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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for 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 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 of course.

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Posted: March 5, 2018

Omi’s new SoPo locale is a house full of treats

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

It was as if they knew I was coming, because when I opened the front door of Omi’s in South Portland, I was greeted with the sounds of Mazzy Star’s song “She Hangs Brightly.” As the sound of Hope Sandoval’s dreamy vocals wafted into my years, the aroma of fresh coffee wafted in my nose, and all was right with the world.

This was my first visit to Omi’s, which moved from the West End in Portland to this new space in the beginning of January. This time around, it essentially has an entire house to itself and, what’s becoming a rare commodity these days, its own parking lot.

Omi’s occupies the first and second floor of a bright blue house centrally located on Cottage Road within stone-skipping distance of Willard Square. And although both Scratch Bakery and The Cookie Jar are close by, Omi’s absolutely fills a need that I, for one, plan on taking advantage of.

It’s a comfortable place to hang out in. There are a few spots downstairs, and the upstairs area is quite roomy with several two-top tables and a high-top bar area to perch at. You’ll also find displays of vintage assemblages and stacks of books to stick your nose in while you chillax. This is the kind of place I can picture hanging at with friends or solo with my laptop, getting some work done thanks to the free WiFi. It’s also a spot to dash in and out of en route to work or on the way home for a late afternoon pick-me-up.

I hit Omi’s just after it opened, around 7 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and immediately ran into a friend. Fun! She told me she loves Omi’s because they have Union Bagels, which are her favorite. As for me, I was in the mood for an English muffin and ordered one with an egg and spinach on it ($4.25) along with a large coffee (16 ounces for $3.75). No two ways about it, this is a pricey cup of joe, but I sipped easy with the knowledge that it’s locally roasted, fair trade and organic from Seacoast Coffee in Portland. Plus, it was a thrilling departure from my usual home-brewed Maxwell House, yet still quite good to the last drop.

As for the breakfast sandwich, it was heavenly. The English muffin was a soft cloud of melt-in-my-mouth perfection. The egg and spinach were lightly adorned with salt and pepper, and I took a few bites while sitting in the front bay window, then devoured the rest in the car on the way to work. This thing was glorious.

I snagged a menu on my way out and can report that Omi’s beverage selection is extensive and includes organic hot coffee, espressos, Americanos, house-made chai, spiced cider and coconut cold brew, among other life elixirs. It also has smoothies for $6, vanilla Greek yogurt with house-made granola and bananas for $4, and oatmeal with blueberries, Maine maple syrup and choice of steamed milk for $4.

The breakfast menu is available until 2 p.m. and includes Union Bagels, English muffins (with a gluten-free option) and house-made bread of the day. Spreads include butter, three flavors of cream cheese, Earth Balance vegan spread, hummus and peanut butter. If you’re a breakfast sandwich fan like me, you can get a bunch of stuff in yours, including cheese, bacon, veggie sausage, smoked lox, avocado spread, tomato, spinach, picked red onions and capers. There’s also one called B.A.E. (bacon, avocado, egg and cheddar on choice of bread for $6.75), a hummus sandwich for $5.50, and a herb and Asiago biscuit for $5. Sign me up for all of these! Also sign me up for a slice of quiche ($4.50).

Lastly, I’ll touch on what is untouchable for me, since I broke up with sugar almost five years ago: the baked goods! Omi’s has a lovely spread of them available, including blueberry biscuits, cookies, coffee cake, scones and cinnamon buns. Omi’s also makes something that left me weak in the knees with longing: a homemade Pop Tart with a rotating schedule of options available daily.

Welcome to SoPo, Omi’s. It seems to me you’re already fitting in quite comfortably, and if I may quote “Casablanca,” I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


WHERE: 372 Cottage Road, South Portland. 835-0145. On Facebook
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week
WAIT: About five minutes
PARKING: lot for about 10 cars
WHAT ELSE: Omi’s also carries beer and wine for take-home enjoyment.

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