Maine might not be as progressive as San Antonio when it comes to encouraging street food, but at least things haven't gotten as bad as in New York City or as ugly as in Los Angeles. In Portland in particular, as restrictive laws have been loosened over the past few years, a steady trickle of new street eats has become available — the same is happening elsewhere in the state at a slower rate. Check out five newcomers below, all of whom have opened this year. Which ones will make to next summer?
Mami Japanese Street Food
Location: Weekdays in Congress Square Park, Portland; weekends varying
Chef: Austin Miller
Mami is carving out its niche nicely, offering the kind of Japanese street food not found in many establishments around town since Miyake Diner shuttered. The octopus fritters (takoyaki) sell out quickly, so don't hesitate if you see them; if you need a full meal, try the okonomiyake (roughly a cross between a savory pancake and veggie hash) with its dramatic garnish of fluttering bonito flakes. Find the truck at Congress Square Park most days, but follow along on Facebook or Instagram for various weekend engagements.
· All Mami Coverage
Location: Jones Landing on Peaks Island
Chef: Molly Ritzo
With the old Wicked Good Street Kitchen paint job and a permanent location, this is an easy truck to track down. Hop off the ferry and enjoy what owner Molly Ritzo calls "fast, healthy food and drink." From grilled fish tacos, sirloin burgers, and various takeout-ready sandwiches, to lobster rolls or even steamed lobsters, you can sit on the patio and gaze across Casco Bay or fill a picnic basket with goodies for a day out. Follow along on Facebook for sporadic menu updates.
· All Milly's Skillet Coverage
Location: Buoy Park, Rockland
Chef: Malcolm Bedell
These ain't your average sandwiches — food writer Malcolm Bedell has finally taken his World Food Championship-level skills to the masses, setting up semi-permanent shop in Rockland's Buoy Park. Check Facebook for rotating specials from the successfully Kickstarted truck, including lobster rolls, a brie grilled cheese with blueberry preserves and bacon, and Mediterranean-style lamb tacos for a Tacos in the Park event.
· All 'Wich, Please Coverage
Chef: Joey Hamilton
Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Keep an eye on Facebook for this Portland-area truck, which has been spotted recently at the Eastern Prom, Commercial Street, and Spring Street. With years of practice, owner Joey Hamilton has developed dozens of unusual flavor combos; a recent line-up on the truck included Pina Colada, Sea Salt Cashew Caramel, Chocolate Blueberry, and of course Traditional for those feeling less adventurous.
· All Cannoli Joe's Coverage
The Marshmallow Cart
Chef: Eric Holstein and Madison Gouzie
Another Portland-based dessert-mobile that's best tracked via Facebook, this is the latest brainchild of two guys who ran a hot chocolate bar in New York. The Marshmallow Cart offers exactly what you'd expect (homemade marshmallows in flavors like raspberry or almond, served solo or as s'mores) and then some (Belgian waffles, rice crispy treats, even trail mix and cereals). Now all that's left is convincing the owners to upgrade from Hershey's to a chocolate more befitting their other quality products.
· Official website