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BRIAN DUFF

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Limits of language

The tasteful philosophies of Schulte and Herr
Is it enlightened or provincial that we Mainers hear “ethnic” and don’t think, as many do, exclusively of non-Europeans?
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  November 03, 2014

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Infinite Brooklyns

Ten Ten Pié makes the neighborhood sing
Last year some national magazine said that Biddeford is to Portland as Brooklyn is to New York. No. Biddeford is a mash-up of Newburg and Poughkeepsie. It is East Bayside that is our Brooklyn.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  October 24, 2014

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Start digging here

Sub-level maps turns out to be a gold mine
Because music is now basically free (thanks to torrents, Pandoras, Spotifies, etc.), the only way for musicians to make money is through constant touring and related merchandise sales. Or they can appear as a judge on The Voice. Food, on the other hand, will still cost ya...
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  October 03, 2014

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Pick your poison

Is Lanzalotta's Slab the city's best outlaw food?
The National Institutes of Health just published a randomized study that confirms the rumors: carbohydrates are poison and should be avoided. So how should we feel about Slab Sicilian Streetfood?
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  October 01, 2014

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A little whine

Munjoy's new Lolita revives a classic narrative
The lessons of Lolita are that something simpler and less challenging can be lovely, and that some cheap wine could really loosen things up.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  September 05, 2014

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Tacos on the town

The search for taste, tenderness, and thrift
While there’s no class mobility in this town, we do have taco mobility—even taco-class mobility.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  August 31, 2014



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Coping with adulthood

Central Provisions vs. Old Port wisdom
The neighborhood’s newish Central Provisions is grown up. But it also embodies our ambivalence about adulthood, and our persistent hope that a few more drinks will help us cope with it.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  August 07, 2014

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Paths to greatness

New Indian food options offer rich discoveries
India, like the American university, is mostly in the news these days for its bloated and ineffective administration and an epidemic of underprosecuted sexual assault. But let’s not give up on either—India or college—as a source of wisdom and repository of culture.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  July 31, 2014

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The quay to good living

Porthole diners forgive, forget, feast on
Though they offer an appealing moral clarity, in practice zero tolerance policies have ruined any number of urban schools, fragile marriages, and card-marred soccer games. Zero tolerance almost ruined Portland a few years back, too.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  July 11, 2014

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Biting into the fantasy

Film and food trucks rev up our primal urges
Is it a sign of the shallowness of our national culture that we have spent half a decade excited by the idea of food served from trucks? Sure. But is it a symptom of some deeper condition? I suspect so. This summer offers a chance to investigate thanks to the arrival of a critical mass of food trucks around Portland, along with the film Chef, about a restaurant chef who starts a food truck.  
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  July 10, 2014

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A rail-car Palace in Biddeford

Grab a stool at Maine's oldest diner
The barrel roofed train-car looks incredibly good given it’s nearly a century old.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  June 11, 2014



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Finding balance in brisket

Savoring Salvage BBQ's take on casual dining
Salvage might suggest a plausible strategy to...salvage the distinctive experience of casual dining in Maine.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  June 06, 2014

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Three times lucky

 Miyake Diner joins the masterful chef’s local line-up
Miyake’s new diner reclaims the location of his original restaurant, the wonderful Food Factory. 
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  May 16, 2014

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Cheap soups for modern times

Mi Sen’s noodle bowls hit the spot
The Mi Sen Noodle Bar on Congress offers a premonition of the future of dining out: a satisfying meal that is globally inspired, up on the latest trends, and about the price of a good smartphone app. 
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  May 08, 2014

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Dive bar alternatives

Upscale drinking, high and low
The former allows you to drink under 13 stories of home-grown bankers and lawyers; at the other, you’re lounging above a dozen floors of business travelers and tourists.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  April 17, 2014

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Give 'em a hand

Pocket-sized comfort foods
Pocket-sized comfort foods
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  April 10, 2014



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Extreme localism

When flavors speak louder than words
Perhaps Vinland’s pontifications become white noise, which fades away as you appreciate the food and its distinctive coherence of flavors and textures — the Nordic, astringent, piney, ascetic goodness of it all.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  March 19, 2014

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Distinctive suburban dining

Oscar's taps into new American sensibility
It is the rare chef, for example, who can make ordering the “veggie plate” seem like a good idea in retrospect — but the one at Oscar’s was fantastic, with a great mix of colors and textures.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  March 14, 2014

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Cracking our hard exteriors

A meditation on mussels, clams, and oysters
These days it is mollusks like oysters, mussels, and clams (rather than crustaceous shellfish, like lobster, crab, and shrimp) that best represent our collective emotional temperament. 
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  February 27, 2014

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The spice of life (and death)

 A philosophy of flavors
In our reverence for herbs and spices  we should detect our contempt for the blander staple ingredients they are often meant to enliven.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  February 12, 2014
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