September 24, 2021

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Vegan Kitchen: From Cornish to Corinth, new vegan eats are all over the place

8 min read

Next a pandemic-fueled wintertime and spring of quickly-flowing vegan food stuff information, the swift tempo of plant-centered announcements carries on this summer months in Maine.

Talking of fast-flowing, a plumbing explosion occurred inside of the all-vegan Robin’s Desk in Biddeford on July 22. The cafe was closed when it took place, and it won’t reopen.

“I’m so unfortunate and indeed, angry,” proprietor Robin Adams reported immediately after the incident. “But I will shift previous this. Right now, I will stage again, choose a breath and smile understanding that Robin’s Desk was effective and appreciated. As for the potential? No idea.”

Robin’s Table initially opened in March 2020, just ahead of the pandemic lockdown commenced, and the cafe was then shuttered for much more than a 12 months. Its destiny remained unsure right up until the close of April when Adams reopened. This summer time, like a lot of dining places, Robin’s Table struggled to obtain sufficient personnel, which constrained hrs. 

“Ironically, my last working day of business enterprise was my finest day of enterprise,” Adams said. “I at last felt like it was heading to happen. Persons identified us. I had reservations, cake orders and standing orders with two big organizations for every month orders. I was at the cafe on Thursday undertaking my prep, and the plumbing literally blew out mainly because of an problem in the building behind me.” 

Adams explained a employee was attempting to obvious a clogged pipe in the adjacent making, and it resulted in sewage inside her formerly clear restaurant. Have been she to find one more place, Adams claimed she doesn’t know “if I can manage to go by the process” of opening the restaurant for a 3rd time.

There is no denying the closing is a decline to the community vegan local community. I wish her well.

This summer’s other vegan news things are rosier. For one particular, in mid-July, Fred’s Fried Dough food stuff cart finally returned to the late-night time Aged Port scene for the initially time due to the fact 2019. New this yr on the cart is vegan ice product in addition to the vegan fried dough. The cart posts its spot specifics at @fredsfrieddough on Fb and Twitter, and @fredsfried _dough on Instagram.

Very last month brought information that the all-vegan Peace Ridge Sanctuary programs to open an equine shelter on 640 acres in Liberty. The sanctuary wants to raise $650,000 to build a horse barn and other important services. Correct now, an nameless donor is matching all donations, and if the sanctuary can increase $50,000 by October, it will be capable to break ground prior to wintertime. Until finally the horse barn is designed, requests to just take abused and neglected horses are stacking up at the sanctuary in Brooks, with no space in the present barns to dwelling the large animals. 

The final several months have also brought news of a new vegan food cart, a new vegan retail retail outlet, a new on-farm vegan cafe and a new vegan doughnut store. Here’s a glimpse at these most recent developments. 

SOUTHERN-ISH Food stuff CART IN CORNISH

The Greenhouse by SAO food cart did a brief check start in the drop of 2019, even catering a vegan wine tasting at Cellardoor Winery in Portland, adopted by a wintertime of scheduling and generating arrangements for a significant start in spring 2020. But operator Shelby Anne Oates’ ideas for the launch of the all-vegan food items cart have been turned upside down by the pandemic. Rather, Oates took the cart back again property to Atlanta, where by she was born and raised, to serve her vegan ease and comfort food stuff in the course of the unsure yr.

But this summer time, The Greenhouse by SAO cart returned to Maine, with a house base outdoors The Nearby Equipment in Cornish and pop-ups at other destinations and situations, where Oates serves a transforming menu of masala road corn, carrot canines with black bean chili, barbecue mushroom sliders, grilled cheese sandwiches, chickpea frittatas and pasta salad. 

“You will surely taste some of my Southern roots, I believe that,” explained Oates, “especially in the staples I set on the menu far more normally than some others, like my SAO sweet Southern cornbread or my gradual-cooked collard greens, but I also like to assist vegans get a resolve that at times needs addressing like a great charred and melty SAO grilled cheese. I have been serving up my BBQ Shroom Sammich a lot this summer, made with leeks and shiitakes mostly, piled on a thick piece of grilled Italian bread protected in an SAO home garlic and smoked paprika spread. It was a hit at the Ossipee Valley Audio Competition and will even be served up at a marriage ceremony I am catering before long.”

The food stuff cart has been popping up in Steep Falls and Kezar Falls and will be at Doles Orchard in Limington for apple-harvest season. Check social media (@saocooksandcatering on Facebook) for weekly program updates.

Minimal LAD’S GOES RETAIL

Considering the fact that June, enthusiasts of Very little Lad’s well-known popcorn and of its previous cafes (the final of which shut in 2015) have been flocking to Most important Avenue in the Penobscot County city of Corinth, exactly where the vegan foods maker opened a modest retail outlet providing its entire merchandise line together with sandwiches, soups and scoops of up to 20 flavors of its Pleasant Creme.

