Two recent biographies illuminate the character and courage of Maine Senators Fessenden and Reed.
David Turin’s eponymous eatery overlooking Monument Square has become a Portland institution.
Birches Lo (maxgarciaconover.bandcamp.com, $6 CD; $5 MP3) is a new live album and the second EP overall from Portland-based guitarist Max García Conover. The sound is raw, stripped bare of any computer or studio magic. It’s jarring at first, but the organic sound of one man and his masterful guitar playing makes the songs all the more powerful.
As I’ve noted before, the lunch hour used to be a dismal prospect in downtown Portland. The sundry sandwich shops and take-out havens ruled, and the notion of a proper lunch out was like flipping a coin and hoping for heads.
That has changed dramatically as Portland’s restaurant scene becomes exponentially finer.
When I stopped smoking nearly 15 years ago, that inimitable pairing of morning coffee and cigarettes became history. My routine was further amended by needing only one perfect cup of coffee in the morning as though without other incentives. But lately I’ve rediscovered the joys of an afternoon coffee break and have been frequenting Portland’s many cafes where the art of coffee making is in fine form.
What appealed to me so much about the newly opened El Rayo Cantina is its unyielding charm as a casually elegant venue for inventive Mexican cooking that’s typical of cantina-style fare. Call it Mexican comfort food.
When Chef Brian Davin and his wife Steffie opened the exceedingly engaging Schulte and Herr restaurant on Cumberland Avenue in Portland last fall serving breakfast and lunch, word spread fast that we had a culinary wunderkind in our midst. This was no doppelganger for heavy Germanic cooking, but rather the chef showed an exceedingly light touch in his interpretation of his homeland’s classics.