Tag Archives: food

Culinary boom in Portland, Maine | The Boston Globe

The “culinary boom” in Portland this story tells about really began in the 1980s and probably earlier. Sometimes it takes a while to build a boom that people from away notice. — Keith

PORTLAND — There was a line of people waiting to nab a precious seat and a basket of fries at Duckfat. At Eventide, a handsome, square-jawed photographer from Travel + Leisure magazine shot lobster rolls as the lunch crowd slurped oysters. Later that night, there wasn’t a seat to be found at Central Provisions as diners grazed on small plates of bluefin tuna crudo.

This is what it looks like when a small city becomes an innovative and nationally recognized hub of cuisine. You can finish lunch feeling like an over-stuffed throw pillow, but walk a few yards, and you spot a shop that sells doughnuts topped with vanilla glaze and sea salt. I dare you to pass by and not try a bite. That one bite then turns into a sweet potato doughnut, which naturally leads to gelato.

Why did I leave those poly-blend slacks with the elastic waistband at home?

“We have a lot of people coming in asking where they should go to eat,” said Johanna Corman, an owner of the recently opened soda bar Vena’s Fizz House in Old Port. “I don’t know what to tell them. How do you pick just one?”

That’s easy: You don’t. Portland is a gastro-tourism paradise. Set aside as many days as you can and stuff yourself silly. Before I could cram another heirloom tomato salad in my maw, the person sitting next to me was telling me that I must try the pizza at Slab or the wood-roasted clams at Lolita Vinoteca + Asador.

Read more of this story by Christopher Muther in The Boston Globe.

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Folk festival planners pleased by size, spirit of crowd | Bangor Daily News

Folk festival planners pleased by size, spirit of crowd | Bangor Daily News.

Vegetable’s exclusion becoming hot potato | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Vegetable’s exclusion becoming hot potato | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Trying to revive the Franco identity in Maine | Bangor Daily News

Trying to revive the Franco identity in Maine | Bangor Daily News.

‘Lessons learned over java’ revisited

[Here’s something else that really isn’t a coffeehouse observation for Coffeehouse Observer, but I thought I’d share it anyway since the basis for it happened during a coffeehouse conversation. And, besides, the hard copy that I’m working from to transfer this into a blog entry has a huge coffee stain on it. That should stand up in any court in the land. I was the opinion page editor of The Reporter in Vacaville back in April 2004 when I wrote this column about a conversation I had with friend Kristen Simmons over coffee in a Vacaville, Calif., coffeehouse. This column was published April 21, 2004.]

Last week while on vacation I had the chance to have coffee with a friend and catch up, as we try to do every few months or so.

And each time we get together, we talk about education – she’s a teacher by raining – and about her niece and nephew she is helping her mother raise. We talk about politics, current events, the war in Iraq.

And nearly without fail, I walk away from these all-too-infrequent meetings feeling I have learned more about myself for having talked with her than I have about her. Perhaps it is the ability of truly natural teachers – regardless of if they ever step into a classroom in front of a herd of young minds – to have you learn without knowing that you are being taught.

Last week’s lesson was on the death penalty. My friend is against it, she says, because even with DNA testing there is still a chance of error. Human beings, after all, take the samples from the people who are being tested and human beings process the samples and human begins collect the data and human beings filed the data. And human beings are fallible.

Anywhere along the line, a sample or procedure or test result or paperwork can be botched or altered. Whatever tiny chance there is of making a mistake that costs a wrongly accused defendant their life is too much, my friends argues.

With the growing number of cases in which DNA evidence has been used to release wrongly imprisoned inmates after years behind bars, my friend has a strong point. Our system is not free of error.

That does not mean we should reduce the human element within the system that determines whether an inmate lives out his or her short days on death row. We might need more human beings in the system.

I have not completely given up on the death penalty. I still strongly believe that it can be used in certain cases where men or women have killed with an inhuman ruthlessness, coldbloodedness or cruelty, where men and women have displayed the evil that goes well beyond that which lies in the heart of an average person.

The U.S. Supreme Court this term is again taking up the issue. In one case, the court will determine if more than 100 killers should get new sentences based on a 2002 ruling that made jurors and not the judge the final arbiters of the death penalty.

Perhaps that would be a good thing, for it may be the adding of human begins – 12 on a jury – that ultimately causes us to retain capital punishment as a last resort. Or cause us to discard it once and for all.

Meredith Goad: Not your average Joe’s | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Meredith Goad: Not your average Joe’s | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

[I’ve never had a religious experience quite like those repressed in this food column in the Portland Press Herald, but I very much am a Trader Joe’s fan and am happy that Portland appears to be getting its first TJ’s. I visit the local Trader Joe’s here in Stockton, Calif., at least once a week — dry and hot cereal, bread, Indian dishes, cheese, hummus, crackers, spices, pasta and pasta sauce, olive oil, eggs, milk, booze and much more. I do stay away from some of the bagged produce because it doesn’t stay fresh very long; part of that may be that much of it is organic so you have to use it pretty quickly anyway. The store here even carries Tom of Maine products. Overall, Trader Joe’s is a good thing. Here’s a link to the Trader Joe’s website for a small idea of what they carry. — KM]

Local missionaries heading to Haiti to help children

PERU, Maine – Marilee Colpitts and Jamie Dennett had planned a missionary trip to Haiti long before the devastating earthquake on that island nation in January.

Their trip now will include their original goals, as well as helping some of the many children who have fled the capital of Port-au-Prince for Terrier Rouge, a city in the northwestern section of the country.

“We want to bring money for food and other things for the people who are fleeing Port-au-Prince,” said Dennett, who is making her fourth trip to Haiti. “Here, in this country, people go to the state. There, they go to the pastors.”

She and Colpitts, who is making her second trip, are among 14 people, mostly from Maine, who are representing His Hands for Haiti, a nonprofit Christian group based in New Vineyard that finds sponsors for some of the thousands of children who do not have enough food or cannot go to school.

Click on the link to the rest of today’s story by Eileen M. Adams of the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Captain volunteers for relief mission

Click for the latest update: Captain volunteers for relief mission