MIDCOAST—A barbeque restaurant and a food truck serving Middle Eastern street food have opened on the coast in recent weeks. Here’s the skinny on both.
RasDal Falafel — Belfast
Canaan Jordan recently opened his new food truck, RasDal Falafel on Front Street by the footbridge earlier this month. Specializing in Middle Eastern street food, which is mostly vegetarian and vegan, Jordan said, “I’ve been cooking for almost 20 years and this is the kind of food I really like to eat, so I’ve been cooking this for a long time tweaking recipes.”
“Ras means the ‘head’ or ‘top’ and ‘dal’ means a bean, sort of a ‘top bean’ Falafel,” he explained of the food truck name.
His menu is very simple with only three or four items.
“We do a couple of wraps with flatbread that I get from a bakery in Portland,” he said. “I make mostly falafel and a sandwich called Sabich, which is fried eggplant, egg, and a tangy, pickled mango sauce, which people really like. We also do a kebab, which rotates out depending on what kind of meat I get.”
With a take-out food truck model, Jordan was already positioned to do better in the pandemic. “People are finding me, they’re liking the food and they’re coming back and telling people,” he said. “Some people love Falafel and are happy to find it here in Belfast and some have never tried it and want to, so it’s a good mix of customers.”
Learn more about Rasdal Falafel through their Facebook page.
Station 118 BBQ —Thomaston
Troy Crane and Andrew Bridge opened a BBQ restaurant, Station 118, located at 118 Main Street in Thomaston on July 16 to a crowd that formed a line around the door.
“We probably had close to a couple hundred people come through before we sold out,” said Crane.
The garage where the converted restaurant is located has been completely remodeled and it took Crane and Bridge a little over four months to put the finishing touches to it, along with adding three outdoor smokers and some outdoor seating.
Crane describes their version of BBQ as “Maine-style” featuring brisket and Louisville ribs, pulled pork, and chicken.
“Both Andrew and I really love barbeque and the process behind it,” said Crane. “We pay a lot of attention to the food, which we get from local farms and use our experience to make it our own.” Both Crane and Bridge have worked as chefs in the area for a number of years and say that their biggest seller has been the brisket and ribs, along with a brisket taco. “
The owners didn’t feel that opening in a pandemic was a hindrance.
“I felt pretty confident that we didn’t have a huge outbreak of COVID-19 in the Midcoast, so we just played it day by day,” said Crane.
With only outdoor seating available for the summer, they said they plan to open up some tables in the interior of the restaurant in the fall.
Given their local popularity since they opened, they are poised to do well.
“It’s been great,” said Crane. “we couldn’t ask for a better reception during this time.”
Learn more about Station 118 through their Facebook page.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org