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Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Westbrook, ME

As men age, they experience both positive and negative changes. Many middle-aged men learn to let the little things go and focus on family and friendship. They develop new hobbies and reach their peak earning potential. On the flip side, many men undergo unexpected hormonal changes around this same age. That's a hard pill to swallow for a lot of males, but contrary to common belief, having low testosterone isn't reserved for elderly men.

Studies show that around 55% of males suffer from low testosterone. For many, that drop-off happens in their 40s and 50s. But the truth is that testosterone levels can start to decline as early as age 30, leading to various physical and emotional changes such as decreased energy, increased aches and pains, and even sexual performance issues.

If you're a man experiencing symptoms of low testosterone - like ED or erectile dysfunction - you may feel embarrassed, depressed, or like all hope is lost. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Male health clinics like Med Matrix offer advanced, FDA-approved treatments like testosterone replacement therapy in Westbrook, ME, to help restore your hormone levels. When your hormones are balanced, it's almost like everything clicks back into place without having to take pills or suffer through surgery.

 Westbrook, ME

The Med Matrix Difference

Did you know that testosterone is the foundation of all male performance? It's the reason why, in your early 20s, you could have a fun night out on the town and wake up the next morning ready to hit the basketball court. It's the reason why you feel the drive to succeed and find a mate.

Unfortunately, testosterone levels start to decline around the age of 35 (and sometimes sooner, depending on various factors). Past that age, your T levels drop even more. 40% of men over 45 have sub-optimal levels, which can have a negative effect on things like your:

  • Energy Levels
  • Libido
  • Workout Recovery
  • Focus
  • Body Fat
  • Strength
  • Ability to Build Muscle
  • More

Many men approaching middle age aren't even aware that their testosterone levels are dropping. Other males simply don't care and begrudgingly accept the new, uninteresting life that looms in front of them. Today, however, more and more men are ditching that mindset and reclaiming their lives with testosterone replacement therapy in Westbrook, ME.

How Does TRT Work?

One of the most common questions we get at Med Matrix is, "What does TRT do?" Testosterone replacement therapy does what its name implies: It's a science-backed therapy that replaces low testosterone levels in men. The main objective of going on a TRT regimen is to improve your life and wellbeing by balancing your hormones. Also referred to as androgen replacement therapy, TRT helps many men deal with and overcome the debilitating side effects of low T.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy works by giving your body the testosterone it needs to function properly. Without healthy levels of testosterone, the male body can't maintain the natural processes necessary for overall health. In fact, men with low testosterone levels are more prone to serious health problems such as type-2 diabetes and even heart disease.

Until their testosterone levels are restored to normal, most men suffer until they find a solution. That's where TRT comes into play. With balanced hormones, the body can finally begin to heal, causing most symptoms of low testosterone to diminish greatly.

 Westbrook, ME

Med Matrix Does TRT Right

Unlike some male health clinics, doctors from Med Matrix approach TRT in the right way. We provide custom plans and helpful tools that change as your body does. Patients choose our testosterone replacement therapy programs because they are:

 Westbrook, ME

Personalized

When you trust Med Matrix with your TRT plan, you never have to worry about working with inexperienced practitioners or "professionals" who don't have your best interests at heart. Instead, you'll gain access to hormone and peptide protocols based on your biology and goals, delivered by experienced medical doctors. We never prescribe TRT based on someone who matches your height, weight, and age. We conduct advanced testing and craft your plan based on you, not someone else.

 Westbrook, ME

Results-Driven

Doctors from our male health center in Westbrook make it a point to stay in touch and analyze how your TRT regimen is going. From cutting-edge diagnostics to deep clinical expertise, get the science-backed tools and support you need to reach your peak - and stay there.

 Westbrook, ME

Safe, Easy, & Non-Invasive

Getting on testosterone replacement therapy in Westbrook, ME, is safe and easy when you work with Med Matrix. You don't have to worry about surgery or long recovery times. Once we get to know you, your body, and your goals with TRT, the only thing you have to focus on is living your best life.

