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Ray Routhier

Portland Press Herald staff writer Ray Routhier will try anything. Once. During 20 years at the Press Herald he’s been equally attracted to stories that are unusually quirky and seemingly mundane. He’s taken rides on garbage trucks, sought out the mother of two rock stars, dug clams, raked blueberries, and spent time with the family of bedridden man who finds strength in music. Nothing too dangerous mind you, just adventurous enough to find the stories of real Mainers doing real cool things.

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Posted: December 16, 2016

With the fresh produce and meats from their store, The Farm Stand makes daily soups and sandwiches

Written by: Ray Routhier
Roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese, dijonnaise, bread and butter pickle and sliced apple on a bun at The Farm Stand in South Portland. Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese, dijonnaise, bread and butter pickle and sliced apple on a bun at The Farm Stand in South Portland.
Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Sometimes when you’re at a farmers market, you look at all the great stuff from local farms and you just want to cut off a hunk of this and a slice of that to make yourself a sandwich.

That might get you in trouble with the various farmers, so it might be safer to go to The Farm Stand in South Portland and let them do it for you.

The market in South Portland’s up-and-coming Knightville neighborhood offers produce from Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth and has a butcher’s counter with grass-fed beef, pastured pork and lamb and free-range poultry from farms all over Maine.

The Farm Stand sells produce from Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth. Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The Farm Stand sells produce from Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth.
Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

But if you can’t wait to get those ingredients home and make something yourself, you can saunter in any day between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., when lunch is served.

The Farm Stand usually offers three made-to-order sandwiches. Two are creative, adult-sized sandwiches for about $6.95. One is a slightly simpler kid’s sandwich for $5.95. It says kid’s on the menu board, but the staff will tell you anyone can get it. There are also two hot soups everyday. Plus, the market has chips, things to drink and various house-made salads.

The day I went, they were offering a house-smoked ham sandwich with cheddar cheese, smoked jalapeño mayo, daikon radish and pickled carrot on a bun. They also had a sandwich of hummus, cranberry mayo, Swiss cheese, pickle, watermelon radish, tomato and cucumber on whole wheat. Both were $6.95. The kid’s sandwich was ham, mayo and cheddar on a bun.

I picked the house-smoked ham sandwich. While the counter staff was making it, I browsed the soup offerings in two big self-serve pots. One was a roasted vegetable stew with tomato, squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, fennel, sherry, cumin, olive oil, salt and pepper. All of those ingredients were conveniently written on a little chalkboard, so customers would know exactly what they were getting.

Smoky minestrone soup from The Farm Stand. Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Smoky minestrone soup from The Farm Stand.
Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The other soup offering was a chili with grass-fed beef, smoked pork ribs, peppers, celery, onion, tomato, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, scallion, ramen broth, white bean broth and a few other things. I picked a 12-ounce cup of the roast vegetable stew for $4.95.

The stew had a thick, tangy tomato base with a ton of vegetables. I’m not the biggest Brussels sprouts fan, but the tiny wedges in the stew were delicious. Even without meat it was a hearty and tasty dish.

The sandwich also had some things I’m not usually big on, like daikon radish and pickled carrot. But both worked really well and overall the sandwich was one of the best I’ve had. The slices of ham were thin and smoky. The thick slice of carrot was a little crunchy, as were the radishes. The jalapeño mayo gave it just enough heat.

And the bun was freshly baked with a little dusting of flour on the outside. It was crusty enough but soft inside.

By browsing The Farm Stand’s Facebook page, I noticed other sandwiches I’d like to try. One is roast beef, cheddar, pickled carrot, cranberry sauce and mayo on a bun. Another is Tuscan pork, cheddar cheese, apple chutney, lettuce and mayo on whole wheat. Some other soups on the daily menu board have included potato stew, beef mushroom, ham and vegetable and sausage chili.

The Farm Stand is close to Mill Creek Park, so in nice weather it’s a great place to get takeout and then park on a bench to eat.

In winter, it’s location works in reverse. Go for a skate on the frozen pond at the park, then stroll over to The Farm Stand for soup to warm you.


THE FARM STAND

WHERE: 161 Ocean St., South Portland; 805-1481
HOURS: Soups and sandwiches available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
WAIT: About five minutes
PARKING: Yes, in a lot on the side of the building
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes

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