July 1, 2014

Hilltop Superette Grand Opening and Portland Food Signing

First things first: I will be at Local Sprouts Cafe tonight at 5pm, with copies of my book Portland Food: the Culinary Capital of Maine for sale. I can also sign a copy you've already purchased, of course. Come say hi! Local Sprouts is featured in the book, and as always, tonight they will be serving a dinner menu comprised of 80% locally grown, raised, and harvested ingredients. I hear their cheeseburger (made with local, free-range, grass-fed beef, natch) is amazing. 

Yesterday saw the long-awaited opening of the Hilltop Superette on Munjoy Hill. Formerly Colucci's Hilltop Market, the market is under new management/ownership and now offers a great mix of old favorites and expanded offerings. 

Hilltop Superette has been remodeled, but the layout is very similar to Colucci's. The ceilings seem higher and the deli and checkout counters are raised as well. It's very clean and bright, with a modern retro feel. 

I was immediately impressed with the selection of dry goods on the shelves. I saw Kraft Velveeta shells and cheese next to Cascadian Farms organic cereal, Thai Kitchen curry pastes next to Shake'n'Bake. 

There's an extensive selection of local, domestic, and imported beers and a cooler of chilled wine, in addition to the room temperature wine you see above. 

A Coca-Cola cooler stocked with glass bottles added to the retro vibe. Since Moxie is owned by Coke now, you can even get a Moxie in a glass bottle. 

An expanded selection of fresh fruits and veggies is a nice addition - Colucci's never was a stop for healthy foods. I didn't get to check too closely as to whether there was local produce, because I ran into a friend. In fact, I ran into several friends in the short time I was in there. We're all so excited to have the market open again! 

A topic of much discussion prior to the opening was whether the deli items would return - or more specifically, whether the specials like the 2-for-1 cheeseburger basket would return. I can't vouch for the daily deals, but the menu is priced much like the old market (see Italians for $3.99 and 1/4-pound hamburgers for $2.50). Colucci's made one of my favorite Italians in town (the Italian Italian), so I'm eager to try the Spicy Superette and see how it compares. 

There's also a meat counter, where Colucci's Italian sausages and other cuts of meat are sold. I thought the cow in the neon sign was cute (there's one on the other side of the store that reads 'Dairy' and the cow is smiling). 

The new Colucci's (I'm sorry, I'll always call it Colucci's) is a great addition to shopping on the Hill. I joked that my boyfriend and I will never be going to Hannaford again. The market is a nice balance between 7-11 or the Big Apple and Rosemont Market. Welcome back to the Hill, Colucci's! (I mean Hilltop Superette!)