OLD TOWN – You may not be eating dessert first at Governor’s Restaurant anymore.
Hoping to save the state $94 billion in MaineCare services over the next ten years, Governor’s announced it will eliminate fried or high-fat foods from its offerings, trimming away about 60% of its menu starting next month. Remaining dishes will be served with reduced portion sizes.
The cuts are expected to hit lower-middle income families and senior citizens the hardest.
“For 30 years I’ve been taking my wife out to Governor’s every week for fried scallops and a banana split,” says Irv Hashey, 61, of Milford. “Now I don’t know what I’ll do.”
The Governor’s rivals blasted the plan. “Once again, the Governor has shown an unwillingness to put Maine families first,” said Bruce Farnsworth of Pat’s Pizza. “Worst of all, this plan is just going to cost more in the long run because people will wind up eating Ramen noodles or going to Dairy Queen.”
But Leith Wadleigh, spokesman for the Governor, said they will still provide crayons so that kids can have something to do while their parents try to figure out how to get heart disease from the remaining options on the menu. Plus, he said, they still have that little model train running about 40% of the time, as usual.
Wadleigh said the state can simply no longer afford to provide free medical care to all lower-income citizens who have gorged themselves on ice cream and “homemade” pie for decades.
“These are tough times and painful choices have to be made,” said Wadleigh. “We have to tighten our belts, and the best way to do that is to start making it possible to literally tighten our belts.”
By Monday morning, thousands of people across the state had gathered for “Occupy Governor’s” protests at the restaurant’s various locations, voicing their opposition to the cuts.
In Waterville, a rally was organized by local businessman Paul LePage, who has created an amusing “governor” caricature to promote his business interests. LePage insisted that it is not only lower-income families and seniors who enjoy Governor’s food.
“They may take our Meatloaf Mountain,” he said, “but they can never take away the right to eat whatever we want, and not have to worry about paying for medical care, at least as long as you are relatively wealthy.”