Scarborough gets spicy
Along a busy strip of Route 1, a cheerful sight is coming. El Rayo Taqueria’s aqua-and-orange stripes indicate a gourmet bright spot in a fast-food wasteland. Executive chef Cheryl Lewis extends her talent from the Portland tacoria to this new Mexican emporium, slated to open next week. Taking over a former Cumberland Farms, the creative team is ready to offer authentic tamales, tacos, fresh oysters, Sunday brunch and killer margaritas to the starved-for-quality burbs. A deck is being constructed this week and El Rayo’s signature picnic tables are waiting in the wings. Since Lewis, who opened Aurora Provisions in Portland’s West End in 1998, has a knack for retail, the Scarborough outpost will carry sauces, cheese and locally milled tortillas from Tortilleria Pachanga. A takeout section too. El Rayo Taqueria is located at 245 Route 1, Scarborough.
Portland’s new beer store
Craft Beer Cellar of Massachusetts is rapidly expanding across New England and adds Portland to its ranks. The museum of beers, which started in Belmont, Massachusetts, announced it will open on 111 Commercial St. selling hundreds of craft brews from Maine, Milwaukee, Germany and monks from hither and yon. This will be ground zero for beer tourists. With Old Port Spirits and Cigars launching a similar concept at 222 Commercial St. this summer (promising 600 craft beers), how much artisan brew can a city take?
The Natural Living Center in Bangor, located on Longview Drive just off Stillwater Avenue near the Bangor Mall, has completed a long-awaited remodel and revision of its produce section. Gone is the small-ish selection of organic fruits and veggies; in its place is a greatly expanded, totally reorganized section full of local and national organic chains. The NLC, as it is often called, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. There is also a smoothie bar and selection of vegan and vegetarian snacks.
Compiled by Emily Burnham and Kathleen Pierce