Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ramen, Genuine Ramen.

Nice article in about some ethnic/Asian restaurants in Maine.

"PORTLAND — It is late fall in Longfellow Square. The leaves have dropped, the grass is brown, flowers are frosted and dead. 

At least there’s ramen, genuine ramen. It’s at Pai Men Miyake, and it’s served all day and late into the night. The rich broth is made from the bones, meat, and fat of guinea hens and Berkshire pigs. After a day of simmering it is ready to be studded with sliced pork belly, fresh noodles, seaweed, and boiled egg, and ladled into ceramic bowls. This is heavy soup in heavy bowls to wrap your hands around, to hunch over slurping, to take off the chill.

Much has been made of Maine’s local food culture — the farm to table restaurants, the meadmakers and cheesemakers, the heirloom everything. There has been a lot less hype about the ethnic restaurants, many of which serve delicious, carefully made food — true to this mother’s kitchen or that night market vendor’s street cart. It is great food, but, until recently, with the exception of a handful of sushi bars, the exotic restaurants were lacking in atmosphere and service and everything else that makes a restaurant worth going to. With boring beer and wine lists, buzz kill lighting, and orchestral pop songs, they were better for lunch than for a big night out.
Now, three places have given far-away flavors a new sense of place: Pai Men Miyake; Boda, a Thai tapas and skewer bar across the street; and Long Grain, Asian street food and home cooking a couple of hours up the coast in Camden. They serve food that Mainers used to have to travel a long way for, and they do it with local ingredients and they do it in style."

Read more....

671 Congress St.
Entrees $12-$19.
Long Grain
31 Elm St., Camden
Entrees $9-$14.
Pai Men Miyake
188 State St., Portland

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