Welcome to Eat Rockland! My name is Malcolm Bedell, and I’m the guy that takes the pictures and types the words all clackity clack on the keyboard screen. I wanted to take a second to let you know a little bit about this site, what our goals are for it, and what you can expect to see.
From 2010-2017, I owned a website about the exploding food scene in Maine, called “From Away.” On that website, my partner Jillian and I did our very best to document as many restaurants as possible throughout Maine, from Portland to Presque Isle, and everywhere in between. In our first year writing that site, we visited over 150 restaurants and small eateries in this great state, eventually offering reviews of more than 600 places, from the well-known tourist hotspots to the small, under-discovered hole-in-the-wall destinations that make up the dining landscape here in Maine. It was moderately successful; at our peak, we had about 150,000 people a month reading our dopey ramblings. We even managed to turn our eating adventures into a book, called “Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road,” available on Amazon (plug plug!).
After selling the website to a nice young couple from Texas, who will hopefully expand it and take it in new, even broader directions, I thought I was done taking pictures of my lunch and posting them on the internet. After all, there’s about a billion people doing that nowadays, and most of them are much more capable writers and photographers than I am.
The problem is…documenting my meals, the places I eat them, and the people who create them has become force of habit. It’s what I’ve been doing for almost ten years, and I keep finding that there aren’t a lot of places to publish my dumb ideas about food. Down East and Maine Magazine are phenomenal reads, but they don’t tend to publish the kind of short-form, off-the-cuff writing I’m most interested in. If I wanted to tell you about an awesome sandwich I had somewhere that one time, or the unexpected place I had a great basket of fried clams, or wanted to explore what the deal was with French dressing, and have you read those posts immediately, there weren’t a lot of venues to publish those thoughts.
That’s what brings us here, to Eat Rockland.
On this website, I want to cover the people, places, and food that make Maine such a magical place to eat, but on a much smaller scale than with From Away, our previous website. Instead of trying to tackle the width and breadth of our massive state, we’re going to focus on a much tighter coverage area: Rockland, Maine, and its immediate vicinity. My thinking is that this will allow more specific, topic-focused writing and research. Instead of some televised talking head going to Red’s Eats for the 1000th time, and taking the same pictures of the same lobster rolls, my hope is that focusing on a smaller area geographically will allow for more detailed, real-time stories on the food that’s specifically being served here, right in my own backyard.
I have a few other goals for the site. I don’t want it to be a one-man show, because goodness knows I don’t know all there is to know about food in Midcoast Maine (or anything else, for that matter). I’m going to also build in tools that allow our readers to contribute short, quick missives from the front lines of food, where contributors can post quick rundowns of great meals they’ve had here in Rockland and the surrounding areas. I want to solicit tips from readers, letting us know about those places to eat that deserve some extra attention shined on them. My hope is that together, we can build the largest possible informal, user-edited dining guide, for the smallest possible area geographically.
So, that’s my pitch. I hope you’ll join me, offer your suggestions and feedback, and of course, let me know if there’s someplace I should go get something to eat!