Friday, January 4, 2019

2018 in Review

2018 was a big year for my food blog—it marks the 10th year of blogging here at The Blueberry Files. Ten years ago, I moved to Portland, Maine on a whim and found an incredible selection of restaurants. I was a broke AmeriCorps volunteer, so I wrote a lot more about cooking at home than eating out, but I quickly fell in love with writing about the city's food scene. This hobby launched my freelance writing career, resulting in two books and numerous columns in local publications. 

A lot has changed in the ten years I've lived in Portland, of course. So many restaurants have opened and closed since then, it seems quaint to remember my days of frequenting Three Dollar Dewey's and Buffalo Wings-N-Things

This year in particular saw a slowing of Portland restaurant openings. I still brought you first looks at new restaurants and bars like Crown Jewel, Drifters Wife, and Root Wild Kombucha, the pace at which these new restaurants opened paled in comparison to years past. 

My most popular posts of 2018 were indeed first looks at new businesses. You all clearly like to be in the know about what's new in Portland's restaurant scene! 

My most read post of 2018 was First Look at Eaux. I still think this is one of the best restaurants to have opened in Portland this year. It seems under-the-radar, but I think Chef Evan and his crew are killing it. 

The second most-read post this year was a First Look at Black Cow Burgers. This casual burger and fry joint opened up in place of Sonny's on Exchange Street. I was relieved to see the bar menu at Black Cow was on par, since Sonny's had such great cocktails. 

My review of Korean Food at Yobo was also popular. Another restaurant that I think goes unnoticed, Yobo is a great, accessible option for Korean food in Portland. 

I ended 2017 with an update to the coming businesses of Washington Ave. which was a popular post. I reflect back on 2018 with a twinge of sadness, because I bought a house and moved to South Portland. So this happening stretch of Washington Ave. is no longer my neighborhood (sob). 

Since I published that piece, Drifters Wife, Bob's Clam Hut, Forage Market, and Root Wild Kombucha have all opened. A row of shipping containers, dubbed The Black Box, was added, currently home to a cheese shop and some artisans. A knife sharpening shop is opening there soon too. 

Continuing the trend of the past few years, the number of posts dropped in 2018, averaging one a month. But I still love blogging—I'm not planning on going anywhere any time soon! 

Unfortunately, Eater Maine continues its decline—I was updating maps for a while there, but I've been cut back even further, only updating the Heatmap and Essential 18 maps every 6 months. It's sad, but I guess it was fun while it lasted.

I hope you all enjoy some good food in 2019. I'll still be here, on Instagram, and Twitter ranting and raving about Portland food. Thanks for reading!

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