The new Minor Lad’s store is housed in a former financial institution constructing with out of doors seating and a travel-through window, where by prospects can choose up telephone orders. Tiny Lad’s is greatest-acknowledged for its popcorn, nevertheless the retail outlet shares all of its additional than 100 merchandise, together with granola, crackers and fruit tarts produced in the Popcorn Factory found 250 feet down the road.

In the shop, a full rack is stuffed with baggage of the signature popcorn in all its flavors. Fridge and freezer instances hold beverages, get-and-go sandwiches, veggie burgers, frozen dinners and Wonderful Creme pints. The retailer also helps make sandwiches to buy and delivers breakfast goods, soups and desserts.

“We also have some domestically grown berries correct now, and commonly some fruits and greens for sale, much too,” mentioned proprietor Maria Fleming, who has not too long ago employed a lot more staff members at the output facility to preserve up with steadily increasing demand from customers. 

Fleming stated the shop has been hectic this summer, with vacationers halting on their way to Moosehead Lake, buyers of previous Small Lad’s restaurants producing a pilgrimage and locals swinging by way of the takeout window to grab lunch. 

The Tiny Lad’s retailer is open up Sundays from midday to 6 p.m., Mondays by Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Frinklepod Farm in Arundel has a new outside cafe named Snagglebites selling farm-refreshing grain bowls and salads. Photograph courtesy of Frinklepod Farm

Front-ROW SEAT AT FRINKLEPOD

In July, an outside cafe known as Snagglebites serving farm-fresh new lunch opened next to the vegetable fields at Frinklepod Farm in Arundel. The brief menu capabilities plant-based mostly bowls, salads and bite-sized treats. The cafe is open Thursday by Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“For a long time, we’ve been toying with the notion of supplying a lot more lunch possibilities for the duration of the summertime,” stated Flora Brown, who farms with her partner, Noah Wentworth. In the winter, the licensed-organic farm sells prepared food items from its wintertime retail store, which closes throughout the active summer months season. “This winter season we took the plunge and bought a applied lunch cart which we have turned into Snagglebites.”

The identify arrives from the children’s reserve “Uno’s Garden” beloved by Brown and Wentworth’s daughters and the resource of the farm’s name. Supported by the farm’s industrial kitchen, the cart extends the food prep location out of the summer months industry room and permits clients to view their plant-based mostly bowls and salads staying ready. 

“We realized that getting ready lunch right in entrance of our buyers would enable them to see how it is built and with any luck , even inspire them to check out earning a similar dish at residence employing components from our farm retailer,” Brown said. “We also desired to decrease the food items waste and packaging troubles that we have skilled with seeking to continue to keep our retail cooler loaded with geared up food stuff.”

Most of the Snagglebites bowls begin with a rice-quinoa pilaf topped with a option of baked Heiwa tofu, hummus or clean vegetables (uncooked or grilled). This is drizzled with peanut ginger, barbecue or environmentally friendly goddess sauce (all manufactured on the farm). A new addition to the bowl menu is the black bean bowl with tortilla chips and potato queso. 

LOVEBIRDS Over THE BORDER

Mainers can not appear to get sufficient vegan doughnuts, and now the all-vegan Lovebirds Donuts in Kittery is planning to convey its wares in excess of the bridge and throughout the border to a shop in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The new store will be located on the pedestrian-pleasant Vaughan Shopping mall.

“The Portsmouth spot is considerably smaller than the Kittery locale, substantially additional of a boutique, city cafe, mainly developed for takeout assistance with a several seats inside,” said Tamara Monroe, who owns the enterprise with Ryan MacDougall. 

On the weekends, Lovebirds frequently bumps up towards the limitations of the selection of shoppers they can serve, building expansion the rational up coming move. All the doughnuts will go on to be designed in Kittery, the place the kitchen area was built with the intention of providing several retailers. Monroe says it usually takes 7 minutes to get from the Kittery bakery to the Portsmouth store. 

This vegan Hunneecomb doughnut from Lovebirds Donuts will shortly be marketed from a bakery on the Vaughan Shopping mall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, along with all the other Lovebirds doughnuts. Picture courtesy of Lovebirds Donuts

Gearing up for the new retail location, Lovebirds has added bakers and is in the system of using the services of additional baristas, who will rotate amongst the two shops. The new area will offer the exact same regular menus and on-line buying as the unique. This signifies flavors, like this month’s Hunneecomb, a brioche doughnut dipped in ganache, stripped with butterscotch and topped with housemade vegan honeycomb candy, will be out there in each spots. 

Monroe said they hope to have the Portsmouth Lovebirds open this fall. Right until then, seem for their doughnuts at the Kittery shop and Nectar Cafe, Grateful Gardens at Rocky Acres and Strand Cafe (all in York), as nicely as Copper Branch in Portland and Frinklepod Farm in Arundel.

Avery Yale Kamila is a food stuff writer who lives in Portland. She can be reached at 

[email protected]

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


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