The Nooooooods bowl at Mainely Noods contains egg noodles, chicken, pork dumplings, baby bok choy, bean sprouts, a soft-boiled egg, and coconut curry broth. Photo by Meredith Goad

We already told the world that we love Noodle Love, the fast casual noodle bowl spot that opened just after the new year on Congress Street in Portland. We still do, but now we’ll have to call it something else.

The restaurant has changed its name to Mainely Noods “due to trademark issues,” the owners posted on their Facebook page last Thursday. The conflict arose because there’s already a restaurant in New York City called Noodlelove. Co-owner Li Yang said the owners of Noodlelove actually drove all the way to Portland the week Noodle Love opened to inform Yang and his partners in person that they own the trademark on the name. “They wanted to give us a heads up.” Yang said. The New Yorkers even ate a meal at the Portland restaurant.

Yang said he appreciated the effort they made to contact him personally instead of just sending a cease-and-desist letter. “We should have done research on our end before we opened, I guess,” he said.

The subsequent search for a new name proved more difficult than Yang expected. Yang and his partners scoured the Internet for possibilities and initially chose Mainely Noodles as a replacement, but discovered that name was already taken, too. So was My Maine Noodles, Urban Noodles and many others. “Anything with noodles is taken, almost,” Yang said. “Or someone has done a trademark somewhere along the line.”

We tried a little googling ourselves and discovered a cow in Minnesota named Noodle who has her own Facebook page called, you guessed it, Noodle Love. We doubt the cow minded the Portland restaurant’s use of the name. Maybe she was even flattered that you can order a bowl of noodles there called Nooooooods that sounds like a moo.

Yang thinks the proliferation of noodle names is a reflection of how popular noodle shops have become in the United States. “People are getting sick of rice and potatoes,” he said.

Now I’ve got Bon Jovi stuck in my head

If you missed your senior prom, you’ll get a second chance Friday night at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club on Market Street.

On Valentine’s Day, Hunt & Alpine is hosting an ’80s Prom Night from 8 to 11 p.m. to raise money for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Fundraising will come from drink sales and donations, according to Briana Volk, co-owner of the bar. Dressing up is encouraged, and there will be prizes. So get out the ruffles and the puffy sleeves, poof up that hair and get ready to groove to The Police and George Michael. Show “Jesse’s Girl” that you know how to “Walk Like an Egyptian,” and remember that “Every Breath You Take,” you’re “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Biddeford to get a vegan cafe

A new vegan restaurant called Robin’s Table is coming to 420 Elm St. in Biddeford.

The breakfast and lunch restaurant is scheduled to be open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and serve “homestyle comfort food,” according to owner Robin Adams, who previously owned a restaurant in Salem, New Hampshire. The restaurant will also offer cooking classes and space for community events.

While other restaurants in Biddeford offer vegan options, Adams said, as far as she knows, hers will be the city’s first entirely vegan restaurant. She called the restaurant “a pretty daring concept” in that she is offering comfort food such as soups, stews, sandwiches and home-baked goods that “just happen to be vegan. No sticks and twigs.” Her breakfast scrambles, she said, “will not contain tofu.”

Adams hopes to open the doors to Robin’s Table on Feb. 20.

Chicken wing fans will flock to this event

Get ’em while they’re hot. Chicken wing smack down coming soon to Portland. Photo by Meredith Goad

It’s time once again for the ultimate Portland chicken wing smack down. Several Portland restaurants have signed up for the second annual Chicken Wing Challenge at Liquid Riot, 250 Commercial St. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

This year’s contenders are Sebago Brewing, Duckfat (which has teamed up with Bread & Butter Catering), The Honey Paw, Elsmere BBQ, Tomaso’s Canteen, Liquid Riot and Great Lost Bear. Tickets are $17 and must be purchased in advance through eventbrite.com or liquidriot.com. (Last year, the event sold out.) Tickets include one wing from each participating restaurant and a Liquid Riot draft beer. Attendees serve as judges and get to vote on the 2020 winner.

Who says seconds are second best?

The Portland Food Co-op has launched a seconds produce program offering deals on bulk orders of fruit and vegetables that are bruised, have ripened unevenly, or are of an unusual size or shape that makes them unfit for store shelves.

Every year, the co-op points out, U.S. farms discard 20 billion pounds of food because they can’t find buyers for these misfits of the produce department. These fruits and vegetables may look funny, but they taste pretty much the same and their nutrition is not affected. Buying seconds reduces food waste and saves money.

Among the seconds deals offered on portlandfood.coop right now are organic carrots from Goranson Farm in Dresden, and organic sweet potatoes and parsnips from Two Farmers Farm in Scarborough. Orders placed with the co-op by 8 p.m. Sunday will be ready for pick-up the following Saturday. Full payment is expected on pick-up.

Rob Tod to give keynote address

Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash Brewing Co. and last year’s James Beard Award winner in the category of Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer, will give the keynote address at the 2020 New England Craft Brew Summit in Portland on Feb. 28.

Tod will speak from 8:15 to 9 a.m. at the event, which will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St. The summit is an annual gathering of brewers, brewery owners and others in New England’s craft beer industry. It offers more than a dozen workshops on technical brewing topics, business, and tasting room operations. Tickets range from $119 to $199 and are available through nebrewsummit.com. Proceeds from the event will go to the Maine Brewers Guild.

The guild’s annual Winter Session Beer Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. the day after at Thompson’s Point in Portland, and features more than 100 Maine beers along with beers from guest brewers that are not normally available in Maine. This is the first year the two events are scheduled to be held back-to-back. Tickets range from $10 to $55 and are available through eventbrite.com.

Valentine’s Day cheer

Bixby & Co. has teamed up with Split Rock Distilling to create a dark chocolate bourbon bar. Photo courtesy of Bixby & Co.

A Rockland chocolatier and a Newcastle distillery have joined forces to create a certified organic bourbon chocolate bar that they say is the first of its kind in the state.

Bixby & Co. contributes the single origin Dominican Republic cacao nibs, which are soaked in 15- to 18-month barrel-aged, organic bourbon from Split Rock Distilling for several weeks. The soaked nibs are then made into a bar of 70 percent dark chocolate. The 2-ounce bars cost $12 and are available at Bixby & Co.’s retail store, at the distillery, and online through Bixbyco.com.

Does your Valentine prefer beer? Tomorrow at noon, Lone Pine Brewing is to release its Holy Donut Chocolate Covered Strawberry Imperial Stout, made with dark chocolate, strawberries, and chocolate-covered strawberry potato donuts from The Holy Donut. This is the third collaboration between the craft brewer and the donut shop. Or go straight for the donut: Holy Donut makes this ode to Valentine’s Day just once a year, from Feb. 13-16.


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