Get Started ASAP

Joining Med Matrix's testosterone replacement therapy program is as easy as 1-2-3

Testing

Testing

Complete our hormone test and body composition scan so we can track your progress.

Consultation

Consultation

During your consultation, we'll get to know you better, go over your bloodwork, and learn more about your needs and goals as it relates to TRT. This consultation can take place via telehealth or from our male health clinic in South Westbrook - the choice is up to you.

Supply

Supply

Med Matrix offers competitive hormone pricing and access to other cutting-edge treatments such as peptides and stem cells.

Here are the 5 Biggest Benefits of Going on TRT in Westbrook, ME

Up to this point, we've talked a bunch about how beneficial TRT can be for men who have declining testosterone levels. But you may be wondering how TRT specifically benefits you and your body. Here are just a few of the biggest benefits of starting testosterone replacement therapy at Med Matrix.

 Westbrook, ME

Higher Levels of Energy

The effects of TRT are not immediate and may not be noticeable at first. However, typically, psychological improvements can be felt within three to four weeks of starting treatment. Most individuals experience reduced fatigue, improved sleep, and an overall feeling of being more rested after about a month of treatment. By this time, you may also notice increased motivation to engage in physical activities, which are crucial for your wellbeing and quality of life.

 Westbrook, ME

Better Sex Life

If there's one thing that men hate most about having low testosterone, it's that their ability to perform in the bedroom becomes compromised. In fact, diminished sexual function, including low sex drive and erectile dysfunction, is one of the most common reasons why men seek treatment for low T. That's for good reason: Recent research shows a strong correlation between libido and testosterone levels.

Fortunately, testosterone replacement therapy in Westbrook, ME, can enhance healthy sexual relations with your spouse or partner. Increased testosterone levels in men often lead to increased sexual activity. At Med Matrix, many of our patients report having a higher sex drive within the first three to four weeks of treatment. Many men also reported having stronger and longer-lasting erections.

 Westbrook, ME

More Mental Clarity and Focus

Testosterone has a significant impact on cognitive performance, including memory, concentration, and reasoning. When testosterone levels are low, mental function can suffer. When you begin TRT, the heavy cloud that has been hanging over you can start to dissipate. Mental focus, cognition, and memory show signs of improvement after the first few weeks of treatment. Feelings of depression and sudden mood swings start to subside within three to six weeks. By 18 to 30 weeks, you will notice a significant improvement in self-confidence and mental clarity, as well as an inner strength that is more prepared to face life's challenges.

 Westbrook, ME

Normalized Blood Sugar Levels

When experiencing hypogonadism, your insulin sensitivity may be compromised, leading to fluctuations in blood sugar levels and an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Testosterone replacement therapy boosts your insulin sensitivity, enabling your body to efficiently absorb glucose from your blood after a meal.

Typically, significant improvements in blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity are observed after about three months, with the full effect manifesting after a year. Also, remember this: TRT has been shown to increase your motivation. The tiniest spark of motivation can propel you to become more physically active, further boosting your insulin sensitivity.

 Westbrook, ME

Healthy Red Blood Cell Count

Your body produces red blood cells through a process called erythropoiesis. When you suffer from hypogonadism (low T), red blood cell production can slow, leading to anemia. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help improve red blood cell count, reduce fatigue, and stabilize blood pressure. Results may vary based on age and dosage, but improvements are typically noticeable after three months, with peak benefits at nine to 12 months.

We should note that some TRT patients have higher hematocrit levels than normal (>51%) and need to donate blood regularly as a result. That's why it's important to work with seasoned male health doctors - like those at Med Matrix - when you're considering TRT in Westbrook, ME.

 Westbrook, ME

Build Bigger Muscles

Who doesn't want a great physique? Diet, rest, and exercise are crucial for success. However, when your testosterone levels drop below the normal range, your strength decreases, your body mass decreases, and your once-unstoppable endurance diminishes. Testosterone plays a key role in improving these areas.

Do You Have These Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

Are you used to blasting through your day with productivity and positivity? Have you noticed that you're losing muscle mass and the desire to be with your spouse? Has your partner been complaining that you're too irritable to be around? If you're usually not a curmudgeon, your body is probably trying to tell you something. It could be time to speak with a doctor about testosterone replacement therapy in Westbrook, ME. Keep a running tally of whichever of the following symptoms you notice happening in your life.

