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Kushiya Benkay finds lovely harmony

A beautiful blend
What is most pleasing about Kushiya Benkay, a sort of skewer-pub from the folks at Benkay Sushi, is the way it brings together several impulses without going too crazy about any particular one.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  April 10, 2013


Saco star: Luis’s phenomenal arepas

Delicious inside and out
You might want to hug Luis, or at least flirt with the guy, because he is creating first-rate arepas in his charming little shop.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  March 20, 2013


Entering the club at 91 South

In praise of privacy
There was a time when private clubs existed to meet a pressing need: maybe as a way to keep out parvenus, or to discreetly get into some gay stuff.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  March 13, 2013


These fish really are delicious, if scarce

Every culture has its totemic animal, anthropologists suggest, and ours here in Maine might just be the groundfish.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  February 20, 2013


Whiskey isn’t just the water of life

A civilized drink
Vodka is supposed to taste like nothing and gin is supposed to taste like something (juniper).
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  February 06, 2013


The koan of Chinese food

Where can we find our moment of Zen?
It seems every time I check out a promising new Chinese place in Portland, federal officials arrest someone at a dismal Chinese restaurant elsewhere in Maine (this week it was the Twin Super Buffet in Brewer that was raided by the feds).
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  January 23, 2013


Eventide’s superior oysters, and imaginative cuisine

Slurping with delight
When you take the helm of a great institution, it can create a paralyzing fear of screwing things up.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  January 16, 2013


Portland should play catch-up in the coming year

Each century remains mired in the past one for about a dozen years.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  December 26, 2012


Plenty of sweetness, though a touch of sour too

Tastes of the year
Our lives are dominated by strange forces we cannot control — economic, demographic, epigenetic, psycho-sexual.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  December 19, 2012


Review: Gather

Community, local flavors, and expert preparation
As we continue to withdraw from the institutions that once organized modern life, we fill the abandoned spaces with restaurants.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  November 28, 2012


Comparative burger eating

What’s between the buns?
Cheap burgers might be the biggest problem in America's culinary landscape.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  November 21, 2012


The new Salvadoran spot on Congress is a must-taste

Flores blooms in fall
No restaurant in Portland captures the look of a good hole-in-the-wall better than Flores, a new Salvadoran spot next to Bodega Latina — right where Congress Street starts to curve and head downhill, so to speak.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  October 31, 2012


Two teahouses complement each other’s flavors

Steeped in tradition
For those who care about politics we are entering the most tension-filled fortnight in quite a while.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  October 24, 2012


Review: Spread Restaurant

Spread ’em: A new restaurant celebrates smooth tastes
There is a certain sort of space that, for the very reason that it seems doomed, summons hopeful strivers who expect to redeem them.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  October 03, 2012


The newest best reason to go to Brunswick

The Tao of deliciousness
Early this year on this page I urged Mainers to stop complaining about our choices for Chinese food — to cease wishing for "a transcendent Chinese place that surprises and delights."
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  September 26, 2012


Purists push coffee to its limits

Obsession with perfection
Everyone knows that geeks are ruining our culture and economy.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  September 05, 2012


Tandoor’s full menu is well worth the trip

Beyond the bread
As you may remember, we went to war with Iraq in the name of freedom.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  August 29, 2012


Legendary Maine Jamaican restaurant reopens

Farmhouse welcome
If, four years ago, you read in the Phoenix a story about Jamaican-born chef and artist Alva Lowe, you probably had one regret.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  August 08, 2012


Review: LFK

Drinking and dining at portland’s newest hot spot
One of the clever decisions made by the proprietors of LFK, a new bar and eatery on Longfellow Square, was forgoing a literary name.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  August 01, 2012


Give it a Twist — and enjoy!

Have a Silly summer
When the original Silly's restaurant opened nearly 25 years ago, the owners chose Albert Einstein as their mascot — an image of him, hair akimbo and tongue extended, graces the sign and menus.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  July 11, 2012


Dueling gelatos

Gorgeous and Fiasco each have their strengths
Despite all the talk about division in this country, we are living in an era where the most traditional of divisions, the one between adults and children, is disappearing.
By: BRIAN DUFF  |  July 03, 2012

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