City No. 4 on ’10 Top Foodie Cities’ list

Portland has once again garnered accolades for its robust food scene. CNBC.com and Sperlings Best Places recently released a list of the nation’s 10 Top Foodie Cities and pegs Portland at No. 4.

To come up with the list, Sperlings used the metro-area population (513,373 for Portland and its surrounding suburbs) and looked at the ratio of local restaurants to chain restaurants; the number of Whole Foods Markets, cooking stores, wine shops, wine bars, craft breweries and brew pubs; and the number of community-supported agriculture farms and farmers markets.

It calculated that the Portland metro area has 81.9 percent locally owned restaurants, 19 breweries and 15 farmers markets.

The Rabelais bookstore and Emilitsa, Back Bay Grill and Standard Baking Company all earned a mentioned.

Santa Rosa, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Burlington, Vt., landed the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots, respectively.


Maine farms feed Midwinter diners

The public is invited to join sustainable agriculture organization the Winter Cache Project for a Midwinter Dinner taking place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Sacred Heart Church on Mellen Street in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood.

The meal features food supplied by Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus, Two Sisters Farm in Woolwich, Caldwell Farm in Turner, Mainely Poultry in Warren, Cultivating Community in Portland, Grandy Oats in Brownfield, Nezinscot Farm in Turner, Androscoggin Apples in Greene, Snell Family Farm in Bar Mills, Buckwheat Blossom Farm in Wiscasset, Freedom Farm in Freedom and Standard Baking Co. in Portland.

A membership organization, Winter Cache Project tends an organic vegetable garden in the summer and then preserves and stores the food for distribution during the winter. The goal of the organization is to free its members from dependence on industrial agriculture and increase community food security.

Organizers of the dinner ask for a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per family. For more information, visit www.wintercache.com.


Portland Pie Co. wins Pizza Bowl

Portland Pie Co. took top honors at the Portland Rotary’s third annual Pizza Bowl at the Italian Heritage Center on Sunday.

Six judges voted on four catgeories in the contest, which drew entries from eight local pizzerias. In addition, the public got to vote on their favorites.

Portland Pie Co. and Otto’s Pizza tied for Best Specialty Pizza, according to the judges’ votes. Portland Pie submitted its “Harbormaster” pizza, made with chicken, caramelized onions, smoked bacon and barbecue sauce, and Otto submitted its mashed potato, bacon and scallion pie.

Leonardo’s won for Best Pizza Cheese; Joe’s New York won for Best Pizza Sauce; and Flatbread Co. won for Best Pizza Crust.

The People’s Choice Awards gave first place to Portland Pie Co., second place to Leonardo’s; third place to Pat’s in the Old Port; and fourth place to Otto.

The event raised more than $2,000 for the Portland Rotary charities.


Maria’s to host benefit for school

Maria’s Restaurant, 337 Cumberland Ave., will host a benefit dinner for the Cathedral School of Portland at 7 p.m. Feb. 11.

The multiregional, four-course dinner and wine pairing will feature expert wine commentary and classical music by Musicians of Encore.

The dinner is $75 per person. Reservations are required. Call 772-9232 or 775-1491.


Bakery plans Valentine open house

Good Eats Boutique, 463 Stevens Ave., will host a Valentine open house Feb. 12 from noon to 4 p.m.

Sample desserts and fine hand-dipped chocolates while listening to love songs performed live by local artist Ellie Chase.

Rosemont Market will have wines at the event as well.

For more information, call 773-1000.


Fundraiser’s focus: Organic farm trip

Students from The New School, 38 York St., will host a Burrito Night from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

A burrito buffet will feature meat and veggie burritos with all the fixings, as well as sides such as rice, beans, salsa and chips. The menu also includes salads, desserts and drinks. Adults can eat for $10, kids 12 and under for $7.

The students will be traveling to Puerto Rico in March to build environmentally sound buildings at a Puerto Rican WOOF farm. WOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms.


Brats, beer on Super Bowl menu

The Blue Wave Grille at the Wyndham Hotel will be hosting a Super Bowl party starting at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Watch the game on three flat-screen TVs while you sip on $3 Bud and Miller Light pints and $3 domestic bottled beers. Buckets of domestic beer will be $13, and premium beers $19.

The menu will include beer-braised bratwurst with onions, green peppers and spicy mustard; Black Angus burger with fries; and appetizers such as loaded potato skins and chips-and-salsa buckets.