 Westbrook, ME

Two words that send shivers down the spines of every man are "erectile dysfunction." Unfortunately, when your T levels are lower than they should be, this is one of the most common symptoms that men must endure. Being unable to get it up isn't just embarrassing - it can be downright depressing and lead to issues with mental health. It's a hard topic to discuss, but a personalized TRT plan from Med Matrix can help.

Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Nowadays, we know better. Most doctors understand that low energy levels can be linked to low testosterone levels. If you're finding it difficult to engage in activities you used to enjoy, like playing with your kids or going for a workout, it could be a sign of low testosterone. Sure, it's normal to feel tired from time to time. But persistent fatigue and a serious lack of drive might mean something more.

A study from 2011 revealed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep may experience a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. Additional research found that almost 15% of workers get five hours of sleep or less per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss can negatively impact testosterone levels and wellbeing. The big takeaway here is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but struggle to sleep through the night, you may be one of those men.

Many people over the age of 50 experience memory loss and lack of concentration. It's a normal part of aging. However, those signs can also mean you have low T. A study from 2006 discovered that males with low testosterone levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. This suggests that low testosterone can contribute to reduced cognitive ability. If you can't stay focused on tasks or can't recall words like you used to, have your testosterone levels checked. You could be a prime candidate for TRT.

If you're like millions of other men, coming to grips with hair loss isn't something you want to do. Closely related to hormone imbalances and testosterone decline, hair loss is stressful and embarrassing. It's often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Too much DHT in your body can cause hair follicles to stop production, causing them to die. Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing altogether. While you can't alter your genes, you can address low testosterone in your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and solutions like peptides and stem cells can stop your head from shedding hair.

Gynecomastia, also known as "man boobs," is the enlargement of male breast tissue, often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. Elevated estrogen levels during andropause, also known as male menopause, usually occur due to a lack of testosterone. If you're a man between 40 and 55 and feel embarrassed about having large breasts, ask your doctor about TRT. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, it could be the solution to your problem without needing surgery.

Live Life on Your Own Terms with Help from Med Matrix

Just because you're getting older doesn't mean you have to accept a decline in your health and wellbeing. Our male health clinic was founded to give patients like you - men suffering from low T - hope that life can get better. With our doctors and male health practitioners by your side, it's easy to take the first step.

When combined with healthy life choices and regular exercise, TRT in Westbrook, ME, is one of the best ways to turn back the hands of time without going under the knife. If you're looking to bridge the gap between an unsatisfying past and a promising future, it's time to contact our male health clinic.

Men with low T choose Med Matrix because we:

  • Prioritize Custom TRT Prescriptions
  • Get a Full Understanding of Your Needs and Goals
  • Provide Compassionate Care from a Team of Licensed Doctors and Experts
  • Specialize in Affordable Male Health Services

Unlike some TRT clinics, we know that your health and wellness goals are unique. At Med Matrix, you'll never have to worry about a "set it and forget it" approach. We're with you every step of the way. If you're ready to reclaim the best parts of being a man, contact our office and ask about setting up your testosterone replacement therapy consultation today.

Request a Consultation

Latest News in Westbrook, ME

Wright-Ryan spotlights innovation at new 20,000 s/f operations center at 15 Saunders Way, Westbrook, ME

Westbrook, ME Wright-Ryan shared details surrounding their completed fabrication and field supervision facility at 15 Saunders Way. The facility occupies half of a 40,000 s/f building, one that was constructed by the Wright-Ryan team in partnership with owner and developer, J.B. Brown & Sons.Known officially as Wright-Ryan’s operations center, the facility now serves as a cornerstone for the company, particularly as it commemorates its 40th anniversary this year. Spanning 20,000 s/f, the ops cente...

Westbrook, ME Wright-Ryan shared details surrounding their completed fabrication and field supervision facility at 15 Saunders Way. The facility occupies half of a 40,000 s/f building, one that was constructed by the Wright-Ryan team in partnership with owner and developer, J.B. Brown & Sons.

