Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheap Restaurnats in Portland, Maine

It is often quoted that Portland has more restaurants per capata than any other city except perhaps New York.  On a recent web count there were 89 restaurants listed in Portland alone, not including nearby burbs.  Seems like a lot for a "city" of 65,000 doesn't it?

Of that list only three had menus for under $15.  Now that seems out of whack to me.  With this many restaurants, there have to be more cheap eats than that.  And as it turns out, there are.  The "list" only identifies establishments with web sites, so there may be an equal number of chow houses that are run by mom-and-pops, immigrants, or low budget/low overhead joints that serve good food at low prices.

With the urging of my friend Michael, my quest is to identify and quantify as many of these "under-the-radar", lost, or forgotten little gems as possible in a city that exalts the big guys and lets the rest flounder in obscurity.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

House Votes to Make Whoopie Pie State "Treat"

AUGUSTA — The Maine House approved  the whoopie pie as the state "treat" today while giving a nod to the state's blueberry industry by making the blueberry pie the state's official "dessert."

The measure was approved 107-34 but required a second reading before going to the Senate for consideration.

If you've been following Maine politics lately, this is a welcome reprieve from reporting guffaws by our newly elected Governor.  Unfortunately, taxpayers are paying politicians to spend time deciding about state treats and desserts.

In a game of one-upmanship in the whoopie pie debate, a Maine radio station is teaming up with a whoopie pie maker to create a 500-pound-plus version of the chocolate cakes stuffed with creamy frosting with the sole aim of outdoing Pennsylvania's 250-pound confection.

Sorry, folks.  I won't be going to the mall on Saturday to cover this event.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Potholes on Mine Roads

Massive pothole leads to accidents on I-95

One vehicle flips, two collide, five are damaged and traffic backs up for three miles near Augusta.

Several vehicles were damaged but no one was seriously hurt Friday in a multi-vehicle accident caused by a 15-foot-long pothole in a southbound lane of Interstate 95.  One person was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. At least five vehicles were damaged. Two other SUVs collided, and the pothole caused flat tires and damage on at least two other vehicles.

Along with the glee we in Maine exhibit when the winter snows start to melt come other problems..... potholes and the "mud season".  While cold winter snow and ice keep our roads intact, but still not smooth, the minute the ice melts we get potholes.  They start with just a crumble or two of asphalt coming loose from the roadway.  Because of frequent resurfacing, it seems the new top layer doesn't stick to the original roadbed, so that once it starts to deteriorate, the process happens very fast. When roads are not resurfaced, the potholes are simply filled which also doesn't stick to the underlayment and often crumbles apart during the summer.

I have been avoiding these potholes going to and from work for several weeks and it becomes second nature to either hug the centerline or drift over to the right where I know by heart the bad spots are.  It's an expensive and dangerous problem.  This year when I had my mandatory yearly vehicle inspection, I had to replace a ball joint in the front steering.  We just chalk it up to another inconvenience in payment for the grandest summers in the land.