The place I keep coming back to right now in memories and daydreams is New York, though the times shift between 1996 and 2004. By the end of that period I was oppressed by the grotesque bodies and the low and constant din of machinery all around. At the beginning of the era I was still a teenager drawn to the city, which was exotic and familiar all at once. My best friend was at NYU, while I was north in starchy, conventional Boston.
Since Jillian and I started From Away, way back in those hazy, lazy days of 2010, an awful lot has changed. Back then, it felt like people were first starting to talk about the emerging food scene in Portland, looking around and noticing the incredibly high number of restaurants per capita, and noticing the things that Joe was doing with his Deathmatch battles, or that Anestes was doing with his encyclopedic Portland Food Map.
Things were different in our personal lives, as well. We were somewhat newly married, childless, and with an income earned entirely from working at home. We had nearly endless resources, it seems by comparison, looking back, both in terms of time and money.
Sometimes, in the course of writing for this website, we get a little bit wound up over a new discovery. This is one of those times.
It’s not that ¡Que Rico!, the brightly-painted red food truck located smack on the water in Newcastle, is exactly new. Owners Sara McKenzie and Michael Castillo are starting their second season on the Damariscotta River, specializing in Mexican street-food-style tacos, burritos, and empanadas. It’s just that it’s taken this long for us to try it.
A long time ago I lived in Brooklyn. This Brooklyn sort of felt like Pittsburgh (I think, having never been to Pittsburgh). I lived beneath the highway. The buildings on my street were three storied homes with gray or blue or gray-blue siding. There was wrought iron fencing around the garbage patio, and shabby steps up to a linoleum-floored flat.
A little bit of planning (and some carefully planned cooking projects), and you might even survive until Wednesday. Don’t worry; you can thank me later.
18 Central Oyster Bar and Grill in Rockport is the kind of beautiful neighborhood restaurant you want to visit every Sunday evening, to reassure you that there is still actual civility in the world. It’s a shining, warm space with dark wooden interiors, a gleaming bar, and an open kitchen with a grill that spits fire like a medieval dragon. It’s a great big room with little nooks and corners for conversation.