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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: November 20, 2014

Snacktime: It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day, new Otto in SoPo close to opening, revamped brunch menu at Zapoteca, and more

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Happy Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Image courtesy of Petite Jacqueline/Facebook.

Image courtesy of Petite Jacqueline/Facebook

Today, Nov. 20, is Beaujolais Nouveau Day worldwide, with local opportunities to drink the fruity, fresh French red wine tonight at Portland’s MJ’s Wine Bar and Little Tap House. On Sunday, Nov. 23, Petite Jacqueline, 190 State St., Portland, keeps the celebration going with a special 3-course dinner with wine pairings, and plenty of Beaujolais Nouveau, for $55 per person. See the menu on PJ’s Facebook page.

Otto #2 in SoPo opening soon

Inside Otto Pizza at 125 John Roberts Rd. in South Portland. Photo courtesy of Otto/Facebook

Inside Otto Pizza at 125 John Roberts Rd. in South Portland. Photo courtesy of Otto Pizza/Facebook

According to its Facebook page, Portland’s beloved Otto Pizza will debut its second location in South Portland sometime next month: “We swear we’ll have it ready for you before Santa comes.”  The 4,000-foot space at 125 John Roberts Rd. near the Maine Mall will house a 30-seat restaurant, serving beer and wine, as well as a prep and storage area to service all four of the company’s Portland-area pizzerias.

Southeast Asian restaurant coming to The Danforth

Chef Lawrence Klang at Natalie's. Courtesy photo

Chef Lawrence Klang at Natalie’s. Courtesy photo

Tempo Dulu is the name of the restaurant coming to The Danforth, 163 Danforth St., Portland, this spring. According to its Facebook page, Tempo Dulu means “olden days” in Indonesian, “the time between 1870 and the beginning of the First World War,” when the country was part of the Netherlands (birthplace of new inn owners Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest). The restaurant’s chef will be Lawrence Klang, who previously worked at Brunyanszki and Verest’s other restaurant, Natalie’s at Camden Harbour Inn. Klang and current Natalie’s chefs Shelby Stevens and Chris Long are wrapping up a 10-day research and training trip through Southeast Asia, cooking alongside chefs at top restaurants. Under previous owner Kim Swan, The Danforth had a short-lived but well-regarded restaurant, Carmen, which closed in March, 2013.

Zapoteca’s new brunch menu

Churros. Photo courtesy of Zapoteca/Facebook

Mmmmm … churros. Photo courtesy of Zapoteca/Facebook

Chef Shannon Bard is rolling out her Portland restaurant’s new brunch menu in two phases. This weekend (Zapoteca serves brunch Saturday and Sunday), new items include her take on the Southern classic chicken and waffles — Chicken and Churros with Chipotle Agave Sauce —  and Duck Confit Hash with Pasilla Chile Sauce, Poached Egg, Habanero Crème and Duck Chicharonne. Among the dishes making their debut on Nov. 29 are Skillet Baked Egg Whites with Local Mushrooms and Tomato Habanero Sauce; Egg yolk Masa Empanada with House Made Chorizo and Papas con Rajas; and Horchata French Toast with Anise-Agave Syrup. Also beginning Nov. 29, new brunch hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Note: My husband Ted Axelrod photographed Shannon Bard’s upcoming cookbook and has taken photos for the restaurant’s website.

Cookie walks

Shutterstock photo

Shutterstock photo

What would the holidays be without cookies? Not nearly as much fun, in our opinion. If you’re not a baker, two upcoming events will allow you to stock up on homemade goodies.

Victorian Christmas Open House and Cookie Walk: Saturday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Phippsburg Historical Society Museum, 24 Parker Head Rd., Phippsburg. Fill a bag with cookies for $5 and peruse the historical books, old post cards and gifts for sale. There will also be a weaving demonstration and live music.

Annual Cookie Fare: Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Cressey Road United Methodist Church, 81 Cressey Rd., Gorham. Choose from thousands of home baked cookies and fill a box for $8. Candy and fudge will also be available and kids can decorate a large sugar cookie for $1. Proceeds help children go to summer camp.

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