I knew my visit to Market Street Eats was going to be a good one the moment I walked in the door because the first thing I heard was the song “Connection” by British alternative rock band “Elastica.” It’s a true ’90s gem I hadn’t heard in many years. So, yeah, they had me at hello, and it all went swimmingly well from there.
Riding the wave of “new year, new me,” I somehow managed not to order one of several tantalizing sandwiches (on Syrian pita or bread), such as The Rustler (roast beef, melted Swiss and provolone, red onion and sweet barbecue sauce, $8.50) or the Cayenta (grilled chicken, melted cheddar, tomato, red onion and spicy southwestern sauce, $8.50). Nope, not this kid.
And though I proudly managed not to order something with bread, it did involve bacon, so there’s that. I ordered the Spicy Cobb Salad ($8.50), but because I’m a weirdo, I got it without the spice, which was supposed to come from Sriracha. However, even without the spice element, this was a perfect salad that had me singing like Julie Andrews in “Sound of Music,” as it combined a few of my favorite things. Fancifully arranged on a plate was a bed of crisp romaine lettuce festooned with chunks of chicken, hard-boiled egg, red onion, avocado and bacon. I used the side of tasty bleu cheese dressing sparingly and enjoyed the feast as I sat in my window seat and watched foot and car traffic go by on Market Street.
For the record, I am not a salad eater, which is sort of embarrassing, but it’s mostly because I’m too lazy to assemble them at home with the ingredients I love. Get me in a restaurant that will do it for me, however, and I’ll clean my plate like nobody’s business.
But that’s not the end of my Market Street Eats story. Actually, the salad was where it ended, but I havent’ told you about the beginning yet. It started with a cup of White Bean & Kale Soup ($3.70) that Market Street Eats gets from the good people at Kamasouptra. Like a child, I could practically stomp my feet declaring, “I hate kale!” and yet in this delicious, steamy format, joining forces with the white beans, I was all about it and could have eaten two more cups.
Over the course of my visit, I also heard a Beatles song and walked out to Jim Croce’s “Operator,” along with a chorus of “thanks for coming in” and “hope you liked your lunch” from the incredibly friendly (in a very sweet and not annoying way) staff.
Market Street Eats, I’m all about you, and I’ll be back. Keep the sensational food and fantastic tunes coming. Also, I adore the retro photos of Sinatra and The Rat Pack, Johnny Cash and all of the other entirely fabulous vintage stuff adorning your walls.
WHERE: 36 Market St., Portland; 773-3135; mktstreeteats.com
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
WAIT: About five minutes
PARKING: On street
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: No, there are a few steps