Known officially as Wright-Ryan’s operations center, the facility now serves as a cornerstone for the company, particularly as it commemorates its 40th anniversary this year. Spanning 20,000 s/f, the ops center is home to several of Wright-Ryan’s diversified lines of business and specialty services – including offices for the company’s commercial select projects and custom millwork groups, residential services division, field supervision, operations & maintenance, and field operations division. The facility provides a controlled environment and versatile workspace for each line of business – ranging from the construction of one-of-a-kind millwork and prefabricated materials to employee training. The operations center was built to accommodate Wright-Ryan’s growing team, while simultaneously supporting the company’s ethos surrounding custom work, collaboration, and emerging technologies.

“Our operations center is a testament to Wright-Ryan’s steadfast commitment to innovation,” explains Marc Bourgeois, vice president of commercial select projects for Wright-Ryan. “By prioritizing the completion of this dedicated facility, Wright-Ryan can enter its next phase of operations and look ahead to the next forty years, all while maintaining our company’s signature standard of quality. The space was thoughtfully built by our team to allow for evolving technologies and the expansion of services, providing even more value and efficiency for our clients.”

The completion of Wright-Ryan’s operations center was the product of a strong partnership with the site’s owner and developer, J.B. Brown & Sons. In 2007, the development company purchased a 30-acre site along Saunders Way and, initially, redeveloped a former dowel mill on the site into a 130,000 s/f warehouse and office complex accommodating 12 businesses. The Saunders Way site continued to develop with the construction of additional warehouses as commercial needs arose. J.B. Brown & Sons later secured an approved site plan for a new, 40,000 s/f warehouse at 15 Saunders Way and reached out to Wright-Ryan to discuss construction services for the project. With both the size and location of the future building ideal for their new operations center, Wright-Ryan worked with J.B. Brown & Sons to secure a design-build agreement alongside a long-term lease negotiation to occupy half of 15 Saunders Way. With the plans in place, Wright-Ryan began ground-up construction on the entire building in spring of 2021 and partnered with BILD Architecture on the design.

“At J.B. Brown, we look for quality tenants who align with our long-term vision. Wright-Ryan is not only a tenant, but a trusted partner,” said Vin Veroneau, president of J.B. Brown & Sons. “This development at 15 Saunders Way underscores the value that J.B. Brown places on cultivating enduring partnerships. We have had the pleasure of working with Wright-Ryan on several projects in the past, and we were confident in the level of work that they would deliver on this project. We’re thrilled that their operations center is accommodating their need for future growth and innovation, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them for years to come.”

In tandem with the construction of their own operations center at 15 Saunders Way, the Wright-Ryan team was hired by J.B. Brown & Sons to construct and complete the second half of the 15 Saunders Way building for another longstanding tenant, PRC Industrial Supply. The local supplier needed a new warehouse space to house its operations and accompanying offices following a 40-year tenancy at their original space in downtown Portland. Wright-Ryan began work on the remaining 20,000 s/f within the 15 Saunders Way building, completing the project for PRC Industrial Supply in the same year.

“Making the move from downtown Portland to Westbrook provided PRC Industrial Supply the opportunity to consolidate our Gorham and Portland offices, streamlining our operations and connecting our team,” said Kevin Easler, former vice president, general manager, PRC Industrial Supply. “Working with Wright-Ryan on the construction of our Saunders Way space was seamless and efficient, and we would not hesitate to reach out if we had another project in our pipeline.”

Wright-Ryan’s operations center was completed in 2022. Since its completion, the facility continues to be heavily utilized for a sweeping majority of the company’s projects and has allowed for the expansion of Wright-Ryan’s prefabrication capabilities.

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Clippers' Russell Westbrook Says He's NBA's Best Bench Player: 'Ain't Nobody Better'

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Clippers are currently 51-28, fourth in the Western Conference, and have won seven of their eight games as they ramp up for the postseason.There were major questions if the big four of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden and Russell Westbrook could all coexist, but one of the catalysts for their success has been the latter's willingness to not only come off the bench, but thrive in that role."Ain't nobody better than me coming off the bench, in this league,&quo...

