Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Dine out for a doggone good cause

May 30, 2010

Dine out Thursday and help Pete and his pals, Humane Society of Knox County photo.

If you’re in the Greater Camden/Rockland region on Thursday, June 3, consider dining out at a participating Dine Out for Pete’s Sake restaurant (see participating restaurants, below) to help the Humane Society of Knox County.

This is a great organization that not only places local strays and unwanteds, but also takes dogs in from overcrowded shelters around the country. Its policy: Animals are not euthanized unless severe physical or behavior problems exist that cannont be resolved, they’re never euthanized for time or space

It’s success in its mission, so successful that it takes in dogs from more challenged shelters. Recently, 13 chihuahuas arrived from Los Angeles Animal Services, which receives over 300 chihuahuas a month but it doesn’t have enough homes for them all. (Adoption fee for these special dogs is $325. See more on the website.)

To help support these and other animals being cared for by the shelter, have lunch, dinner, or both at one of these participating restaurants (There are some excellent choices). FYI: My guys, Bernie and Dooley, give this event four paws up.

LUNCH

Amalfi on the Water
Big Fish
Blue Sky Cantina
Brass Compass
Harbor View Tavern
Home Kitchen Cafe
Prism Restaurant and Gallery
Thomaston Cafe

DINNER

Amalfi on the Water
Athens Pizzeria
Atlantica
Badger Cafe and Pub
Big Fish
Blue Sky Cantina
Brevetto
Cafe Miranda
Ephemere
Harbor Gawker
The Haven Restaurant
In Good Company
Mc-Hales Restaurant & Pub
The Offshore Restaurant
Park Street Grille
Peter Otts
Pizza Hut
Primo
Prism Restaurant and Gallery
Rockland Cafe
Silver Lane Bistro

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Bohemian Mama’s Bakery is a delicious find

May 15, 2010

Ben Walter, co-owner of Oceanside Meadows, a lovely inn in Prospect Harbor, just called me with a tip: Bohemian Mama’s Bakery. “The croissants are so good, you’ll ask yourself: Am I really in America?”

That coming from the well-traveled Ben got my attention.  Tell me more, I replied. Here’s the scoop, along with photos Ben took on his iPhone.

Bohemian Mama’s Bakery had its roots in Milbridge, but moved to Addison late last summer. It’s  hidden gem, tucked one mile off Route 1 on Ridge Road. Inside, Linda Clouser, her daughter Desiree and son Adrian, bake exquisite breads (whole grain, country white, Anadama, etc.), fruit pies, eclairs, cream puffs, fruit and cheese buns, French cruellers, biscotti, gourmet cupcakes, personal pies, and those amazing croissants, to name a few items.

“We just installed a wood-fired oven, and we’re making pizza, strombelli, and subs, too,” Adrian told me over the phone. Don’t let the Clouser name fool you. “We come from long line of cooking Sicilians,” Adrian says. “My mom was in the wedding cake business before moving to Maine from Reading, Penn., last year. This place is her creation, and she’s done a great job.”

The bakery has a handful of tables and Wifi. Although it’s only open Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., it’s already becoming a local gathering spot.

“We haven’t really advertised it, we want to let the place work its magic, ” Adrian says. Judging from Ben’s excitement on the phone, it already is.

Grazing through Portland: Nosh Kitchen Bar

April 7, 2010

First, apologies for the long absence. Since returning from Churchill, Manitoba (and gaining more than 100 degrees in the process, from 44 below to 70+ above), I’ve enjoyed a couple of days of stellar skiing at Sugarloaf (yes, there’s still plenty of snow in them thar hills), and working on a few assignments. Which is how I found myself in Portland for a few days. I’ve been grazing my way through the city, so I’ll begin to catch up on lost time and lack of posts with some quick restaurant notes. For the record, I’m currently on a Concord Coachlines Boston-bound bus that’s outfitted with power outlets at ever seat, has free Wifi, and is showing a movie (yes, free pretzels and water, too).

Nosh: A delicious new Congress Street addtition to the Arts District. Very relaxed atmosphere, long slate bar on one side of the room, copper-topped tables on the other. Entry wall of windows opens to a small seating area with leather couch and chair grouping. Open prep area with blackboard menu at the back. Very contemporary vibe. Oh, and free Wifi, too.

