A Mexican restaurant called Tacos Y Tequila will take over the former Bird Dog Roadhouse location at 517 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth.

The owner, Ramiro Bravo, said this will be the third Tacos Y Tequila, but it is not a part of a corporate chain and it is not a franchise. Bravo’s other two restaurants are in Easton and Allentown, Pennsylvania. He said when he was looking to expand operations, he searched from Orlando to Bangor and chose Cape Elizabeth. Bravo was in Mexico last week to buy furniture, glassware and serving dishes for the new 80-seat restaurant. The target opening date is Dec. 1.

New tavern on Commercial Street

Jake Perriello of Scarborough plans to open The Tavern at 123 Commercial St., the former location of The Silver House Tavern, which Perriello purchased after it closed because of the pandemic.

The tavern will serve lunch and dinner every day. The menu includes chili and chowder, lobster and crab rolls, pizza, and sausages. Perriello said the space will have an L-shaped bar, a juke box and pool tables.

Perriello said his target opening date is Nov. 1.

We all need more caffeine

If you’ve missed Little Woodfords, the neighborhood coffee shop in the Woodfords Corner area, just wait until spring. A new shop called Coveside Coffee is planned for 28 Vannah St., in a former office building next door to the Makkah Halal Market.

Zara Bohan and Andy Nesheim, a couple who live in the neighborhood and who both have experience working in coffee shops, decided to open Coveside Coffee after passing the vacant building on walks during the pandemic and wishing someone would open another coffee shop there. After a while, Bohan says, they thought, “Why not us?”

The building is being renovated, with plans to open next spring. It’s too early to know what indoor and outdoor seating will be like then, so Bohan said they are preparing for anything. They’ll be using part of the parking lot for outdoor seating and plan to install a take-out window in the front of the building.

Coveside will serve 44 North Coffee out of Deer Isle, as well as pastries and a light breakfast and lunch.

… and more carbohydrates too

Were you sad that the Maine Artisan Bread Fair in Skowhegan was canceled this year (like every other fair in the state)?

The Maine Grain Alliance has launched a project called Bread Fair in a Basket that will satisfy those lingering cravings for breads and pastries made by some of the state’s best artisanal bakers.

The limited-edition baskets – only 100 will be sold – cost $75 and include a selection of baked goods, olive oil, jam, tea, herbs, an oven mitt and a dough scraper. To see all the products included, go to kneadingconference.com

The order deadline is Oct. 31. Baskets can be picked up at the O’Maine Studios parking lot at 54 Danforth St. in Portland from 9 to 11 a.m., noon to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 12.

Brewers win gold and silver

Allagash White Courtesy Allagash Brewing Co.

Two Maine brewers were awarded top medals from the 2020 Great American Beer Festival competition, held online for the first time this year.

Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland and Lone Pine Brewing Co. in Gorham were among 240 breweries nationally who received at least one medal during the ceremony, sponsored by the Brewers Association and held on The Brewing Network, an online radio station focusing on home brewing and craft beer. The awards covered 170 beer styles in 91 categories. More than 1,700 breweries from all 50 states entered the competition.

Allagash won a gold medal for its flagship brew, Allagash White, in the Belgian-Style Witbier category. Lone Pine won a a silver medal in the Experimental category for its Choco Tuesday and a gold in the Wood-and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category for its Cuvee de Funk.

Have you voted yet?

Copper Branch in downtown Portland. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Copper Branch in Portland is jumping on the bipartisan political bandwagon, urging customers to vote.

Employees are wearing buttons that say “Ask me how to vote.” They’re not trying to tell you which candidate to vote for; if someone asks, the staffer simply directs them to information on how to vote in the Nov. 3 election.

This isn’t the first Portland food business to dabble in politics. In late September, Dean’s Sweets held non-partisan voter registration events at both of its Portland locations.

Pandemic food without the extra pounds

Ever wish you could indulge your love for Girl Scout cookies without packing on the pounds?

Now you can, and you have Colin McCullough to thank for it. McCullough, who is vegan, plans to publish a book of recipes for smoothies that are made with healthy ingredients but taste like Thin Mints and Tagalongs. He’s hosting his own book launch party on Facebook at 4 p.m. Nov. 1. The books will be available through Amazon.com and cost $4.99 for a print version and $2.99 for an e-book.

The book, called “Smoothies That Taste Like Girl Scout Cookies,” re-creates the flavors of all 10 Girl Scout cookies, and McCullough will be donating half the profits to the Girl Scouts of America. McCullough says the Girl Scouts have given him the green light to collaborate with the state Girl Scout councils since healthy eating is one of their national campaigns.

McCullough grew up in Hollis and recently moved back to Maine, where he is living in Portland. He’s been working on the smoothie recipes for about two years. The idea came out of his previous vegan cookbook, which included recipes for 30 breakfast smoothies that taste like dessert. (“I have a sweet tooth,” McCullough said.)

The smoothies follow a formula that uses mild-tasting fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and mangos, that “sit in the background,” McCullough said. He then enhances the taste with flavorings and extracts.

One of the most fun things about this project? The names McCullough gave his re-imagined smoothies: Thinner Mint, Do-Si-Don’ts and Tag A Longer Life.


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