If you've missed Natalie Ladd's insider perspective on the restaurant biz, The Forecaster has some good news: they've given Ladd a new weekly column. "Dishin' That" will be a revamp of her hospitality-focused column for The Portland Daily Sun, which was called "What It's Like." The Sun purchased and folded into the Portland Phoenix recently, then bought and closed rival Dig Portland, displacing numerous writers. Ladd is sanguine about that experience, complimenting The Phoenix's expanded food coverage, but said she's grateful to be working with The Forecaster, "an established and well read newspaper group" which is treating her really well.
In the inaugural edition of Dishin' That, Ladd outlines her background and promises "outrageous" things to come. She won't say what bar or restaurant(s) she's at part time, though anonymity is a fleeting conceit in the Maine food scene. "I have the street cred because I still work a couple shifts—I don't want people to think I'm out of touch," the would-be deep cover journalist told Eater.
Ladd laughed as she admitted that no one knew what the old column title What It's Like meant, but said she got a "weird cult following" and plenty of "crazy comments" from haters and admirers alike. Expect similar coverage as before, from the lighthearted and saucy ("Making out in the walk-in refrigerator really does happen," according to the writer) to the weighty and political (think tipped minimum wage debate). She'll include a Q&A component with answers to real reader questions like, "If I lost my coat at a restaurant, who's liable?" (Spoiler alert: Ladd feels the restaurant and customer share equal blame here.) Welcome back, Ladd.