I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, and I’ve found it to be very rewarding. I use my blog to share about library life in Maine and post book reviews. I have “documentation” (in the form of a write-up and pictures) of most of the programs I’ve coordinated at Ellsworth Public Library, so I also use my blog to search for information on past events. For example, if I can remember doing a storytime about monsters, but can’t quite remember which crafts I used, a simple search on my blog will return the answer immediately.
That said, blogging can take a back seat for me when things get busy. I am taking an online course this semester and this has taken a toll on blogging. Fortunately, Nicole Ouellette from Breaking Even Communications is hosting a blogging challenge for the month of March. Each day, I will (try to) complete one post based on her challenge. I’m already a little behind, so I thought I would tackle a few of the challenges I missed in the same post!
Alright, so far, the challenges are as follows:
Day 1: Introduction (Here’s my first post on the blog)
Day 2: Photo Post
Day 3: A “how-to” post
Day 4: Food Post
Day 5: Video Post
Ok, getting challenges 2-5 in the same post will certainly be a challenge, but here goes nothing.
How to eat well in Portland, Maine
(Disclaimer: “eating well” is definitely a subjective thing, so let me clarify. How to eat well (if you are vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) in Portland, Maine).
If you are vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free, Portland has got your back. There are a lot of options for alternative diets in this city. Here are the strategies I used to find the best food to refuel while wandering the streets of Portland.
1. Do your research ahead of time
I’ve been vegan/vegetarian for a couple of years now and I’ve learned that it’s a lot easier to do your food research before you go on a trip. I love eating this way, but it can be a challenge to find foods that I can eat. Shawn, my boyfriend, was coming along for the trip, and he sticks to a gluten-free diet. Trying to find vegan food or gluten-free food can be tricky, but both? I thought it was a long shot. A few days before the trip, I started looking for restaurants in Portland, Maine that would meet both of our needs. I did this mostly by Googling “vegan and/or gluten-free restaurants in Portland, Maine). The search returned more hits than I had expected.
2. Look for menus online
Thankfully, many of the prospective restaurants featured full menus online. That was a big help in narrowing down the choices. Sure, a restaurant may claim to be “gluten-free friendly”, but after a little investigation, it turns out they have a couple of appetizers or a salad that fits the bill, not an actual entree.
3. Have a couple of back-up options
I knew that if all else failed, Whole Foods has a vegan salad bar and Hannaford always has options for alternative diets. I actually ended up getting a spring roll for a snack at Hannaford…delicious as usual.
4. Even if it seems unlikely, check for vegan/gluten-free options
We went to the Nickelodeon to see Silver Linings Playbook and I thought it would be the last place I’d find gluten-free snacks. Wrong! We spent so much time trying to decide which cookies we wanted, we missed the first part of the movie. (The cookies were worth it, though!)
5. Don’t be afraid to try new places
We settled on a restaurant called Silly’s for dinner and it exceeded our expectations. They had a variety of vegan/gluten-free dishes that all sounded amazing (and the meals we settled on were great). We also enjoyed the funky vibe of the restaurant. It’s definitely a fun place to eat. We (sort of) joked that if they served breakfast, we would have slept in the booth and eaten there the next day, too. Here’s their site, if you want to see for yourself: http://www.sillys.com/
The food on this trip was so good, I didn’t pause to take pictures before digging in. Here’s a picture of Shawn and me at a wonderful tea place called Dobra Tea, suggested by our friend, Nissa.
Photo credit: Nissa Marenius
Do you have any favorite places to eat in Portland? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Maybe in the future I’ll post more about this trip (especially because I have pictures of Shawn next to Big Foot). Now I just need a video. Here’s one that has nothing to do with this post, libraries, or Maine, but is still awesome and something I think everyone should see (if you haven’t already). If you need a pick-me-up, here’s the video for you!