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers are currently 51-28, fourth in the Western Conference, and have won seven of their eight games as they ramp up for the postseason.

There were major questions if the big four of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden and Russell Westbrook could all coexist, but one of the catalysts for their success has been the latter's willingness to not only come off the bench, but thrive in that role.

"Ain't nobody better than me coming off the bench, in this league," Westbrook told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

The 35-year-old has provided 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season, often providing a spark off the bench with his energy, attacking aggression and playmaking ability.

But just as important as the impact off the bench was his willingness to take on that role despite being a former MVP, nine-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion.

"Sacrifice," Leonard told Youngmisuk when he learned that Westbrook would be coming off the bench earlier in the season. "We've been talking about it before—not him coming off the bench—but just about sacrificing for one another just so we could start winning. And he did that and wanted to come off the bench so we could be better. We've done so much in our careers already. So I think he just wants to have an opportunity to get there and win."

"We owed it to him to make it work," Paul George added. "All of us collectively, we know what sacrifice looks like now."

✨ Watch more top videos, highlights, and B/R original content

Head coach Tyronn Lue told Youngmisuk it was Westbrook who first approached him about making the change after the Clippers lost their first six games following the Harden trade.

"Ultimately, [it was] figuring out where the sacrifice is going to come from and who was going to take more of a sacrifice. And that came down to myself," Westbrook said. "The decision came to the ultimate big goal—to win the championship."

The Clippers were 3-7 at that time. They've gone 48-21 since.

As for whether Westbrook will be considered the Sixth Man of the Year for the 2023-24 season remains to be seen, though players like Bobby Portis (13.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG), Malik Monk (15.4 PPG, 5.1 APG) and Naz Reid (13.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG) all make compelling cases, among others.

There's no doubting that Westbrook's willingness to be a bench contributor has helped save his team's season, however.

Despite flaws, Tacos la Poblanita in Westbrook is worth a visit

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer ...

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy Image

The next time I visit Tacos La Poblanita’s new brick-and-mortar space in Westbrook, I’m borrowing my designer-friend’s handheld Pantone CAPSURE color-identifier. I need to know the exact shade of that eye-popping interior paint. Somewhere between Pantone “Blazing Yellow” and “TCX Vibrant Yellow,” the dining room crackles and arcs in a hue so intense, it’s like a quad-shot latte for your eyeballs. And on a glum winter evening, it feels like a warm hug. It’s a lot, and I can’t help but love it.

Chef/co-owner Karina Contreras and her husband Jaime Rodriguez opened their first “La Poblanita”–branded local business, a food truck, in 2019. It was an immediate success, with scheduled appearances at local breweries that would sell out their entire inventory of “burritos, quesadillas and mas!” days, sometimes weeks before they found a parking space for their boxy white (now red) van.

Three years later, as pandemic-precautions waned, they debuted a food-court version of the truck inside the Maine Mall, and then in February of last year, a copy-pasted counter-service clone of the mall restaurant in the former Doughboy’s Deli space in Westbrook.

“Right now, there are not a lot of significant changes (in the new brick-and-mortar space). We want a kind of relaxed atmosphere where our customers can come to enjoy our food, and we are open year-round,” Rodriguez said. “Our dream has always been to have one or two restaurants, and the big difference between the food truck, the mall and the Westbrook location is that we have added alcoholic beverages. The menu is practically the same.”

If that sounds like a tiny difference to you, perhaps you’ve never imagined the possibility of enjoying a spicy, malty Michelada ($12) – a beer-based cocktail made with tomato juice, chile and a hefty squirt of lime – alongside a plate of first-rate enchiladas verdes ($14.25) filled with tender shredded chicken breast, avocado and queso fresco. Now that it’s more than theoretical, get planning. Maybe add a potent, salt-rimmed margarita ($12) in there, too. Just double-check the restaurant’s website to make certain they’re open; I ran into mixed-messaging on this front a few times last month.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy Image

I also encountered inconsistencies on the menu, where homemade tres leches cake ($6) and flan ($5.50) are both listed, but neither was available when I visited. “No, no desserts tonight,” the staffer at the counter informed me. When I asked if desserts were often 86’d, he just shrugged, then input my order incorrectly…twice.

