SECOND HELPINGS

Things we’d like to see more of in Maine’s food scene:

More sustainable fish on local menus. To quote “Field of Dreams,” if you build it they will come.

Real hash browns, and we don’t mean chunky home fries or the hash browns formed into patties that soak up grease like a sponge.

Affordable appetizers that will enhance your entree, not replace it.

Plates of pickled vegetables and such.

Craft sodas and other creative non-alcoholic choices.

A good dairy CSA that includes milk, cheese and yogurt.

More game meats and “alternative proteins.” Except pigeon, which some surveys are predicting will be big this year. Yuck.

More creative egg dishes, like the chicken-fried soft-boiled egg served over wild mushrooms at Oscar’s New American in Yarmouth and the Kanom-krok quail eggs at Boda. And keep those creative deviled-egg fillings coming, please.

Freshly made french fries. Is there any reason to use frozen if you’re not McDonald’s?

A really good red sauce Italian restaurant.

The dish you’re known for. Just because you’re tired of it doesn’t mean we are.

Fried clams. Eggplant Parmesan. Crowds. Bring the family. The Village.

More restaurants using Open Table. We can reserve a table even when you’re not there.

Good service. We like you, but please don’t lean or scooch down at our table. Fill the water glass before we ask. If we ask for something, make that your priority – we’re waiting for it. Your tip won’t be reduced if you take notes; it may be if you mess up our order.

Side dish variety. Not every lobster and crabmeat roll has to be accompanied by fried potatoes, delicious as they are, or a pile of cabbage swimming in mayo. How about a beet salad on the side instead? Or if it has to be fried, how about fried green beans like the ones Fat Boy serves? Or a fried green tomato?

Wheat berries. Because flavor and texture-wise, they kick quinoa in the kisser. Also, they’re so much easier to pronounce.

Backyard Farms tomatoes. The Madison-based company had a bad 2013, pest-wise, and vanished from the supermarket. Here’s to a better 2014 for them.

Food swaps. Portland has one; those of us who live elsewhere are ready for the trend to spread.

Inexpensive (and good) Mediterranean food.

Non-red sauce Italian food. Piccolo is doing a great job, but it’s tiny. It would be great to have a casual, moderately priced, interesting Italian restaurant like those in Boston and NYC.

Desserts that taste as good as they look. Those pretty, plated, fussy sweets often don’t.