Statewide — When it comes to native Maine cuisine, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is the simple, unassuming cheddar biscuit. Which makes the lack of Red Lobster restaurants in the state a little odd.
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Maine is one of only a handful of states where the popular seafood chain Red Lobster has no locations. There used to be one near the Maine Mall in Portland, but it closed down years ago.
And it makes sense. If people in Maine want cheddar biscuits, there are literally hundreds of other ways to get them. Maine’s short grow season and harsh winters make it an ideal climate to start a cheddar biscuit farm, and having a chain restaurant serving them in a state so closely associated with the savory treat never really made sense.
Clyde Poulon of Bridgewater has been farming cheddar biscuits since before he can remember.
“My father grew cheds [the colloquial term for cheddar biscuits], and his father before him,” he told us. For him, cheddar biscuits are more than a way of life, they’re a state of mind.
“When I’m out there in the morning, working the land, and I go home at night with a basket of cheds for the family, well, it doesn’t get much better than that,” he said.
But even with all the opportunities to get cheddar biscuits in Maine, it still doesn’t exactly make sense for the chain to have tried, and failed, to set up a foothold in the state. After all, Texas, famous for its breaded fish mines, has Long John Silvers.
Poulon has an idea why Red Lobster isn’t in Maine.
“Well, other than the fact I can get two pounds of cheds for $2, I think Red Lobster might not be in Maine because it’s pretty gross, actually.”