking advantage of it. During the debate, Trump referred to Mexican immigrants as “bad hombres” which promptly started the beginning of a meme about women with bad hombres. El Corazon put up a special on their Facebook page on Friday, October 20th called the Bad Hombre burrito, which TMZ picked up and put on their website. The Bad Hombre features carnitas, asada, grilled onions, jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, beans, cheese, rice and extra hot salsa. It's truly a burrito that’s not for thin-skinned, heat-intolerant, Trumpians.

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Kimchi noodles at The Honey Paw

 

Food Network Loves Poke At The Honey Paw

Love for Portland’s esteemed restaurant, The Honey Paw, never seems to stop. Last week, The Food Network gathered a list of the best places in the country to try the Hawaiian classic, poke. Poke is usually a fish salad, that is served with fresh and bright ingredients that are intended to bring out the flavor of the fish being served. The Honey Paw’s poke is a rotating fish selection, depending on what is available, but could be scallop or hamachi that's paired with a melon salad featuring seaweed, cucumbers, and scallions that’s tossed in a local dressing and topped with crunchy nori rice crackers. For a good, authentic Hawaiian poke, tourists and locals alike don’t have to venture far.

 

Maine’s Best Hot Dog Served At Mark’s Hot Dogs In Portland

The lowly hot dog has been elevated by First We Feast in a list that compiled the best hot dogs in each state. In Maine, the winner is Mark’s Hot Dogs, a hot dog cart that has been in business for over 30 years and can be found at Fox Park, near the Nickelodeon Theatre, day in and day out. No matter what the weather, Mark’s Hot Dogs will be there, serving the Maine's classic Red Snapper hot dog. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, or on the go snack, the hot dog is often a classicaly good choice.

 

Tandem Coffee Buys Sugarbird Food Truck

Local favorite Tandem Coffee has purchased the Sugarbird coffee truck, according to the Portland Food Map. Plans for the truck include rebuilding it and using it for catering and other local events. In addition to their highly-lauded coffee, Tandem's baker Briana Holt may develop new pastries and baked goods that will only be available to purchase from the truck. Founder of Sugarbird Coffee, Justin DeWalt, has taken a new position as the director of wine sales at Rockland’s Chartrand Imports.

 

2 New Restaurants Coming To Portland & Westbrook

Get ready for Mini Mogadishu and Big Fin Poke joining southern Maine's food scene. The Portland Food Map writes that Mini Mogadishu will be a Somalian restaurant, opening on Woodfords Corner next to Merrill’s Seafood in Portland. The restaurant is still under construction, but will be featured at Fork Food Lab on November 2nd during their Taste The World event, giving curious foodies an opportunity to take their menu out for a spin. Big Fin Poke will be opening in nearby Westbrook, taking over the space that was previously the home of The Dancing Elephant on Main Street. This new opening adds another much-needed restaurant option to downtown Westbrook.

Bite Sized Food News

Greetings, food lovers! This week, the season of openings continues, as the chef of Bao Bao announces plans to open a wine bar restaurant, a German pub called Jager is slated to join the lineup on Wharf Street, and a distillery and oyster company are planning to open on Washington Ave. In other news, Food & Wine has written a guide to Portland with 14 reasons to visit, Buzzfeed names Urban Sugar the best place to find donuts in the state and Mainely Wraps plans to close their Portland location at the end of next month.

 

German Pub Jager Joins Wharf Street Lineup

There’s not much to know yet, but Portland Food Map has reported that a German pub called Jager will be joining other Wharf Street offerings like 51 Wharf, newcomer Mark’s Sports Bar and Pearl Night Club. Jager will be a German pub, likely serving German food, which until now could only be found at Portland’s only German restaurant, Schulte & Herr. Stay tuned for more updates as they unfold!

 

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Beet Cocktail at Bao Bao Dumpling House

 

Cara Stadler of Bao Bao To Open Wine Bar In Portland

When you’re considered one of the best chefs in the world, it can be hard to surprise people. But Cara Stadler, the chef at Bao Bao Dumpling House has done just that, with an announcement that her new restaurant will be a wine bar with a small plates concept. Previously, it was known that the new restaurant, in the space above Styxx, would be run by Stadler, and that the name would be Lio. However, new information from Kathleen Pierce of the Bangor Daily News indicates that Lio will be a wine bar, run by sommelier Chris Peterman that will have small plates, straying from Stadler’s known talent for Asian cuisine, demonstrated at both Bao Bao and Brunswick’s Tao Yuan. Construction on Lio is scheduled to begin in January, with an opening planned for summer 2017.

 

Distillery & Oysters Coming To Washington Ave

Can’t get enough oysters? Soon, there will be yet another destination for both oysters and drinking. The Bangor Daily News  reports that Inner Washington Ave will soon be the new home of Maine Craft Distilling, as well as Massachusetts company Island Creek Oysters, which plans to bring oysters, as well as a bar to the warehouse space. It’s been well documented that Washington Ave is quickly becoming the hip place to be, with popular restaurants like Terlingua and Drifter’s Wife opening, as well as a slew of new restaurants slated to open like the new Japanese gastro pub Izakaya Minato, the pho restaurant CÔNG TỬ BỘT and gin distillery Hardshore Distilling Company. The East Bayside community is truly in the midst of a renaissance, both for food and culture.

 

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Urban Sugar S’mores Donuts

 

Buzzfeed Names Urban Sugar Best Donuts In Maine

Everyone knows that there’s no higher honor than being named the best of in a Buzzfeed article. The article is bound to go viral, because Buzzfeed has named Urban Sugar the best donuts that can be found in Maine. Granted, Urban Sugar does have delectable mini donuts available in some crazy varieties like Ol’ Blue Eyes, The Lucy, and Southern Sugar. However, any article about donuts in Maine that doesn’t mention the Holy Donut is really missing out on an integral part of our donut world. Keep an eye out for Urban Sugar around Portland and at local events in the area. When winter hits, they’ll go back to their brick and mortar location in Sugarloaf, but they’ll be back in Portland again for the summer.

 

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A Happy Hour $5 Cocktail At Rhum

 

Food & Wine Has 14 (Food) Reasons To Visit Portland

This month, Food & Wine really hits the nail on the head when they call Portland the foodiest and friendliest city in their new guide of 14 reasons to visit Portland. And when they say 14 reasons to visit Portland, what they really mean is 14 reasons to eat and drink your way through the city. Brooklyn vibes are found at culinary darling Drifters Wife, southern barbecue spot Terlingua is the perfect spot for Texas barbecue and watching a football game, and Rhum is the underground tiki spot to dive into for creatively served cocktails. Another article after another, it’s clear that Food & Wine is involved in a pretty serious love affair with Portland. Can we blame them? Keep the accolades coming!

 

Mainely Wraps In Portland To Close November 30th

In bittersweet food news, Portland Food Map reports that Mainely Wraps plans to close their popular Portland Mainely Wraps location on November 30th. Though they are planning on closing this location, they are actively looking for another location in Portland. It’s likely that they simply grew too big for their downtown location, and are searching for a bigger spot that will allow them to continue growing their business slowly but surely. Mainely Wraps has another location in Scarborough, which is sure to become extra popular while the wait for another location takes place.

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