Now let’s talk food: menu comprises sandwiches, burgers, and salads, then expands at night with themed plates. And let’s not forget the fries–I had the salt-and-vinegar version accompanied by the very chunky blue cheese sauce. Yup, these will definitely suffice if I can’t get to Duckfat. My sandwich, confit tuna with an avocado/red onion/tomato/caper spread, and a cuke, served with half a snappy dill pickle, was quite tasty and extremely filling. Service was friendly and efficient (really, what more does one want?) I can see this will be an especially popular spot during First Friday Art Walks. Prices begin around $8.

207: Pies on Parade

January 13, 2010

Frank makes pie at the Limerock Inn.

I’ve blogged previously about the upcoming Pies on Parade, but since it airs on 207 tonight, I thought I’d put all the necessary info in one place:

WHAT: Pies on Parade, Rockland, Maine

Pie sampling at more than a dozen venues–at last count 16 and growing–including the four inns, as well as restaurants and even a day spa. See list below. You can walk site to site or take a trolley.

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 24, 1-5 pm

Rain, snow, ice, sleet, nothing stops this event from happening: Hundreds of pies have been baked

SPONSOR: Historic Inns of Rockland

Four fine inns in downtown Rockland—The Berry Manor, Captain Lindsey, Granite Inn, and Limerock Inn, all built between 1835 and 1898. These aren’t home-stay B&BS, all are historic homes turned into boutique inns, complete with all the whistles and bells: private rooms, private baths, common areas, Wifi, abundant breakfasts. Some have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. One is especially kid and pet friendly

TIX: $25 adult, $10 children.

Yes. Tickets for the tour alone sell out quickly; $25 adults, $10 kid 10 and younger. To order tickets in advance, call 1-877-ROC-INNS (877-762-4667).

BENEFITS: Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry.

More than $20,000 has been raised to date.

Capt. Ken Barnes, pie-maker extraordinaire, shows a creation at the Capt. Lindsey House.

LODGING PACKAGES: at the Historic Inns or Rockland

Granite Inn, Berry Manor, Limerock Inn, Captain Lindsay. Packages  include:

  • Two guaranteed tickets to the usually sold-out Pies on Parade
  • Two “personal” pies upon check-in
  • A copy of INNdulgences, the Historic Inns of Rockland cookbook,
  • Commemorative Pies on Parade poster
  • $50 in Midcoast Money plus two dessert vouchers
  • Exclusive tour of Audubon’s Project Puffin Center featuring “Puff (ed) Pastry Pies”
  • Exclusive tour of Maine Lighthouse Museum featuring “Lite Pies”
  • Invitation to a “Wine and Pie” tasting at the Wine Seller

Two-Night Package prices range from $315 to $605 single or double occupancy.

THE PIES:

• Berry Manor Inn:  Raspberry pie; Blueberry Pie; Savory pies

• Captain Lindsey House: Seafood Pie

• LimeRock Inn:  Key LimeRock Pie; Pizza Rustica (Italian Meat) Pie

• Granite Inn:  Cheesy Breakfast Pie and Cranberry Apple Pie

• Pastry Garden: Lemon Meringue Tartlets and Spinach Ricotta Pie

• Amalfi on the Water: Seafood Pie; White Chocolate Mousse Pie

• Café Miranda: Signature Mojo Pizza Pie

• Lily’s Bistro:  Potato & Bacon; Peach Tart Tatan

• Bricks:  Pizza Pie

• Rheal Day Spa: (Healthy pies) Not-too-Sweet Potato Pie (gluten free); Lavender, Honey & Yogurt Pie (no refined sugar)

• Waterworks Restaurant:  Shepherds Pie

• Rustica:  Sweet and Savory Italian Gallettes

• Rockland Café: Mini Whoopie Pies

• Brown Bag: TBA

• Park Street Grille: Tex Mex Take On Pie

• Thorndike Creamery: Ice cream surprise

Soup for you! and meat for me

January 9, 2010

Whenever I’m cruising to Sugarloaf from the coast, I have two must stops: Whitewater Farm, in New Sharon, and Soup for you! in Farmington.

Whitewater Farm doesn’t look like much from the road, it’s a ranch-style building with a bunch of truck-trailer boxes facing the parking area; on Route 27/2, between the 27 split south and the blinker in “downtown” New Sharon. Those trucks are for local farmers, who stock up on animal feed here. Many of those same farmers sell their meat, poultry, eggs, cheeses, and produce to the shop, which retails them to the public.

