Are you one of those people who thinks driving over the Casco Bay Bridge from South Portland to Portland to have a nice dinner out is a big ol’ hardship? Do you look at Forest Avenue as the road to nowhere?

I’ve never understood this. Portland is not Boston or New York, where it can take hours to go a few miles at the wrong time of day. But Ryan Carey, owner of Noble Barbecue on outer Forest Avenue, says he understands Portlanders’ reluctance to stray too far from home.

“Having lived on the peninsula for my first 10 years in Portland, I can’t imagine I drove past the Great Lost Bear more than three times,” he says.

Hoping to reach more peninsula dwellers, and perhaps ultimately lure more of them out to his Forest Avenue restaurant (it’s just four miles from downtown Portland, people!), Carey launched a new food truck last week called Mobile Noble. Monday through Friday, it parks at Spring Street from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then outside of Lone Pine Brewing and Goodfire Brewing from 4 p.m. until close. (The truck is getting wrapped with artwork today but will be back on the road Thursday.)

Mondays through Thursdays the menu features a pork sandwich, brisket sandwich and a rotating fried chicken sandwich, as well as a smoked meatloaf cheeseburger. On “Fried Chicken Fridays,” the truck sells an assortment of fried chicken sandwiches with slaws and sauces.

BIG NEWS FOR LITTLE GIANT

Portland’s Little Giant has a new chef. Briana Volk, co-owner of the restaurant at 211 Danforth St., says Neil Ross previously worked for six years as chef de cuisine at Tertulia, a Spanish restaurant in New York City that just happens to be one of her favorites.

SEAWEED SHOP

Portland already has a popcorn shop and a salt shop. Soon it will have a seaweed shop, Portland’s first. Josh Rogers, founder of Cup of Sea, a Maine seaweed tea business, plans to open Heritage Seaweed at 61 India St. The store will sell seaweed-based specialty foods as well as bath-and-body items, home goods, books, art, and so on. Rogers hopes to open the store on July 1.

HOME SWEET HOME

Portland pastry chef Brant Dadeleares has leased 57 Exchange St. in the Old Port, Portland, where he plans to open Gross Confection Bar, a dessert-only restaurant he has had in the works for some time now.

AMORE TO LOVE

Kittery has a new rustic Italian restaurant called Festina Lente at 1 Government St., the former home of Bill’s Original Kitchen. Entrees include buccatini and clams, risotto with Maine scallops and cacio e pepe.

KOMBUCHA KOMING

Urban Farm Fermentory is getting some competition: Root Wild Kombucha is scheduled to open midsummer at 135 Washington Ave. in Portland.

YOU SAY OYSTER?

Portland is awash in oysters. The owners of Maine Oyster Co., a small oyster farm in Phippsburg, are planning to open an oyster bar at 38 Portland St., down the street from Back Bay Grill, joining Eventide, J’s Oyster, The Shop and others that are showering love on the bivalve.

HOUSE AND HONEYBEE

If you’ve been dreading the day The Purple House in North Yarmouth closes for the summer, dread no more. Owner/chef Krista Desjarlais posted on Instagram that she will not close The Purple House, as she did last year, to focus on her summer business, Bresca & the Honeybee at Sabbathday Lake. But according to her website, Bresca & the Honeybee will, like last year, no longer serve its upscale beach shack menu of such items as hot dogs with pickled carrot, radish, cilantro and basil or pork belly-rice noodle salads. The menu will be limited to her (terrific!) homemade ice cream and drinks. Glad to know she has found enough staff to keep both spots open.

DELIVERING ON A PIZZA PROMISE

The new pizza place in the works from the owners of Paciarino in Portland will be called Pizzarino, according to the liquor license application filed with the city. Enrico Barbiero told me in March that he was opening a second restaurant at 505 Fore St., the former home of Zapoteca, where he plans to serve pizza, risotto, arancini, gnocchi and salads. The bar will serve Italian cocktails, as well as beers and wines from Italy and Maine. An Italian sommelier will be on hand to host wine tastings, according to the application.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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