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A Guide to the Maine Restaurant Week Guides

Last year's Signature Event. [Photo: Ted Axelrod]

The sixth annual Maine Restaurant Week is bearing down on us, with over 90 restaurants from nearly three dozen different Maine towns gearing up to serve prix fixe meals during the longest week anyone's ever known (because it's 10 days). It has its own website, with all the vital info, like which restaurants are participating, at which price point (all meals are either $25, $35, $45 or, in the lone case of Natalie's at the Camden Harbour Inn, $55) and what they will be serving. There's also the chance to buy tickets for the special events, like The Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off that kicks things off, the inaugural Pancake Race and the Signature Cocktail Event that brings the week to a close.

The pros having been pouring over menus and plotting their week (10 days!) of meals for months now. But if you haven't already downloaded the MRW app, followed the Twitter account and liked the Facebook page, there still might be hope for you. Here's a guide to the guides of MRW to assist in sorting it all out:

· Need ideas on what to order? Check out the Press Herald's rundown of what top local chefs and a couple food writers listed as their favorite meals of the past year. There may be a run on rare beef salad at Thanh Thanh II. [PPH]

· Looking for some insider tips to maximize enjoyment and value? Portland Daily Sun columnist/restaurant insider Natalie Ladd has 10 suggestions at the bottom of her latest column, like "9) Restaurant week brings out amateur diners who we hope will become regular customers. Be discriminating and indulge your expectations no matter if you're seasoned or unsure which fork to use. Restaurants pay a hefty fee for the privilege of participating in the promotion and it's our opportunity to show our stuff." [PDS]

· Don't eat meat? First, sorry about that. Second, Avery Yale Kamila says MRW has some good vegetarian and vegan (as well as gluten-free) options. "This year, more than 50 restaurants from Dedham to Kennebunkport have crafted Restaurant Week dishes to tempt those of us who aren't enthused about mainstream menu fare." [PPH]

· Still wondering what the heck a Pancake Race is? MaineToday has video footage to illustrate. [MT]

· Want to learn some history? The Maine Historical Society is hosting several restaurant-related events during the week, like From Chop Suey to Washington Pie: Maine Menus. [MHS]
· All Maine Restaurant Week Coverage [~EMAINE~]