Now don’t go expecting some fancy market. Inside, freezers line the walls, each filled with specific products, including pork, lamb and goat, beef, veal, chicken, turkey, cranberries, rabbit, blueberries, ice cream and butter. In the refrigerator are the eggs, cheeses, milk, etc. Also here are dog chows and treats. Here’s a hint: the local chicken pot pies are really delicious, ideal to keep in the freezer or those what am I going to whip up tonight nights; and the maple sausage is really yummy.

Now, on to Soup for you!, a few doors up from Reny’s (another must stop, I must confess). Em Reeve concocts six fresh soups daily, including (and clearly noted) vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free ones. I rarely get past the soups, but there also are made-to-order sandwiches and wraps, smoothies, and coffee drinks–including a full page menu of them.

Back to those soups, buy hot and fresh and dine in (or take out, sizes range 8 to 32 ounces, prices $3.39-$9.39). You can always ask for a sample taste, too; a nice plus. If the Thai peanut chili or mushroom marsala are on the menu, both are divine; love the chicken barley, too. Soup comes with fresh bread. Just note: cash only.

Special Maine premiere: Sustainability

January 5, 2010

The Green Living Project, which has documented more than 30 sustainability-related projects in 10 countries in Africa and South America has turned its lens on Maine. The multi-media Sustainability Across Maine will premiere on Thursday (Jan. 7),  7-9 p.m., at Frontier, in Fort Andross (the renovated riverfront mill in Brunswick). Admission is free.

Featured on the program are:

• Maine Huts & Trails, the off-the-grid trail system

• Island Institute’s wind-energy programs

• Chewonki’s sustainability programs

• Inn by the Sea’s green initiatives

• Primo Restaurant’s backyard organic farm

• Maine Compost School

• Local Sprouts Cooperative

• Guyot Designs

Food and freebies: The first 50 attendees will receive a $25 L.L.Bean Gift Card, Keen socks, and other goodies. In addition, there will be live music; beer, wine, and food provided by Peak Organic Brewing Co., and Frontier; door prizes and give-away such as travel packages from Maine Huts & Trails, Inn by the Sea, Primo, and others; and a gear raffle from event sponsor National Geographic Adventure, Gregory, Keen, Clif Bar, and others, with proceeds benefiting some of the projects.

Frontier: If you haven’t been to Frontier, it’s a combo cafe, gallery, live music/event spot, and cinema inspired by founder Michael Gilroy’s world travels. Definitely a cool place worth checking out, if not for this event than another time. I’m a huge fan of the market plates, a tasting platter of a specific cuisine–perhaps the Middle East or France or Italy. Delish!

Way cool Maine foodie tool

November 26, 2009

And so appropriate for Thanksgiving Day. Eat Maine Foods’  Maine Food Map shows local food purveyors and producers. It’s still in beta, but what a resource.

Champagne and chocolate, free

November 20, 2009

Portland’s Dean’sSweets is celebrating its one-year anniversary by giving visitors to its Middle Street store between now and Dec. 12  a free champagne truffle. No purchase is necessary (but trust me, you’ll end up buying at least one or two to take home; the salt caramels are divine). And wouldn’t truffles be the perfect ending to a Thanksgiving meal?

Can’t get to Dean’s? Then place a phone or web order, and Dean’s will tuck in a free two-piece box of those champagne truffles.

Havana happening

October 3, 2009

AS in Havana restaurant, in Bar Harbor.

Havana’s third-annual Producer’s Dinner is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 14. This is a cool event, a special meal prepared exclusively from ingredients grown and harvested within 100 miles of Bar Harbor. It’s open seating, beginning at 5 p.m., and the cost is $69, plus tax and grat.

Lose the ‘tude, dude

September 21, 2009

Back on MDI for a couple of nights of R&R after the book deadline. Last night, we went to Town Hill Bistro, with my foodie friend E and her boyfriend. It’s a cozy, small restaurant, with a rustic, barn-like decor; fireplace at one end, bar at the other.

We began with the mussels, grown in Hulls Cove using a Dutch technique. Oh my, these were delightful. We ended up requesting more bread to sop up the juices. Bread was hot from the oven, potato bread. Mmmmm.

For entrées, we each had a different choice. My pork loin stuffed with prosciutto was enough to make me return. Ditto for R’s  gnocchi with bacon (pancetta) and mushroom mix in a light Pecorino cream sauce (there’s an oxymoron for you). E couldn’t stop raving about her Statler chicken breast, and T’s veggie lasagne was divine.

Truly one of the best meals I’ve had on the island. Now, if only the waiters would lose the bordering-on-arrogance aloofness. Geez, guys, sorry we’re not locals. Hope to return sometime and repeat, without the ‘tude.