Elsewhere, I found cooking at Tacos La Poblanita to be hit-or-miss, ranging from excellent, as with the aforementioned jalapeno-spiced enchiladas verdes, to underwhelming.

That differential was most apparent across the spectrum of double corn-tortilla-wrapped soft tacos (most $15 for three, or $5.50 each). The adobo-spiced pork shoulder with pineapple (al pastor) taco looked appealing, with onion and chopped radish strewn across the slow-stewed meat, but it was chewy and surprisingly, a little bland. Acid would have helped, but that night, lime wedges seemed to be held up elsewhere along with the flan. The citrusy, cumin-scented pollo asado taco was better, especially drizzled with thin, house-made tomato-and-dried-chile-based red salsa, but again, the meat was tough.

On the other hand, the signature birria taco ($5.50) featured shreds of beef that had been cooked beautifully – slow-simmered in a garlicky, crimson consommé – bundled by the generous spoonful into corn tortillas that had been dip-dyed in the broth before a drying sear on the flattop. What a view, I thought as I admired the red tacos and the plastic cup of extra consommé served on the side. But I couldn’t eat more than a few bites; both meat and broth were oily, and the flavors a dull drone of salt and smoke.

Grease was a minor issue in the quesadillas ($13.25) as well, but here, flour tortillas bookending the melted cheese absorbed most of the excess. I also took the counter staffer’s suggestion and added terrific, pulled-pork carnitas ($3.25) to the mix. Here, cumin and brightness from the orange juice used to stew the pork offered exactly the lift that such a heavy dish requires.

Best of the bunch was a single shrimp taco (listed on the menu as $6 for two), lavishly doused in a fantastic spicy, chipotle-pepper mayonnaise and filled to overflowing with delicate deep-fried shrimp and homemade pickles (encurtidos). These were so tasty, I can picture a thriving, remixed Tacos La Poblanita that focuses exclusively on fried-shrimp tacos.

Seafood is obviously not in keeping with the restaurant’s nominal theme of dishes from the landlocked Puebla area of Mexico. But right now, very little on the menu is truly “poblanita.” When I spoke with him, Rodriguez told me that the restaurant will offer more region-specific specials like mole poblano and chiles rellenos in the future. I expect that running three kitchens in the warm months and two in the cold is at least partly to blame for the disconnect between the ambitions implied by the restaurant’s name and its menu of Mexican-American cuisine’s greatest hits.

Despite its blemishes, Tacos La Poblanita is OK by me. Too nice, you say? I challenge you to visit the revivifying, seasonal-affective-disorder-annihilating yellow dining room and not feel the tiniest spark of summer joy. But more to the point: Any restaurant that can deliver a spicy fried-shrimp taco, a well-mixed Michelada and appealing, onion-forward guacamole with fresh-from-the-fryer tortilla chips ($4.25 guacamole, $2.50 chips) deserves a little latitude.

RATING: ***

WHERE: 57 Bridge St., Westbrook. 207-591-0307. facebook.com/tacoslapoblanitamaine

SERVING: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

PRICE RANGE: Tacos: $3-5.50, Large plates: $9.75-14.25

NOISE LEVEL: Unmellow yellow

VEGETARIAN: Some dishes

RESERVATIONS: No

BAR: Beer, wine, and cocktails

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

BOTTOM LINE: If you know about Tacos La Poblanita from its popular food truck or its mall-side storefront, you’re already familiar with the menu at owners Karina Contreras and Jaime Rodriguez’s Westbrook restaurant. What’s new in this welcoming, if slightly garish, lemon-toned space is a selection of adult beverages like excellent beer-based Micheladas and robust margaritas. Food runs the gamut from slightly disappointing (tacos de birria and al pastor) to impressive – green-salsa-topped enchiladas verdes with tender shredded chicken, delightfully dense and oniony guacamole, and fried shrimp tacos drizzled with chipotle mayo, in particular.

