PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Working with loved ones can be a recipe for disaster, but for Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind it has the opposite effect.
The couple recently opened LB Kitchen in the East End. Their new lunch and breakfast spot stands in the same spot where they first met, and later fell in love.
Lee Farrington purchased the space and opened a dinner spot called Figa back in 2010. It was while she was cooking there that she was introduced to her future wife—a transplant from New York City, just like Lee.
Figa closed its doors a few years later, but not before a forever bond had formed between the two food lovers. While they figured out what the future looked like for them, renting the space to someone else seemed like a smart financial decision. But each time someone walked in with an idea, it was all sizzle and no sale. By the time they reached their third attempt at renting the place, they made a pact.
"Lee was like, if it doesn't happen, I want you to shake on that we are going to do something in here," says co-owner Bryna Gootkind. "This means that this is part of the whole story, and this is supposed to be something that we're supposed to do."
Bryna's business background allowed Lee to focus on the food, and that's how LB kitchen was born. They're both busy serving up what they call food with a function— dishes made with integrity that will leave you feeling full, energized, and ready to take on your day.
The warmth you'll feel when you visit the space is partly from the open kitchen, but mostly from the love story that continues to grow inside these walls: the couple says they are 20 weeks pregnant.
Another new adventure for a couple that is happy to be in this together.
What's in LB Kitchen's Avocado Addiction? Avocado, of course-- a whole one to be exact. It is spread on top of Maine Five Grain bread from Standard Baking Co. in Portland. Chef Farrington adds salt, pepper, smoked sea salt, a dash of white truffle oil, and a secret, firey smoked pepper mixture to the avocado before spreading it on the bread. It's topped with an egg and arugula. It's topped with hemp seed, like a lot of dishes at LB Kitchen.
What's in LB Kitchen's Tofu Banh Mi Bowl? It's a bunless Banh Mi! CHef Farrington puts in brown sticky rice, along with local tofu from Brunswick. The tofu is marinated in a special sauce made with Sriracha and simple syrup. Dragon carrots are pickled and added to the bowl with some lime, vegan mayonnaise, jalapeno, arugula. And to top it off? You guessed it! Hemp Seeds.
What's in LB Kitchen's 50 Shades of Green Smoothie? Chef Farrington says she blends spinach, one banana, mango, matcha and hemp powders. Sprinkle a few hemp seeds on top and you are good to go!