Maybe it’s the sunshine and subsequent appeal of eating outside, or the local crops growing taller with every passing rainfall. Whatever triggers it, summertime has a way of invigorating our appetites, and inspiring new food trends.

This summer, many of the culinary trends sweeping the internet can be found at Elsmere, and we can’t wait to share the menu options that exemplify them! From the smoky flavors of our wood grilled meats, to the photo-worthy colors of our freshly prepared salads, our huge menu is setting its own trends this season. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help!

Locally Grown
It has increased in popularity in the past few years, and with each new harvest of fresh, local produce, culinary enthusiasts are growing even fonder of the “locally grown”, “farm-to-table” trend. While some trends are visual, and others are based on unusual and unexpected details, the local produce trend is refreshingly simple. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are becoming the emphasis of trending cuisine because they support local economies, stick to high quality standards, and allow chefs to feature regionally-recognized ingredients that attract locals and tourists alike.

Beyond supporting local farmers, eating locally-grown produce is better for the environment, as it lessens the demand for imported and long-distance transported fruits and vegetables. If you’re hungry for something fresh, our menu is the perfect place to start. Try the Elsmere salad, which combines local veggies with dried cranberries and goat cheese, for a meal that’s far from “garden variety”.

4th Meal
We all love an excuse to snack, but “4th meals” like brunch and brinner have become a dining staple. Just like your appetite, this trend shows no signs of fading, and unlike the classic meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there aren’t any strict guidelines about what type of food fits the bill. Since 4th meal is best enjoyed with friends, try a shareable option like Elsmere’s flatbread pizza, topped with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, and Texas Red BBQ sauce. If you’re still hungry after that, split the nachos, because if you’re enough of a rebel to seek out 4th meal, then why not go big?

Smoky Flavor
At least one flavor profile tends to end up on the trend list each year, and this year (to our delight), smoke is in the spotlight. A smoky flavor feels appropriate for spring, since it gets its roots from grilling; backyard BBQ style. Unfortunately for anyone with taste buds, something called liquid smoke exists, and this cloyingly artificial flavoring has no place near this tasty trend.

If you’re ready to taste summer’s smoky flavor trend in its true form, try the ribs. They’re St. Louis style slow smoked, then finished on the wood grill. When it comes to real smoke flavor, you just can’t fake it, and at Elsmere we do it the right way.

Colorful, Instagrammable Food
Sharing photos of food on social media is not only “still a thing”, it’s bigger than ever. With the continued interest in food-focused lifestyles like keto, gluten-free, plant-based, high carb, and raw, food is becoming a larger part of our identity, and social media is where we demonstrate pride in the things that make us unique. No matter what kind of food you choose to eat, you’re not going to share a photo of it unless it looks good. It’s been said by countless nutritionists that the more colorful a meal is, the more likely it is to contain a richer variation of nutrients, and since platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are all about color, it only makes sense that colorful, photogenic foods are the most appealing. For a pop of color that’s just as delicious as it is photogenic, try Elsmere’s side sampler. With 8 different colorful sides to choose from, you can mix, match, and make a photo-worthy and delicious plate that’s perfectly suited to your taste.

Street-Food Inspiration
Now that it’s beautiful outside in Maine, it’s the perfect time to emulate a trend that rules the food scene in places that are warm year round. We’re talking about street food! From food trucks to small-scale vendors preparing specialties inspired by their cultures, street food packs a lot of flavor, texture, and creative ingredients into smaller, hand-held portions. One of the most popular street food choices is the versatile taco, and this trend to too delicious to miss out on, even though we couldn’t be further from its origin. At Elsmere, our Mahi Mahi tacos combine grilled mahi with cabbage, grilled corn salsa, chipotle mayo and cilantro, all wrapped in a pachanga tortilla. Dining at Elsmere may not be a true “street food” experience, but our take on this trend will transport you to a vacation destination with just one bite.

At Elsmere we rely on high quality ingredients and innovative cooking techniques for meals that speak for themselves. Join us this summer for a taste of something new, or your favorite classic. No matter what you choose, one thing is for sure: trends come and go, but good food is timeless.