Ratings follow this scale and take into consideration food, atmosphere, service, value and type of restaurant (a casual bistro will be judged as a casual bistro, an expensive upscale restaurant as such):

* Poor ** Fair *** Good **** Excellent ***** Extraordinary

The Maine Sunday Telegram visits each restaurant once; if the first meal was unsatisfactory, the reviewer returns for a second. The reviewer makes every attempt to dine anonymously and never accepts free food or drink.

Andrew Ross has written about food and dining in New York and the United Kingdom. He and his work have been featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio and in The New York Times. He is the recipient of seven recent Critic’s Awards from the Maine Press Association.

Contact him at: andrewross.maine@gmail.com Twitter: @AndrewRossME

'It’s like home for me': Russell Westbrook talks warm welcome in Thunder's win over Clippers

As long as Russell Westbrook remains an NBA player, he’ll always receive a warm welcome from the OKC crowd.That continued to be the case in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 134-115 win over the LA Clippers on Thursday. Even though he last played for the Thunder in 2019, the future Hall-of-Famer continues to be adored by OKC fans.When he checked into the game, Westbrook received a loud ovation from a very active crowd. The 35-year-old had 15 points, 13 ...

As long as Russell Westbrook remains an NBA player, he’ll always receive a warm welcome from the OKC crowd.

That continued to be the case in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 134-115 win over the LA Clippers on Thursday. Even though he last played for the Thunder in 2019, the future Hall-of-Famer continues to be adored by OKC fans.

When he checked into the game, Westbrook received a loud ovation from a very active crowd. The 35-year-old had 15 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes off the bench.

Russell Westbrook runs to the scorer’s table and this place goes wild pic.twitter.com/WXdrMmfe6L

— Clemente Almanza (@CAlmanza1007) December 22, 2023

A pretty loud cheer for Russell Westbrook as he officially checks in pic.twitter.com/expARyVoBP

— Clemente Almanza (@CAlmanza1007) December 22, 2023

When asked about his reception, Westbrook spoke fondly of the Thunder’s crowd and called them the best fans in the world when he talked to local reporters after the game.

“Best (fans) in the world. It’s like home for me to be honest. I grew up here and they welcomed me and my family with open arms,” Westbrook said. “They gave me everything they had every night, and I did the same and I’m grateful.”

Westbrook postgame on the reception he still receives in OKC:

"Best [fans] in the world. It’s like home for me to be honest. I grew up here and they welcomed me and my family with open arms. They gave me everything they had every night and I did the same and I’m grateful." https://t.co/1WemQHcnji

— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) December 22, 2023

The relationship between Westbrook and Thunder fans is a special one. After playing in OKC for the first 11 seasons of his career, the bond he built with the fan base will be everlasting.

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Exclusive: Russell Westbrook Opens Up About Role With Clippers

Los Angeles ClippersWhen Russell Westbrook re-signed with the LA Clippers, he was returning to a situation where he was expected to be the team's starting point guard after their multi-year search for the right one next to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The arrival of James Harden did not instantly reduce Westbrook's role, but a five game losing streak led to a starting lineup change, and Westbrook's minutes have been decreasing since....

Los Angeles Clippers

When Russell Westbrook re-signed with the LA Clippers, he was returning to a situation where he was expected to be the team's starting point guard after their multi-year search for the right one next to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The arrival of James Harden did not instantly reduce Westbrook's role, but a five game losing streak led to a starting lineup change, and Westbrook's minutes have been decreasing since.

Since moving to the bench, Westbrook is averaging just 20.6 minutes per game, and an even fewer 17.2 minutes per game since December 6th - which is when Ty Lue first went away from the Harden/Westbrook pairing entirely.

This degree of sacrifice is not what Westbrook envisioned when the Clippers acquired Harden, and it's certainly not something he could have seen when he chose to re-sign for less money. That said, the former league MVP understands what it means to truly sacrifice, and is willing to do that in pursuit of a championship.

"I’ve been in the league so long, I understand the definition of true sacrifice and understanding what that looks like," Westbrook told AllClippers following Saturday night's win over the New York Knicks. "Sometimes it might not be how you want it, but if it’s for the betterment of the team, that’s the most important part. This is a team game, and I know the most important goal - that’s to win a championship."

