In the “bad news, good news” department, Flying Fox Juice Bar at 98 Washington Ave. in Portland announced it is closing for good at 2 p.m. Saturday. Birch Hincks opened the juice bar in 2016. A note posted to the door gave no reason, simply saying that “the time has come for the fox to hibernate for a while as we pursue other exciting ventures.” (Is it rude to point out that actual foxes do not hibernate?) Could it be the increased competition from an explosion of juice bars in Portland?

The good news is that Chad Conley, owner of Rose Foods in Portland and co-owner of the Palace Diner in Biddeford, confirmed for me Tuesday that he and a business partner, Josh Sobel, have already leased the Flying Fox space for a new culinary venture that will open next year. No details yet. Sobel works with Conley at Rose Foods.

Welcome back, bagels

If you’re a fan of Montreal bagels, wood-fired anything, and amazing pastries, you’ll be happy to hear that the Purple House in North Yarmouth will re-open for the season Thursday. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Krista Desjarlais’ little eatery at 378 Walnut Hill Road (at the intersection of Routes 9 and 115) will be closed Monday through Wednesday.

Harvest on the Harbor tickets still available

If you’d like to go to Harvest on the Harbor but worry you’ve waited too long to buy tickets, you’re in luck. Tickets are still available for most of the events, including the opening Chef + Farmer Harvest Dinner Thursday night and the popular Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition on Friday.

The VIP Market Brunch on Sunday is sold out and, according to organizers, the Maine Oysterfest event scheduled for Saturday is filling up fast.

The annual event, which starts Wednesday and ends Monday, brings together chefs, distillers, baristas, food producers, Mainers and out-of-staters for several packed days of food-and-drink activities “celebrating Portland and Maine’s local- and independently owned restaurants and the crave-worthy food, beers, ciders, wines and spirits that attract travelers to Maine each year,” according to its mission statement. For a list of events and ticket prices, go to harvestontheharbor.com

It’s all Greek to us

Dina Medouris will discuss Greek cooking as part of a panel on Nov. 7 at USM. Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Society of Maine

Home cooks who love Greek food won’t want to miss a free panel discussion Nov. 7 featuring cooks from Maine’s Greek community.

The panel includes Bill Doukas, an engineer for the Maine Department of Transportation who made avgolemono (an egg-lemon soup) and chicken-and-rice pilaf for me a couple of years ago for a story I wrote. Doukas went on to win first place in the 2019 Create It Maine Recipe Contest.

Also on the panel is Dina Medouris, whose parents emigrated from Greece and whose mother taught her to make yogurt and cook simple Greek dishes. Medouris, who was born in Lewiston, spent 10 years teaching in Athens, Greece. The third panelist is Anna Nashi, a native of Athens who now lives in Saco; she learned to cook from her mother and grandmother.

The event begins at 7 p.m. in Room 211 of the Wishcamper Center at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

And the winner is…

Coastal Maine Popcorn Co. in Boothbay Harbor has been named the 2019 Food Producer of the Year by the Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association.

Julie and Paul Roberts opened the business 11 years ago and have since expanded into wholesale and to retail stores throughout the United States. The company makes more than 40 flavors of popcorn, including white cheddar, mint chocolate cookie and Maine blueberry pancake.

The Food Producer of the Year award is given annually to a Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association member who “meets the highest standards of excellence in providing a positive workplace, increased sales, contributions to the food industry through legislative or educational activities, and a commitment to furthering opportunities for other Maine businesses.” The award will be presented Oct. 24 at the organization’s annual summit at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.

Yes, I would crawl for good pie…

Hallowell is to host its second annual pie crawl from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, sponsored by Spectrum Generations. For $15, participants get to sample sweet and savory pies. Tickets must be bought in advance at Spectrum Generations’ Cohen Community Center, 22 Town Farm Road, or by calling (207) 626-7777. For more information, go to spectrumgenerations.org

How ’bout them apples?

Halloween is on the horizon, with Thanksgiving not far behind, so thoughts are turning toward all things pumpkin. But let’s not forget about apples just yet.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is hosting an apple preservation workshop from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Fork Food Lab, 72 Farris St. in Portland. Kate McCarty, a food systems professional from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will show participants how to can, freeze and dry apples (the apples she’ll use come from MOFGA’s own orchards). Apple expert Sean Turley will discuss heritage varieties and how to use them. The cost is $30, and registration is required at mofga.org.

John Bunker, perhaps Maine’s best-known apple expert, will present “Perceiving Apples: A Discussion of Maine Heritage Apples” at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square. Bunker is the founder of the Maine Heritage Orchard and lives and grows apples on Super Chilly Farm in Palermo. A reception after the talk will include tastings of apples, and hard and sweet ciders. General admission is $10. To register or for more information, go to mofga.org.

“A beer festival that’s worth the trip”

Photo by Ben McCanna

The Maine Beer Box International Beer Festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley.

In August, the Maine Beer Box – a 40-foot refrigerated shipping container equipped with 78 taps – traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the Seaport International Beer Festival. Now brewers from several Canadian provinces are loading kegs of Canadian craft beer into the box, which will sail back to Portland, then be trucked to Sugarloaf for the festival.

Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, noted that most of the state’s big beer festivals have been held in Portland. The Sugarloaf festival acknowledges that there are breweries all over the state, and gives beer lovers an opportunity to explore them.

Tickets cost $40 at mainebeerbox.eventbrite.com, where you’ll also find other festival details.

Lone Pine is lone (Maine) winner

Earlier this month, Portland-based Lone Pine Brewing won a bronze medal at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival in Denver. It was the only Maine brewery to win a medal. The Lone Pine beer that won the bronze was Chaos Emeralds, entered into the Hazy Imperial IPA category. The beer competed against more than 150 other entries.


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