Strawberry Beers Forever

In these waning days of summer, I'm tasting beers with added fruits, berries, and other unusual ingredients. Earlier, we tried three beers brewed with added strawberries. Two weeks ago, I reviewed a notice that two breweries I follow were releasing strawberry beers and I took it as a sign. Summer ain't over yet, and there's more strawberry to drink!   Hidden Cove Fragola ABV: 6.0% Format Sampled: 16 oz corked bottle Availability: Purchased at Bow Street…

Too Little, Too Late — First impressions of the Roma Cafe

Nostalgia is one hell of a spicy meatball. Powerful longings for and affection toward the past have been used to boost sales of cameras, movie tickets and everything in between over the course of the last century, with food being no exception to the rule. Whether it be the first drop of Zima in nine years or a dining concept built around a bygone era, the intersection of food and nostalgia is impossible to ignore.…

An easy commute does not mean a smooth road — How David Iovino of Blue Spoon makes it work

There are several kinds of restaurant owners. There are those who thrive on chaos and wouldn’t have it any other way; those who give management over to someone else and detach completely; owners who can turn it off like a switch and back on when they need to; and then there is David. David opened Blue Spoon in January of 2004. He reflects: “If I had known how much work it would be and how…

Keg Count: What's new at Barreled Souls Brewing

I first got to know Chris Schofield and Matt Mills during my time as a driver and guide for the Maine Brew Bus. Back in those days, they had just opened their hole-in-the-wall brewery in a basement on route one in Saco. Their Burton Union system (a process through which all of their beer is fermented in oak barrels) was unique among northeast brewers, and they are quite possibly the only brewery anywhere using such…

Little Giant brings harmony to the West End

Open since last winter, Hunt and Alpine owners Briana and Andrew Volk’s specialty foods shop — aptly named “Little Giant” — has become one of the best places in the city to take home a special treat in celebration of a job well done (or just getting through the day in 2017). What first comes off as a modest selection of food staples and other sundries turns out to be a highly curated assortment of…

Dreaming of tangerines — Respect the fruit

In the waning weeks of summer, I'm sipping beers that include fruits, berries and other unusual adjuncts. This week, we'll explore beers with tangerine flavors. Many citrus fruits are surprisingly natural additions to beers, because they contain chemicals that echo the flavors of popular hop varieties. Tangerines are no exception to this rule. In fact, this particular variety of citrus fruit contains a unique and varied mixture of essential oils, many of which are also…

Finding reward within the mess — Portland gets two new arepa spots

With its crisp thin cornbread teetering on big pile of colorful fillings, the arepa is a nice looking sandwich. But because those very virtues make arepas difficult to eat, you know you are about to make a mess of this lovely thing. Such is the sway of entropy over all human institutions, and Americans wondering just how our sometimes-lovely nation might soon destroy itself can learn from the two great homelands of the area.   Will…

Strawberry Sippers — Guzzling Fruit in the Waning Days of Summer

For the next few weeks, we're exploring delicious, quenching beers made with fruits, berries and more. This week, we'll be sipping a few beers brewed with strawberry. Fragaria × ananassa is technically a fruit, not a berry at all. Regardless of classification, its delicate, distinctive flavor is the essence of summer, distilled into a sweet bundle. Many brewers add strawberry to sour beers, using the sweetness to achieve a balanced flavor. When pairing these beers…

The Citrusiest Summer — Gulping Down Orange Brews

The summer swelter is in full effect, and it's doing strange things to my palate. I'm tired of lagers, and have to venture into stranger and stranger beers to keep my palate engaged. So, I'm kicking off an extended jag of tasting beers with fruits. Last week, we sipped some blood orange beers, so this week we'll try a few different beers that incorporate regular orange. This marriage of flavors might appear unusual at first,…

The Brains Behind Portland's Soon-To-Be Dizzy Birds Rotisserie

If I had known as a child that growing up with a dad who worked as a chef would inform food choices for the rest of my life, I might have paid better attention. I admired my father because no other person in my limited universe could cook the way he did. I fortuitously recently met Tom Peacock quite by accident. His wife, Barbara Peacock, is a well-known photographer I had met with to discuss…
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