Start your own Alphabet Dinner Club

Portland has sooo many dining opportunities that it can be difficult to narrow down the choices. A couple of years ago, some friends and I came up with a way to try new restaurants without the overwhelm of deciding: We started the Alphabet Dinner Club.

The group at The Treehouse in Portland.

Once a month, we’d take turns doing the research and compiling a list of all the restaurants in the area that begin with the letter “A” (following month “B,” then “C,” etc). We then created a Facebook poll to vote for a winner, picked a date and got a head count to see how many ladies to expect, in case we’d need reservations. It took two years to go through the whole alphabet—trying new places that were never on our radar. (We took some liberties when it came to a few of the letters, like Q, and decided to go with a BBQ joint.) It’s a fun way to get out of a rut of going to the same places all of the time. Now that we’ve finished the alphabet, we’ve continued the monthly get-togethers, but use the daily email from as our guide. We pick a date to meet and the email that comes out that morning determines where we’ll go.

Dawna Hall lives in Portland with her husband Mark and two dogs. She owns Organize ME! and loves tackling home improvement projects, being active and enjoying Maine’s craft beer scene.

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