Do you think that the ratio of good restaurants to bad is consistent throughout the world? The Accidental Locavore was pondering this idea the other day. For every great restaurant in Paris is there a number of equally crummy ones? Or do certain chefs start to create order out of chaos? Case in point: Rockland, Maine (for that matter the entire coast of Maine). Once kind of a dumpy town, certainly overshadowed by its glitzier sister-town, Camden (full of former CIA operatives), it’s now become a cool place to be and certainly a much easier place to stumble upon interesting restaurants. Granted, there are certainly a fair amount of fast food and seafood joints serving fish both boiled and fried, however there are more and more really good alternatives for meals at any time of day.
Besides our “old standbys” to quote my mother, we’ve added some new standbys to the roster. This of course, is going to mean that we’ll have to spend more time in Maine, or eat a lot more, or cut back on some of the favorites, none of which is a viable alternative. And the Locavore just spent four days there without enjoying a morsel of lobster or crabmeat! How did that happen?
Well, we did hit Café Miranda even though Kerry was busy catering the Camden Film Festival (who knew?) and he’ll be happy to know his associates fed us well. A dinner at Lily Bistro for my father’s birthday had us dining on locally foraged mushrooms with gnocchi and French onion soup (for comparison, of course). But where did we end up almost every morning? Home Kitchen Café.
You probably don’t know that the Accidental Locavore is not a big fan of breakfast. It has to do with a general non-interest in eggs, especially runny ones, which as everyone knows is a major component of breakfast. Take away eggs and what’s left? However, Home Kitchen Cafe has a large menu, with a lot of well-disguised (and well-prepared) eggs, a willingness to cook a poached egg until it bounces (sorry, but that’s just the way it has to be), homemade bread and a hollandaise sauce that will make you a breakfast/brunch believer again!
So that’s how a group of chefs has changed the ratio in a town like Rockland, with the added bonus that they’re all working with local famers and purveyors to keep it all local and fresh. Has it changed in your town?