Timber Kitchen and Bar in Bangor topped Tripadvisor’s list of the country’s best “everyday eats” restaurants. Photo courtesy of Greg Premru Photography Inc.

Timber Kitchen and Bar was recently named the country’s top “everyday eats” restaurant by the influential travel site, Tripadvisor.

Located in Bangor’s Residence Inn by Marriott, Timber features a broad-ranging and approachable menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, seafood, steaks and more. The restaurant jumped to the top of Tripadvisor’s value-based, Everyday Eats list this year, after being ranked number 10 last year.

Timber was the only New England restaurant named in the Everyday Eats award category. Tripadvisor’s 2022 Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best restaurant categories also included Fine Dining, Quick Bites, Hidden Gems, Picture-Perfect Restaurants and Date Night, for which Camden’s Natalie’s Restaurant at Camden Harbour Inn took 15th place, the only other Maine restaurant named in Tripadvisor’s rankings this year.

“It’s all about the staff here, and every single person adds to our level of quality. It’s the personal service they give that makes the difference,” said Timber general manager Suzanne Fletcher.

Unlike many Maine restaurants, seven-year-old Timber has not felt the effects of a labor shortage, in part because the year-round restaurant can provide its employees consistent income, Fletcher said. “We really don’t struggle with staffing issues,” she said, noting that about 60 percent of Timber’s employees have been with the restaurant for at least three years.

Fletcher added that Timber’s wide range of menu options help make the restaurant extremely popular with a wide variety of guests. “You can get in and out for $20, or you can spend $100,” she said.


Timber provides customers with scannable Tripadvisor cards along with their bills, which Fletcher said translates to as many as 40 five-star reviews on the travel site each week. The endorsements are critical to Timber, which Fletcher conceded can sometimes face the “stigma” of being a hotel restaurant, a dining category that has fallen from public favor over the years.

“This award and the 5-star reviews are very important to us. Tripadvisor brings us a lot of business,” Fletcher said.


More than 25 of the state’s syrup producers will open their sugar houses this weekend for the third annual Maine Maple Fall Fest.

The event, set for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8-9, is sponsored by the Maine Maple Producers Association, and will feature sugar house tours at participating venues statewide, maple syrup tastings, baked maple treats and maple-tinged cotton candy, ice cream and other sweets. The association represents nearly half of the 450 licensed maple producers in Maine.

“Our Fall Fest is the perfect time to take advantage of Maine’s beautiful autumn. It’s a great way to incorporate our maple products into other fun seasonal activities, from leaf-peeping to visiting a pumpkin patch,” said Scott Dunn, president of Maine Maple, in a prepared statement. The event was first held in the fall of 2020, after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the state’s annual Maine Maple Sunday.


Maple producers don’t tap trees or boil sap in the fall, though their associated farm stores are open and offering a full range of maple syrup and syrup products, Dunn noted.

Find a list of participating maple producers, along with their products and planned activities for this weekend, at mainemapleproducers.com.


Papi, a Puerto Rican restaurant expected to open in Old Port later this year, is holding a pop-up event next week to raise money for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

Set for Monday, Papi’s sneak-peek supper runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at Via Vecchia, owned by Papi partner Joshua Miranda. In addition to helping Puerto Rico in a time of crisis, the pop-up allows the new restaurant to unveil some of its menu items, which include shrimp mofongo, pernil, pasteles and tostones.

“A lot of people haven’t had Puerto Rican food, but especially with the American palate, it can become mildly addicting,” said Papi partner and beverage director LyAnna Sanabria, whose father is from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico.


Sanabria said the pop-up donations will include proceeds from the event’s cash bar, along with her tips for the evening. She said 75 percent of the funds raised next week will go to visitrico.org, which focuses on agricultural sovereignty. “A huge portion of Puerto Rico’s agricultural sector was wiped out from Hurricane Fiona,” she said.

The additional 25 percent of pop-up proceeds will go to a general relief fund organized by ConPRmetidos, Sanabria said. The suggested donation for the event is $25, and tickets are available at eventbrite.com.


Portland’s Basque-inspired cider house and bistro, Anoche, is kicking off its third annual Backyard Cider Project, turning donated apples into a special seasonal cider.

Portland cider bar Anoche wants your spare apples for its Backyard Cider Project. Photo by Angie Bryan

Anoche is partnering on the project this year with Absolem Cider Company in Winthrop. Anoche is asking interested people with access to apple trees to bring whatever fruit they can gather – including blemished apples, small apples, crab apples and other varieties not suited for fresh eating – to bins outside Anoche and Absolem.

Anoche said this year’s project will turn the donated apples into a Basque-style apple wine vermut (vermouth) flavored with local herbs and botanicals. “We have always felt a special connection to the rocky shores of northern Spain – a place that shares not only our state’s latitude but also its independent spirit and rugged terrain,” stated a release from Anoche, located at 43 Washington Ave.


Anoche owner Erika Colby said the vermut will need about a year to ferment, and will be available for sale next fall. By Nov. 1, Anoche expects to bottle and release the pear-infused cider it made with last year’s partner Apres, from about 5,000 pounds of fruit donated to the second annual Backyard Cider Project, Colby said.


Ragged Coast Chocolates, the high-end confectioner in Westbrook, has launched an offshoot brand that will sell a new line of chocolate-centric baking mixes to customers later this fall.

The brand, Ragged Coast Baking Company, is releasing cake mixes using Maine-milled flours, organic sweeteners, and directly traded chocolate from Latin America, according to Kate Shaffer, who started Ragged Coast more than 15 years ago with her husband, Steve. The company was known as Black Dinah Chocolatiers until changing its name in 2020.

Shaffer said she developed the introductory line of chocolate-based baking mixes based on the most popular recipes from her three cookbooks. The inaugural series will include mixes for chocolate cake, brownies and chocolate chunk scones, she said, adding that pricing for the mixes is not yet available.

Shaffer expects the new mixes to be on shelves by the first week of November at LeRoux Kitchen locations, the Ragged Coast Westbrook store and its online store as well.



For the first time, Gifford’s HomeMaine Ice Cream is releasing limited edition seasonal pints, with flavors celebrating the tastes of fall and the holiday season.

Gifford’s HomeMaine Ice Cream is releasing three seasonal ice creams in pint containers, for the first time in company history. Photo courtesy of Gifford’s Ice Cream

The company will offer three flavors of special pints, including pumpkin, apple pie churro and white peppermint chocolate chip.

“We’ve never had a problem finishing the quart in our house, but pints are kind of a fun way to try new flavors without committing to a bigger size,” said Gifford’s CEO Lindsay Skilling. “This launch will allow us to see what our fans really like from flavors to package sizing.”

The new pints will be available while supplies last in Maine and across New England in select grocery stores including Hannaford, Market Basket, Shaw’s and Big Y, according to Gifford’s.

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