El El News Update
You DID tell us you’d like to be kept “in the loop” right?
Here is what is going on as we transition into Autumn:
1) Summer: Thank you! This was our busiest, craziest, hottest and most challenging season in all of our (8!) years of doing this crazy thing. It is pretty obvious that we could never do any of this stuff without the love, advice, patience and support of the entire EL EL FRIJOLES community. We are the ones making the food, choosing the music and digging the boulders out of the driveway, but it is you guys, the customers, that ultimately drive everything we do here. We totally understand that it can be a pain in the @#% to stand at the end of a long line stretching out into the middle of the jame-packed parking lot just to order your food. We get that it is a drag to park your minivan in our overcrowded lot, and we totally feel you when you really wish we didn’t have a port-a-potty. We work really hard to overcome most of the hassle of being our customer by offering you a few basics- food that we really love and are excited to share with you, the respect you deserve as a smart, well-informed (and attractive!) customer and an environment where you are able to relax and enjoy the heck out of yourselves, your friends and your family. So far, this combination seems to be working pretty well, but it is not without it’s significant challenges. So thanks for hanging with us, we really, really appreciate the way you guys enable us in pursuing our passion. We’ll try to keep it interesting, and we promise to keep innovating and working to smooth-out the whole process.
2) Media Darlings? A really crazy thing happened to us this summer. First off, we were featured in Malcolm and Jillian Bedell’s latest beautiful and amazing book, Eating in Maine. Heck, Michele is on the cover! We then were fortunate enough to be featured in an episode of the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise, which was pretty much a nightmare while it was happening, but we got through it alright and the final result (due to some skillful editing) was actually pretty great. When it aired late in August, we also happened to be featured in an article in the Bangor Daily News about Maine chefs who are creatively using lobster, and in the August issue of Down East, we were the featured restaurant in their The Menu section. Down East, honestly! We even scored a solid two-line mention in Maine Magazine- And we are not even IN Portland! All this without even hiring a publicist. We are tickled (and a little tormented) by all of the attention, and are just so jazzed to see this little peninsula finally getting some recognition from the great big world at large.
But now it’s Autumn, and time for a change of pace:
3) Taste of the Peninsula: Fall is festival time around here, what with the colors and the lack of bugs and the fact we all have a little bit more time than we do in the Summer. We like to gather together to celebrate some of what makes living here so ‘effing great. Fall is the time to eat-up all of these apples, to gorge on those amazing root vegetables (or else put them down-cellar for the Winter) and it’s time to do your canning, pickling and preserving. The really big thing around here is the Foliage Food & WIne Festival (the 9th annual!) that goes on for a week or two beginning Columbus Day weekend, kicking-off with the Taste of the Peninsula.
This Sunday, on the grounds of MaineScape garden center, we will join with pretty much everyone in the food scene on the Peninsula to show off what we can do with the incredible bounty of delicious stuff found here in the Fall. EL EL FRIJOLES is making a huge departure from years past, and we are going to be serving Mexican Style, Maine-grown Corn on the Cob brushed with a chili/mayo/cheese/butter, and Local Apples topped with our warm Dulce de Leche! I pretty much go for the wine and cider tasting, but there is an amazing amount and variety of food and drink to be had here, and there is live music and a chowder contest and kids stuff and, and, and… It is a really nice day out, and a terrific chance to share a little Autumn with your community.
4) Wine Dinner Supper Club: Our contribution to the FF&WF always includes a meal with our friends and neighbors at the Blue Hill Inn & the Blue Hill Wine Shop. This year is no different, and we are again pulling out all stops to put together a stunning 5-course, fancy-pants meal served in an actual dining room by professional servers. I know, that’s pretty innovative, right? We actually like to have an opportunity to make Max crazy(er) as he tries to pair his eclectic selection of wines (and beer, or cider, or mead or…) with our rather unconventional menu. It is nice to work in a place that has actual tables and seats and stuff too. I think our customers like the change, and we always put together an interesting and entertaining meal, and Max always astounds and amazes with his verbose discourse about the wines he’s chosen, and why and how they’ve come to be. Innkeeper extraordinaire Sarah Pebworth and her staff make sure the meal goes off in fine style and will envelope you in graciousness and luxury, it’s what these people do! In any case, if you are free on Saturday the 18th give Sarah a call to see if there are any tickets left.
5) Finally…… So, as we move forward into the colder, darker months, know that we will continue to soldier on and endeavor to provide you with a great place to come in for a meal. We are currently operating under our Fall hours (Wed, Thurs, Fri. 11-7) but it is soon to get a little weird. You might want to call us to see if we are really here and making food. I can promise you that we will be closed for the month of November!
And if you are still reading this, than I have even more reason to reiterate the sentiment stated above: We LOVE our customers! Even the ones who totally pan us onTrip Advisor! If it were not for You People willing to drive to a barn in the middle of nowhere, wedge your car into a crappy dirt lot and elbow your way into a hot, cramped space with some pretty eclectic tunes playing at a little too high a volume, all just to see if we have run out of your favorite dish yet…If it were not for You, we’d be sitting out here all by ourselves, wondering just where we went wrong.
So thanks for that! Thanks for the encouragement, the kind words, the occasional dixie cup of excellent red wine, thanks for bussing your dishes outside to the left, and thank you for trusting us enough to give us a try. We look forward to seeing you again soon!
-Michael, Michele and Jasper
For more info on any of this stuff, or if you just need to chat, call us at
Operators are standing by