Central differences

If you were surprised to find cheese as an option on your roast beef sandwich last time you got lunch at Bagel Central, here’s why: the beloved Bangor dining spot ceased operating as a kosher establishment several months ago. Be that as it may, that certainly doesn’t mean that all your old favorites from the downtown eatery aren’t still available. In addition to pea soup with matzoh balls, challah bread and knishes, Bagel Central now offers an array of new sandwiches, with a distinctly Bangor theme, such as the Penobscot (hot pastrami and swiss) and the Brady Gang (ironically, a vegetarian sandwich). Personally, I recommend the Opera House — garlic and rosemary chicken salad on challah bread. You can also now get bacon or sausage on your Bagelwich. Bagel Central has operated in Bangor for more than 30 years; for more information, call 947-1654.

A ‘Wicked Good’ time

Wine aficionados in Washington County can look forward to a weekend of fine food and beverages with Blueberry Point Chefs in Perry’s “Wicked Good Wine Weekend Down East,” set for Aug. 28-30. From 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, Wicked Wines of Bangor will hold a tasting at the Ice House in Perry. On Friday, the Pickled Herring in Eastport will host a night of wine and tapas from 5 to 7 p.m.; admission is $15. The three-day food and wine event closes with a cooking seminar and dinner, featuring Riedel Wines and a five-course meal courtesy of Blueberry Point Chefs; it’s set for 6 p.m. Saturday, and tickets are $60. For more information, directions and to make a reservation, call 853-4629.

Mushrooms gone wild

Amateur mycologists are in luck this summer — the spell of wet, cool weather we had for much of the past two months has made for a bumper crop of chanterelle mushrooms in woods throughout the state. Chanterelles are among the easiest to identify wild mushrooms, notable for their egg yolk-yellow color, thick stalk, frilly “gills” on the underside and fruity odor. The only notable “look-alike” mushroom is the jack-o’-lantern mushroom, which is moderately toxic. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to do a little research before picking, or ideally, contact the Maine Mycological Association (www.mushroomthejournal.com/mma/index.html) for some expert advice. Chanterelles are best cooked simply, since their delicate flavor is easily overpowered by herbs and spices. Try sauteing them with a little fresh basil, black pepper and olive oil, and serve with asiago cheese over pasta or risotto.


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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.