On one of my Lady Alone Traveler trips, I went to Head Tide to see the birth place of Edwin Arlington Robinson. It was a trip along roads less traveled and it only seemed like I couldn’t get there from here. As it happened, I drove right through Richmond, past an interesting place with a sign heralding “The Old Goat.”
I had other places to go and I didn’t think about The Old Goat again until my brother mentioned it. I looked it up on the internet and decided it was worth a trip to Richmond. A woman from Pompano Beach, Florida went there and had a bad time. She said the owner was an “Old Goat” and she would NEVER go there again.
I’ll admit the review intrigued me and it was part of the reason I decided to venture out to Richmond early on Saturday night. I invited Handy to join me and off we went. We’d either have a fun time or we’d get in a fight with the owner. Either way, we couldn’t lose.
It started raining on our way over through the back roads of Bowdoin. I read the Yelp reviews out loud while Handy drove. He reminded me that there was a chain of restaurants profiting from obnoxious treatment of their customers, Dick’s Last Resort. Maybe that was the Old Goat’s shtick.
I tried to imagine the type of incident that causes someone to “flame” a business on social media, then I remembered there was nothing social or sociable about social media. It’s just one hand clapping. Many people speak without boundaries because they can and apparently, we’re all the better for it.
Yeah, baby, America.
Handy and I ran across Richmond’s quaint and deserted Main Street, through the rain and into The Old Goat. We sat at the bar and introduced ourselves to Scott, also known as the owner and Old Goat. As is almost always the case in Maine, we had acquaintances in common. With 22 different paninis, a healthy tap of beers, and more bottled beverages than I could count, it was hard making a decision. I ended up ordering a Greek salad and Handy ordered a Ruben-esque panini. We observed our surroundings and we chatted off and on with Scott. He invited us to enter his Chili Cook-Off next Sunday afternoon.
A Chili Cook-Off in April? Isn’t it better to have a Chili Cook-Off in the winter?
Look, this is Maine. It was sunny and sixty degrees yesterday, but it’s going to rain today. Might not get warmer than fifty. It’s still tights and turtleneck weather for me. Why not make chili this week? I’ve got a four-bean chili that I’m not ashamed to load into a crock-pot.
I’d love to share some with you next Sunday and you can decide for yourself whether The Old Goat is an Old Goat. Join me at his pub in Richmond, Maine. If you’re local, you know the way and if you’re traveling from more distant places, take Interstate 295 to the Richmond exit. It’s about 3 miles into town and The Old Goat is on your left, about a block from the Kennebec River.
Almost all the writing about Maine food is focused on Portland. Granted, Maine’s largest city has a stellar food (and foodie) scene. However, at some point, likely two or three years ago, writing about Portland became overly-clichéd and pretty much irrelevant for me.
My experiences going out to Maine’s other communities—like Richmond, often deliver up great experiences worth writing about, whether on my blog, or Yelp. There aren’t many other options to write about food, as most Maine grub pubs employ the same old suspects writing the same old, warmed over reviews, time and time again.
Glad your trip to Richmond and The Old Goat went well.