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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the WCHS TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.

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Posted: January 30, 2018

B.Good has bathing suit-friendly food, conveniently by the mall

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

It took a while, but I’ve finally accepted the fact that I don’t work in downtown Portland anymore and, rather, out by the Maine Mall. The office move happened in August, and although the new digs are certainly decent, I sure do miss the Old Port – namely its lunch options. However, I’ve slowly discovered that there is good food to be had within striking distance, and I’ve been driving by one of them daily for six months: B.Good.

The other day I decided it was time to hit it for lunch. I admit, I’ve snubbed it before because of its strip-mall location. Turns out I was dead wrong to throw them shade, and I’ll atone for my judgmental ways by paying them frequent visits. Because although it’s a chain, it’s not a huge one, and, boy, do they offer up what they advertise: real food fast – well, at least semi-fast.

I met my friend there at 12:30 p.m. on a recent Thursday, and the joint was absolutely jumping. We were lucky that two people had just finished their meal, and we were able to snag their table. There was a lot to take in: lots of plants and signs, including one that indicated the day’s seasonal ingredients. In my weakened, hungry state, I neglected to jot them down, but on the day I’m writing this, the ones listed on the B.Good site for South Portland include McIntosh apples from Ayer, Massachusetts, delicata squash from Sharon, Massachusetts, and beef from Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, among several others.

I almost ordered the amazing sounding – and looking – zucchini spaghetti and eggplant meatballs dish but decided to save that for a future dinner visit. Instead I went with the $9.99 combo of a cup of soup and salad. In this case it was the vegetarian four-bean chili and a chicken Caesar with dressing on the side. My friend opted for the kale salad. It took a little while for my name to be called, but given how busy they were, I’m not officially complaining.

I cracked open my can of Spindrift sparkling cucumber water ($2.69 and worth every penny) and my friend, her grapefruit one, and we dug in. I treated her to lunch with the understanding that she’d email me a few sentences about her meal while it was still fresh in her mind. A few hours later she came through and reported that she, too, was drawn to the zucchini spaghetti but was happy with her choice of the kale salad ($8.49), which she described as a big bowl of perfectly dressed kale, Brussels sprouts, beets, Manchego cheese and squash. “Everything tasted incredibly fresh. In my opinion, it’s the healthiest fast-food option by the Mall,” she said. And although she wouldn’t describe her lunch as hearty – we both were looking longingly at burgers and fries – she did say it was delicious.

As for me, I’m pleased to say that my chili was delicious, even with my requested “light” amounts of sour cream and cheddar. I felt my blood heating up in my veins as I ate it, such was the zip. But it also wasn’t a mouth-burning spicy, which my sensitive stomach appreciated. My salad was fine, and I mean that respectfully. It was fresh and tasty, and I used the lemon-Caesar vinaigrette dressing sparingly, but enough to liven up each bite. The lettuce was fresh and crisp, the chicken was perfectly cooked – though there could have been another ounce or two on there – and, frankly, I’ve never met a crouton or shred of Parmesan cheese I didn’t love. Paired with the chili, it made an entirely lovely lunch. Bonus points to B.Good for having an online ordering option, which I’ll use for future take-out lunch runs. I’m on something of a health kick these days, but I’m 100 percent certain I’ll cave soon enough and partake of one of the burgers with a side of hand-cut, oven-finished sweet potato fries. In the meantime, there’s a whole bunch of bathing-suit friendly options that I look forward to trying.

B.Good

WHERE: 200 Gorham Road, South Portland. 536-4406, bgood.com
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
WAIT: A little more than 10 minutes
PARKING: Yes, big lot
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

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