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October is Maine Menus Month!
October 1, 2005
Maine restaurants celebrate locally grown, raised and harvested food!
Contact(s): Deanne Herman, Maine Department of Agriculture 207-287-7561; firstname.lastname@example.org
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October is Maine Menus Month, the month long celebration of Maine raised, grown and harvested foods, and the restaurants that feature local food on their menus. The promotion is sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture with support from the Maine Restaurant Association and is now in its sixth year.
Throughout the month of October, patrons will be treated to the freshest and very best food Maine has to offer when they eat at a participating restaurant. Restaurants can be found in every county and range from upscale cafes and white tablecloth establishments to breakfast diners, and truck stops. A growing list of restaurants can be found at www.getrealmaine.com. Participating restaurants will also be displaying a green "get real. get maine!" logo in their windows.
The promotion seeks to increase consumer and restaurant awareness of the range and flavor of foods grown or harvested close to home, and to help promote those restaurants that go out of their way to highlight Maine foods on their menus. Restaurants that serve, and diners that eat local foods are not only buying and serving the best and freshest food, but they are supporting local growers in the community, helping preserve working farmland and open space, and helping to cut the fuel costs of transporting food from thousands of miles away.
Maine Menus Month is fast becoming a tradition for the Department of Agriculture, restaurants and restaurant patrons throughout the State. This year, the Department of Agriculture welcomed the Maine Restaurant Association as an active partner. "It makes so much sense for us to be working with the Department of Agriculture on this promotion - it supports Maine restaurants and it supports Maine growers and seafood harvesters. It also helps make the important connection between them," said Richard Grotton, President of the Maine Restaurant Association.
This year, diners who order a meal featuring Maine ingredients have an opportunity to fill out an entry coupon to be entered in a drawing to win a two-night stay at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, among other prizes. The coupon also asks the diner to rate how well the restaurant featured Maine items on the menu, which will determine the restaurant winner to be recognized by the Governor.
Last year, patrons named Dysart's Restaurant in Bangor and the Corner Restaurant in Liberty as the statewide winners in this friendly competition. Other past statewide or regional winners have included the Thomaston Café in Thomaston, Sara's Café in Wiscasset, Susan's Fish and Chips in Portland, the Lompoc Café in Bar Harbor, the Moose Point Tavern in Jackman, the Farmington Diner, the Cliff House in Ogunquit and so many more.
"Maine restaurants that serve locally grown produce, meats and locally harvested seafood are becoming known around the country and the world for the quality of the food they offer. They are also an important market for our local farmers," said Mary Ellen Johnston, Development Director at the Maine Department of Agriculture. "Sponsoring Maine Menus Month is one way we can support both the farmers and the restaurants that they supply."
For a searchable listing of participating restaurants, visit http://www.getrealmaine.com and click on the Maine Menus Month icon.
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