While Westbrook was first signed by the Clippers to be the point guard they'd been missing during the Leonard and George era, he was also brought in to be the vocal leader they'd been missing. This was something everyone in the locker room spoke about last season, and it's something Ty Lue said saved the team.

Whether this was pushing the Clippers' veterans in practice, leading on the court during games, or mentoring young players, Westbrook embraced this leadership role. No longer playing heavy minutes, this element of Westbrook's impact is something that could have gotten lost, but that hasn't been the case.

Rarely sitting down on the bench, Westbrook is always coaching Terance Mann, Kobe Brown, and other younger players on the team. When asked why he's doing this, when others in his position might choose to pout, Westbrook called it his duty.

"You can’t just lead when you want to," Westbrook told AllClippers. "Part of my duty ever since I’ve been in this league is to lead. Regardless of what’s going on, those guys need to learn and understand how important their role is for this team. Any time I get a chance, I try to make sure I’m in their ear, instilling confidence in them, and making sure they understand how important they are. That’s part of my job."

As Westbrook stated, this is something he has been doing since he entered the league. So many of Westbrook's former teammates have raved about this leadership, and Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant spoke exclusively with AllClippers about his experience with Westbrook when the two were teammates in Oklahoma City.

"It was amazing," Grant said of his time with Westbrook. "He took me under his wing. My third year in the league I get traded to OKC, and right away he took me under his wing. We built a bond, he got to know me as a person, and he allowed for me to build my confidence on the court. He's a huge reason why I am where I am today."

Grant's experience is one of many just like it. It's one of the reasons Westbrook's overall impact on a team, especially this Clippers team, can't be measured statistically.

Another way Westbrook's impact cannot be measured, even in this new role, is the energy he provides the second he checks into a game. Making a substantial impact in such a limited time on the floor, Westbrook's ability to change the complexion of a game in one shift is unmatched in many ways.

"I understand my worth and my abilities," Westbrook told AllClippers. "No matter how many minutes I’m on the floor, I know that I’m a force of energy. God has blessed me with that ability."

This is what Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said about Westbrook when asked about his new role off the bench, saying, "Russ is such an explosive player, and he changes the game as soon as he's on the floor, just with his power and his speed."

This energy is also something the crowd feeds off of. Clippers fans erupt every time Westbrook enters a game, and they get even louder each time he makes a play. Westbrook hears this, and he wants to repay those fans with his play on the court.

"I want the people who come to the game, whether I’m on the court for five minutes or 20 minutes, it don’t really matter - when I’m on the floor I make sure I compete and give everything I have," Westbrook said. "I know my duty is to play hard every single night, and make sure the people who come to the game enjoy the time that I’m on the floor."

For Westbrook, it would be human nature to not approach his new role with the same tenacity he attacked last year's playoffs with, when he averaged 33.5 PPG, 8.0 APG, and 6.0 RPG in Games 3 and 4 to give the Clippers hope without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Instead, he's embraced everything that's come with this new role, from pouring into the team's youth, to electrifying the crowd in the minutes he's given.

This is something Steve Kerr said every team needs when asked about the element of sacrifice, saying, "I think every team has to have someone set a tone. For us, eight years ago, it was Andre Iguodala. He had never come off the bench his entire career, and he agreed to do it, and eight months later he was Finals MVP. It felt like the basketball gods shining down on him."

The level of which Westbrook is being asked to sacrifice is not easy, but it goes back to something he said before the season began. When asked who he is as a teammate, Westbrook said, "I genuinely enjoy seeing other people do better. That's really who I am... I take myself out of the equation... I’ll take all the bullets for anybody, I’ll take all the heat, I don’t really give a damn, because I know what’s important to my teammate."

Not everybody enjoys the success of others, and even fewer enjoy it at the expense of their own shine. But that is what Westbrook is doing right now. Capable of much more than he's being asked to do, Westbrook hasn't approached his new role as an excuse to feel sorry for himself, but rather as an opportunity to be great in every area the Clippers need him to be great in.

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