Pretty discouraging landscape around here I know. People stick with what they know, and here that's American chop suey, lobster rolls, and weekly all you can eat prime rib at Mom and Pop's. I've lived almost all of my 30 years here. It's a beautiful place to be but frustrating at times too. Glad I live closer to Portland now.
I've been living in Maine for the past 10 years (vegetarian for longer) and there's no getting escaping it - it's not the easiest state to be a vegetarian in, especially if you like to eat out. Not Montana bad, but bad enough.
In Maine, I've learned that you just have to be vocal. If there's nothing on the menu (other than the token 'garden salad') then don't hesitate to order something not on the menu. Order like a rock star. If you want pasta with broccoli with a little bit of olive oil, then just order pasta with broccoli with a little bit of olive oil. Just scan the menu to see what they have in the kitchen and then come up with something. Make sure you ask nicely and leave a big tip; they're bound to remember you the next time you go in. If you're a 'closet' vegan or vegetarian living in or visiting Maine... Hope you like Garden Salads.
I still think fondly of a trip I took a couple of years ago to visit a friend in a small town called Metuchen in New Jersey. I fussed over the menu and settled on ordering Pad Thai with no meat. She looked at me for a moment and asked me if I wanted the vegetarian menu. I almost fell out of my chair. A whole different menu, chock full with a virtual smorgasbord of pure happiness. NICE.
And Marks_Helpmeet : How the heck are you? It's been a while! Wish I had a laptop to sell you. Er... That is, if you could somehow get past the locked doors and all the CLOSED signs in the windows. LOL. Confused? Look at my username. You'll know. You were always fun when you came in, I liked helping you.
Congrats on your decision to veggie! Had I known you were considering it I would have helped you over the fence. Or pushed you over. One of the two.
If you live in Portland, which I do, it's really easy to be Vegan. Eating out isn't an issue either. I do imagine, however, that living "up north" and being a "veg" is not easy. It's just another reason why Portland is awesome. I often tell people I moved to Portland, it just happened to be in Maine.
I'm also from Maine. Maine does not seem to have a lot of vegetarians or vegans! I live in the Damariscotta region. There is a great co-op called Rising Tide in Damariscotta that I do some of my shopping at. I do go to Portland to Whole Foods for a lot of my shopping too (I'm vegan) and am anxious for Trader Joe's to come to where Wild Oats used to be!!
Yeah, I agree that Maine and being veg are two things that do not mix. I always think I'm the only one too. I live in the Mexico/Rumford area unfortunately. Those of you who live in Maine know that this state takes pride in meat eating, hunting, fishing etc. My family is really big on all of the above as are my friends. My friends do support me but they can't even fathom being veg themselves so it's pretty much just me. haha
Just wanted to chime in, I grew up in Maine, moved away in 2003. Everytime I go home now to the mid-coast there are more and more restaurants that have numerous vegetarian options, and I am sure some vegan options as well! I have family in Lewiston, and my gosh, they have several great places to eat for plant based eaters! The Ark Vegan Cafe sounds amazing, I am sad to say I have not had a chance to eat there yet!! check out www.happycow.net and type in your zip code and see what comes up for restaurants!
the only places I have been really out of luck are the really cute little seasonal places stuck out on all the backroads on pennisulas that serve fried seafood, and thats it. But sometimes you can luck out. Red's Eats has fried zuchini and fried mushrooms! Chinah Dinah has a great veggie club sandwich and glueten free options, that was shocking! http://www.chinadine-ah.com/Menu.html
there are more and more eating options it seems whenever I go back for a visit. I wish all these places had been there before I left....lol.
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