Wednesday, December 11, 2013
It seems as if every other day there’s another feature online where some food or travel magazine wants you to weigh in on your favorite food or restaurant.
Never mind that some of the places they’ve nominated you’ve never heard of, and there’s no chance you’re going to hop on an airplane anytime soon to, say, Faidley Seafood in Baltimore to sample their crab cakes.
You know you’re being manipulated, but you just can’t help getting excited whenever a Maine person, place or product appears on one of the lists. Your voting finger starts twitching compulsively, and something in the reptilian part of your brain forces you to go online and vote.
Last year, Mabel’s Lobster Claw Restaurant in Kennebunkport was nominated by Men’s Health magazine as the “Manliest Restaurant in America,” in the Seafood Shack category. Yes, there was a seafood shack category.
Now Mabel’s is up for “Best Seafood Restaurant” in a contest sponsored by 10Best.
It’s a division of USA Today Travel Media Group, apparently, which is promoting the contest in the USA Today newspaper. The restaurants in the contest were nominated by Larry Olmstead, who writes the “Great American Bites” column for USA Today.
Mabel’s was chosen not only because it serves classic lobster shack fare, “it also has a broader seafood menu and a renowned take on baked stuffed lobster, jammed with huge sea scallops.”
That “reknowned take on baked stuffed lobster” refers to the restaurant’s “Lobster Savannah,” a 1 1/4-pound lobster split down the middle and filled with Seafood Newburgh – sauteed shrimp, scallops and mushrooms in a Newburgh sauce. The Seafood Newburgh is then topped with provolone, Parmesan and some roasted peppers and the whole thing is then popped into the oven for roasting.
10Best is giving you until noon Sept. 30 to vote for Mabel’s. You are allowed to vote once a day.
The winners will be announced Oct. 2.
Also up for her share of Internet glory is Abby Freethy, creator of Northwoods Gourmet Girl in Greenville.
Freethy has been nominated in the 2013 American Made competition sponsored by Martha Stewart Living.
Northwoods Gourmet Girl is an all-natural foods company that carries 25 products, from relishes and jams to dessert sauces.
Food is just one of six categories in the contest. The top vote getters in each category will get an American Made gift basket and be featured on the Martha Stewart Living website and on Sirius Radio. They will also compete against one other, once again, for a grand prize of $10,000, a trip for two to New York City, and a feature on marthastewart.com.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod