That crazy-popular dish of French fries with cheese curds and gravy aside, "where is the rest of traditional Franco-American or Acadian cuisine?" asks Claire Z. Cramer in the April issue of Portland Magazine. The answer: in Aroostook County, about a six-hour drive from Portland, where Acadian dishes like ployes (buckwheat pancakes) and cretons (a rustic pork pate), are found at Two Rivers Lunch in Allagash, Crystal Lynn's in Madawaska and Robin's in Van Buren. Closer to the city, there's Rolly's in Auburn, "a cheerful outpost of Franco tradition and assimilation," and Frog & Turtle in Westbrook.
Owner/chef James Tranchemontagne says the story of Franco cuisine is 'complicated...it doesn't translate to commercial success...a lot of it is filler food–turnips, apples, carrots, head cheese, sugar pie. I do a lot of stuff here [at the pub] that stems from my upbringing, but...French-Canadian is more of the culture of the people than a style of their food.