Gluten-free brewery Lucky Pigeon has opened in Biddeford. Photo by Kate Clark, Clark’s Design Services

Lucky Pigeon Brewing Co., Maine’s first gluten-free brewery, opened Friday in Biddeford, serving three different ales and a New England IPA.

“Our dedicated gluten-free brewing process allows for those with gluten sensitivities, including Celiac disease, to enjoy the variety and excitement of a small craft brewery without the risk of immune reactions that barley-based beers can induce,” the brewery’s website says.

Lucky Pigeon is in the Pepperell Mill Campus at 40 Main Street. Opening hours are Fridays, 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays noon to 9 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m.

SOMETIMES IT IS TOO LATE

If you’re a Hodgman’s Frozen Custard fan and have been putting off driving to New Gloucester for a summer fix, you’re too late.

The popular frozen custard stand at 11108 Lewiston Road announced last week that because of – you guessed it – a staffing shortage, the stand will close early this year. The last day of service was Sunday, and the final flavor of the day was black raspberry. Hodgman’s will reopen temporarily during the holiday season to sell quarts of seasonal flavors.

Better luck next year.

CELEBRITY SPOTTED

Old Port Japanese restaurant Mami posted a photo on Facebook on Friday with the news that they’d had an exciting surprise visitor:

“The industry is full of ups, downs, and insanity – got the unfortunate news of the Brandi Carlile show being canceled tonight, but @annakendrick47 came in and picked our spirits back up. @brandicarlile @thompsonspoint is rescheduled to next Friday the 27th! Hope to see nothing but smiles there”

Waiter Adriane Gainer, who described herself as a “big fan,” said while she didn’t wait on Kendrick, a Hollywood star who grew up in Portland, she was working during Kendrick’s visit.

“She was spotted (eating with a friend) and we were all very excited. I did approach her and ask if she would be OK for a photo op, and she was so gracious and so down to earth,” Gainer said. “She was here for quite some time. She’s so unassuming. We were very polite about it and toward the end of her stay, we did ask for the photo op and – yeah, it was great.”

Actress Anna Kendrick, middle, was spotted dining at Mami in Portland recently. On the left, masked, is Mami co-owner Hana Tamaki and on the right is server Adriane Gainer. Photo courtesy of Mami

DUTCH-STYLE FRIES TO DROP ANCHOR IN PUBLIC MARKET HOUSE

Logo for The Frying Dutchman, a new Dutch-style fries business coming to the Public Market House. Courtesy of The Frying Dutchman

Leon Vuong and Cody Leland, owners of Seven Seas Food & Co., a pop-up food operation that has been operating out of Fork Food Lab in Portland, are opening a new business in the Public Market House called The Frying Dutchman.

The Frying Dutchman will sell crispy, Dutch-style fries, served in cones with various toppings. The most traditional version is topped with Dutch mayo, curry ketchup and chopped onions.

“Dutch mayo is a little different from American mayonnaise,” Vuong said. “It’s a very silky, smooth mayo that has less fat, so you can feel less guilty about putting mayonnaise all over your fries.”

Look for specials as well, many inspired by brunch. Under consideration: Fries Benedict and eggs Florentine fries. Leland said you may also see Bloody Mary-themed fries, and their take on poutine or fish and chips, “all served in really cool, creative ways.”

Prices will range from $9-16. Vuong and Leland said they hope to open in September.

A FISH BY ANY OTHER NAME

Gulf of Maine Sashimi, the sustainable seafood company that promotes under-used species and brings fishermen a premium price for their catch, has re-branded itself under the name True Fin.

True Fin, which has long sold Gulf of Maine seafood to chefs and restaurants, now ships seafood to consumers all over the country, including finfish species such as cod, pollock hake, and monkfish, and seasonal catches of tuna, halibut, squid and scallops.

True Fin was launched in 2019 as part of the Gulf of Maine Ventures initiative at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, which was looking for ways to tap into private markets to further the organization’s mission of sustainability. The company buys all of its seafood directly from fishermen in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, all of whom have been trained in how to handle their catch to maintain superior quality. In turn, True Fin pays them a premium price.

Jen Levin, president and CEO of True Fin, said they decided to change the company’s name for a couple of reasons. One, the term “sashimi-grade,” while often used by seafood dealers to connote high quality, has no FDA-approved definition.
“In Japanese vernacular, it means ‘raw meat and fish,'” Levin said. “So our name caused some confusion and alienated an audience of people who aren’t interested in raw fish. We’re also developing a line of ready-to-eat raw products that meet FDA’s strict requirements, so we needed to be able to differentiate that product line as sashimi.”

Levin added that while the company is focused solely on the Gulf of Maine, “we see potential in expanding this model to other regions.”

“We know that fishermen in other parts of the country also struggle with depressed demand and prices as they are forced to compete with massive-volume imports, so perhaps one day we’ll be able to expand for even greater benefit,” she said. “Having Gulf of Maine in our name restricted us a little.”

ROSEMONT OPENS AT THOMPSON’S POINT

The new Rosemont Market & Wine Bar opened last Wednesday at Thompson’s Point in Portland. The market’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you’re more interested in a glass of wine than picking up dinner, the bar is open from 3 to 9 p.m.

Rosemont also broke ground earlier this month on its new store in Scarborough, a joint project with Harbor Fish Market.

OTTO EXPANDS, AGAIN

The eighth Otto in Maine will be at 15 Cushing Street in Brunswick, according to The Times Record.

The pizza business is moving into the old El Camino cantina space. El Camino closed in 2019.

Look for a soft opening the first week of September.

NEVER ENOUGH DOUGHNUTS

The Holy Donut plans to open yet another new location, this time in Arundel, according to the Kennebunk Post. The new shop at 1182 Portland Road (U.S. Route 1) includes a production facility, a drive-thru shop and offices. The new location is expected to be open by the end of the year.

158 Pickett St. Cafe in South Portland, photographed in 2014. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

SOUTH PORTLAND FAVORITE SAYS GOODBYE

The owners of 158 Pickett Street Café in South Portland have permanently closed the popular bagel shop, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.

The café, at 158 Benjamin W Pickett St., was owned by Josh Potocki and Katie Schier-Potocki, who also own The Bread + Butter Catering Co., also in South Portland.

“Much of this is a result of the combined effect that COVID-19 has had on our industry, the labor shortage, increased cost of goods, and our need to refocus our efforts on our other endeavors,” read a message posted to their website and social media.

FLUX RESTAURANT RAISES MONEY FOR CHEF BURNED IN FIRE

Flux restaurant in Lisbon Falls has started a GoFundMe campaign to help their sous chef, Cameron Graf, who was badly burned in a cooking fire at the restaurant on Aug. 21. Graf, who has severe burns on his hands, arms, torso and legs, is being treated at Maine Med Intensive Care Unit.

“Our mission is to raise funds beyond what insurances will be providing to assist him financially in what is going to be a long, difficult recovery,” Flux co-owner Jason LaVerdiere wrote on the fundraising platform. “We want to get Cameron doing what he loves – fishing – as quickly and painlessly as possible!”

As of mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the campaign had raised $30,825 of its $40,000 goal. To contribute, go to GoFundMe and search for “Cameron Graf.”

Food Editor Peggy Grodinsky contributed to this column.


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