We’ve already told you that  Po’ Boys & Pickles, 1124 Forest Ave., is opening a second location in Portland, but at the time we didn’t know exactly where. Now owner Chris Bettera has let the cat out of the bag: He says the new hot spot for New Orleans’-style sandwiches will be at 225 Federal St., the former location of Federal Spice.

The staff of Po’ Boys & Pickles at their new location at 225 Federal St. in Portland. Courtesy photo

Bettera does not yet have an opening date. But the photo he sent includes a view of the menu board, and it looks as if he’s adding biscuit sandwiches, ranging in price from $4.50 to $5.75. The praline bacon, egg and cheese biscuit sandwich and the creole sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, each $4.75, sound especially tempting.


Two stories from last week’s “in case you missed it” file: Natalie DiBenedetto, owner of Figgy’s Takeout and Catering at 722 Congress St. in Portland, won $10,000 March 26 on the Food Network show “Chopped.” The fried chicken virtuoso was the sixth Maine chef to win the show. And Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing Co., has been named a finalist for a James Beard Foundation award in the category of Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer. He is the only finalist for this year’s Beard awards from Maine.


Last week in this space, I told you about Tandem Coffee Roasters’ plan to lower its drink prices by 25 cents and start charging a quarter for all single-use cups, in an effort to encourage customers to bring in their own re-usable cups. The company launched the Earth-friendly program Tuesday, saying it believes Tandem is not only the first coffee shop in the state to embrace such a policy but perhaps the first in all of New England. Eventually, Tandem hopes to end the use of single-use cups in its stores altogether.

“Since we opened seven years ago, we’ve given 25 cents off when a guest brings their own cup, but we never found that to make as much of an impact as we had hoped,” co-owner Will Pratt, who owns the business with his wife, Kathleen Pratt, said in a news release. “Enough is enough. Time to try something weird.”

The staff at Tandem was inspired by Portland’s grocery bag ordinance, which went into effect four years ago. Just as grocery store cashiers now ask customers if they need bags – and if they do, they’re charged 5 cents for each bag – customers at Tandem will be asked if they need a cup when they order their coffee. Each re-usable, compostable cup will cost 25 cents, which matches the discount on the coffee.

Tandem noted in its release that a university in the United Kingdom following a similar policy saved 34,000 single-use cups in the first year. And in January, the Berkeley, California, city council passed an ordinance requiring food and beverage vendors to charge 25 cents for a disposable cup starting next year.

Tandem plans to track the number of single-use cups it goes through over the next year. Initially, the business hopes to save 30 percent of the approximately 120,000 to-go cups it goes through annually. I’ll keep you posted.


It’s burger time at Back Bay Grill in Portland. Every April, the fine-dining restaurant at 65 Portland St. adds an old-fashioned burger to its menu for a few days; the restaurant’s fans go crazy for them. This week, the burgers were back on the menu Tuesday, where they will stay through this Thursday. The burgers are made with local beef; topped with shaved romaine lettuce dressed with Caesar and blue cheese crumbles; and served on a house-made brioche roll. House-made potato chips come on the side. The burger costs $18.


Mary Ann Esposito, host of the long-running PBS show Ciao Italia, will make an appearance at Solo Italiano, 100 Commercial St. in Portland at 5:30 p.m. on April 25. Only 40 seats are available, so if you’re a fan you’d better move fast. The $115 ticket includes a five-course dinner prepared by Solo Italiano chef/owner Paolo Laboa and a signed copy of Esposito’s cookbook “Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy.” Wine pairing is optional.


I don’t watch Game of Thrones – it’s on a channel I don’t subscribe to – but I’m  enough of a student of pop culture to know that the show has a gazillion fans. So I couldn’t let this Game of Thrones brunch in Brunswick go without notice. Chef Ali Waks Adams at Enoteca Athena, 97 Maine St., is planning a themed brunch to mark the premiere of the eighth and final season of the medieval fantasy series. The restaurant sent out a funny email with all the details, wondering “who will live, who will die, who is Azor Ahai?” (I have no idea.) Brunch is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – the restaurant decided against dinner so fans won’t miss a second of the premiere that evening – and guests are encouraged to dress up because “day-drinking in costume is always fun.” Some of the dishes being considered are (I trust all the fans will recognize these references) Tyroshi Honey Fingers, Breakfast at the Wall, House Tyrell’s Cheese & Onion Pie, Iced Blueberries, Westeros Meat Pies, Honey Biscuits and Arya’s Oysters. “Join us as we lift goblets of Strongwine to toast our favorite characters’ victories or perhaps a sip of Lemonsweet to remember those no longer with us. (RIP Margaery),” the invitation reads. For reservations, call 729-0100.

The restaurant also plans to run a “death pool” throughout the final season of the show. A small donation to Runs With Wolves Sanctuary in Limington will get you into the pool, which will mark the deaths of characters who don’t make it to the finale. Rules will be announced the day of the brunch, and stats and updates will be available regularly through the Enoteca Athena Facebook page.

Here’s hoping the show will end up on Netflix or Hulu so the rest of us can see what all the fuss is about.


Geaghan Brothers Brewing, located in Brewer, has teamed up with the 119-year-old Raye’s Mustard in Eastport to create two new beer-infused, stone-ground mustards. One combines Geaghan’s Presque Isle Honey Blonde Ale with Raye’s mustard, as well as honey from Swan’s Honey in Albion. The other marries Bangor Brown Ale with crushed mustard seeds for a bolder mustard flavor. Both varieties will soon be available through Raye’s website, or you can buy them directly at Geaghan’s Pub in Bangor, Geaghan’s tasting room in Brewer, or the Raye’s Mill retail store in Eastport.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad








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