Pandemic Tipping & 1975 Vegetarian Conference

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram include a look back at the effect the 1975 World Vegetarian Congress had on the development of meat-free eating in Maine (where the conference was held) and the US.

Exactly 45 years ago today, on Aug. 16, 1975, the World Vegetarian Congress opened at the University of Maine in Orono. Historians have called the two-week long event “the most important gathering of vegetarians in the United States of the 20th century.” The significance of the 1975 congress comes from the publicity it generated for meat-free eating, the alliances it forged between vegetarian activists, and the organizations its attendees went on to create.

and an article that looks at how the pandemic is/should impact how we tip staff in the hospitality industry.

Mainers may be known for their Yankee thrift, but when someone is in trouble they have no problem opening their wallets wide. Just look at how they’re tipping during a pandemic that has put restaurant servers’ livelihoods – and very lives – at stake.

Local restaurants report that diners generally have been tipping more generously, especially on takeout at the start of the pandemic.

MOFGA Webinar: Racial Justice in Maine Agriculture

MOFGA is hosting a webinar tomorrow to “discuss racial justice and the Maine agricultural community”.

Are you a farmer that wants to commit to anti-racist practices on your farm and in your community? Join other Maine farmers on July 9th from 5-7 pm to discuss racial justice and the Maine agricultural community. This is not a racial justice training; instead, it is a farmer-to-farmer style conversation to discuss how to move racial justice forward in a committed and sustained way. This online conversation will be facilitated by a skilled team of racial justice facilitators, Arvolyn Hill and Genna Cherichello.

Register online to attend.

Food Industry Action Taking Place Today

30 eateries across Maine are taking part today in Food Industry Action. As part of the program participating businesses are raising money for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund by donating “5% of sales…on behalf of a united food community”.

You can see a full list of participating establishments in Maine and across the country on the Food Industry Action website and adjust your plans accordingly to support the initiative.

Indoor Dining Allowed Starting Wednesday

Update: A combined outdoor/indoor dining list has been published. This page is no longer being kept up to date.

The Governor’s office has announced that restaurants can resume indoor dining in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties as of Wednesday.

The Mills Administration announced today that indoor dining in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties can voluntarily resume on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 with added health and safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist. The decision to allow inside dining in these three counties follows a plateauing of new cases in recent weeks, based on the 14-day moving average, as well as the stabilization of hospital rates in the same counties. Previously, only outside dining, takeaway, and delivery services were permitted at restaurants in these three counties. With this change, restaurants statewide will now be open to both inside and outside dining with added health and safety precautions.

Restaurants have started announcing plans to restart indoor dining:

  • Blue Spoon – June 19th
  • CBG – June 18th
  • Evo Kitchen + Bar – June 24th
  • Fore Street – June 24th
  • Hot Suppa – June 19th
  • Knitting Nook – June 18th
  • Nura – June 19th
  • Old Port Sea Grill – June 18th
  • Petite Jacqueline – June 20th
  • Rosie’s – June 17th
  • Scales – June 17th
  • Street & Co – June 22nd
  • The Roma Cafe – June 17th
  • Three Dollar Deweys – June 17th
  • Union – June 19th

More Participate in Bakers Against Racism

In addition to the (now sold out) multi-baker cookie box Bakers Against Racism initiative, several other Portland area bakers have announced their own Bakers Against Racism efforts:

Bakers Against Racism is taking place in Mid-June in cities all around the world with thousands of  bakers from hundreds of cities taking part.

Food Industry Action

A new initiative called Food Industry Action launched on Thursday. As part of the program participating restaurants are raising money on June 27th for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund by donating “5% of sales…on behalf of a united food community”.

Portland area restaurants that so far have announced plans to take part include: A&C Grocery, Bresca and the Honey Bee, LB Kitchen, Market Street Eats, Palace Diner, Parlor Ice Cream, Ramona’s, Rose Foods, Tandem Coffee.

Bakers Against Racism

A growing number of bakers are teaming up to sell cookie boxes with all proceeds being donated to Black Lives Matter Portland. The response has been so strong that the cookie boxes sold out in about 24 hours, even after more than doubling the production.

Participating bakers and restaurants include Chaval, Tandem, Gross Confection Bar, Parlor Ice Cream, Primo, The Purple House, Central Provisions, Other Side Diner, Kim Rodgers, Rosemont, Big Tree Hospitality, Twist, A Little Suga, Leeward, Bixby Chocolates, Dutch’s, Mill Cove Baking, Sur Lie, Juliette Riscia, and Donuts & Hibiscus.

Place an order and make a donation on the Chaval e-commerce site. Pick-up is schedule for June 20th.

Bakers Against Racism is taking place in Mid-June in cities all around the world. As of Wednesday there are 2,400 participating chefs from 42 states, over 170 US cities & 15 countries taking part.

Update: The cookie boxes raised over $8,000 dollars for Black Lives Matter.

Re-opening of Restaurants

The Portland PhoenixBangor Daily News, and Press Herald have all recently reported on the re-opening of restaurants in Portland for outdoor dining.

The Mash Tun experience was barebones. Colby worked the outdoor tables while owner Curtis Campbell was behind the bar indoors, serving drinks and cooking the restaurant’s menu of elevated pub fare — burgers, tacos, fries and grilled cheese. Campbell and Colby aside, the only time anyone entered Mash Tun would be when a patron darted in to use its single bathroom.

Carhop Drive-In

Two Portland restaurants are taking a novel approach to outdoor dining. Both the Other Side Diner and Isa are taking their inspiration from drive-in restaurants of the 20th Century.

Isa Bistro – is offering a modified version of their regular menu with a few carhop classics. Just park in one of the spots in the parking lot off Brattle Street and they’ll bring your order to your car for in-vehicle dining. Friday and Saturday, opening at 5:30 pm. Reservations required, (207) 808-8533.

Other Side Diner – is serving a line-up of classic diner food (burgers, milkshakes, etc). Pick-up your meal from their drive-thru window and then park and dine or take it to go. Friday and Saturday, 4:30 – 7 pm.