Coffee by Design offering special to benefit women

If your mom likes coffee, turn Mother’s Day into “Mother’s Month” by taking her to Coffee by Design anytime during May.
Buy her a pound bag of “My Mom’s Coffee” in special packaging, and Coffee by Design will donate $1 to The Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community.

The program is part of Coffee By Design’s Community Coffee Program in which it partners with various nonprofit organizations in the community to raise money and awareness for their causes.

Coffee by Design is at 67 India St.

Young writers launching anthology of food writing

An anthology of stories about food by young writers will be launched at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square.

The book, “Can I Call You Cheesecake? 35 Stories & Poems About Food,” features stories by native Mainers as well as young authors who have come here from places like Burma, the Dominican Republic, India, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

The anthology came out of the yearlong “At the Table” project sponsored by The Telling Room, a nonprofit writing center in Portland.

A sampling of local food that appears in the anthology will be served, and copies of the book will be for sale.

Admission to the May 11 event is a suggested donation of $10. All students get in free.

Gritty’s again chosen pub for Dempsey’s fundraiser

That’s some lucky beer.

Hollywood heartthrob Patrick Dempsey will be holding a craft brew from Gritty McDuff’s at The Dempsey Challenge this year. Gritty’s once again has been selected as the official brew pub for the charity event, which will be held Oct. 2-3 in Lewiston. The challenge is a run-walk-cycling event that raises money for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing.

Gritty’s will be adding new ways to raise funds this year, including sponsoring a Gritty’s team in the race and holding a golf tournament.

The Gritty’s Dempsey Challenge Golf Tournament will be held at the Martindale Country Club in Auburn on July 19. To register, e-mail [email protected] by July 2.

The brewers at Gritty’s Lewiston/Auburn pub will brew a batch of “Gritty’s Dempsey Challenge Courage Ale,” which will be sold on tap beginning in July, with $1 from each pint served going to the challenge.

Cranberry Island Kitchen opens store in Portland

The ladies of Cranberry Island Kitchen have opened their new Portland retail space at 52 Danforth St.

All of the company’s cakes, cookies and whoopie pies will be baked on site.

Carol Ford and Karen Haase, the owners of Cranberry Island Kitchen, are known for their creative whoopie pies, such as spiced pumpkin cake with maple or espresso cream cheese filling, and Cointreau- or Chambord-filled chocolate cakes shaped like Maine mussels. They have appeared on “The Martha Stewart Show,” and their whoopie pies appeared in a Time magazine article on regional foods.

In addition to selling their baked goods at the new space, Ford and Haase will serve coffee roasted by Arabica and, in the mornings, warm island breakfast cake.

Hours at the new store are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Ford said the store will add regular Monday and Tuesday hours soon.

Barbecue showdown event will showcase local talent

Looking for a family-friendly, food-related event to attend Saturday? Check out the inaugural Maine Bar-B-Que Showdown from noon to 4 p.m. at the Portland Sports Complex, 512 Warren Ave.

It’s an event designed to showcase local barbecue talent. Maine’s best barbecue professionals will be competing for the titles “Best Pork Barbecue,” “Best Beef Barbecue” and “Best Individual Specialty.” The public will be able to sample barbecue from all competitors, and vote on their favorites in the three categories.

The sponsor of the event, Dennis “DennyMike” Sherman, creator of the DennyMike’s line of award-winning sauces and rubs, will have his smoker on hand, offering tips on prepping and cooking barbecue at 1 and 3 p.m. He’ll also make himself available to answer any questions people have about barbecue.

There will also be live music from Coos Canyon and The Cosmic Zombies, and a mechanical bull ride with prizes from DennyMike’s, Shipyard Brewing, Coors Light, Joker’s Family Fun and Games, and the Gold Room Comedy Clubs.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, with a maximum ticket price of $25 per family. Tickets will also be available at the door.

According to Ray Richardson, founder of the showdown, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Susan B. Curtis Foundation. Parking at the complex is free.

For more information, go to www.mainebbqshowdown.com, or contact Ray Richardson at 409-6172 or [email protected]


Sea Glass serving dinner from James Beard menu

Back in February, Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich from the Sea Glass Restaurant at the Inn by the Sea prepared dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Now, through May 15, Mainers can experience the menu Kaldrovich served that day: lobster and seafood ceviche, roasted beet carpaccio, pan-seared jumbo scallops, Atlantic cod & lobster “chowder,” red wine braised Cold Spring Farm short ribs; and local apple crostata.

The dinner will be served nightly at Sea Glass, along with the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu. The James Beard menu is $75 per person, or $110 with the wine flight.

For reservations, call 799-3134.


Chowder contest to be held for third year at church

Do you think you make great chowder?

The Blue Point Congregational Church, 236 Pine Point Road, wants to challenge you to put your chowder spoon where your mouth is.

The church is holding its third annual Blue Point Chowder Challenge from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 22.

Each chowder will be judged by a panel of local chefs and restaurant owners. The prize is a trophy and bragging rights. There will also be a “peoples’ choice” award.

For more information or to enter your chowder, call Sara Salisbury at 883-3773 or Anne and Shawn Brennan at 883-3159. Chowders must be entered by May 10.


Inn, restaurant reopening under new ownership

The Chebeague Island Inn, including its public restaurant, will reopen May 14 under new ownership.

The inn’s restaurant will feature casual fare and fine dining, including a full-service bar. The kitchen will be run by the new executive chef, Justin Rowe. Rowe has worked at Five Fifty-five and Fore Street in Portland.

Rowe will be serving a contemporary American menu with ingredients sourced as much as possible from local farms, including Second Wind, an island farm. All fish and lobster will come directly from local fishermen.

The restaurant will also offer homemade pastries and desserts made with seasonal local fruits.

Chebeague Island is a 15-minute ferry ride from Yarmouth, or a 25-minute water taxi ride from Portland.

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