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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: April 9, 2018

With salads and sweets, Tally’s Kitchen will satisfy any diet

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

Truth be told, I’m a very boring lunch date. I don’t eat sugar and have been making a concerted effort to get back into shape these past several months, so it’s rare you’ll even see me eat a proper sandwich, despite my hopeless devotion and love for bread. But still, a gal’s gotta eat, and so I’ve struck up a reluctant friendship with a five-letter food category that has historically troubled me: salad.

Most people I know crave and, dare I say, even love salad. Me? I have to psych myself up for one, but I’ve found the older I’ve gotten the more I can embrace them and sometimes even enjoy them, especially if there’s a couple of croutons and some bacon involved. Turns out, both of these ingredients were part of the Honey Mustard Chicken Salad ($7) I ordered from the recently-opened Tally’s Kitchen at Bayside. Said salad came with grilled chicken (a crispy chicken option is also available) with bacon, cheddar cheese and honey mustard dressing, which I had on the side, as well as a handful of the all-important croutons. I sat in a high-top chair along the stretch of counter facing Marginal Way which, to be honest, is not much to look at in terms of a scenic view, but at least it was a sunny day. The space itself at Tally’s is comfortable and welcoming, as were the staff, and along with my salad, I had an outstanding cup of coffee as I dined and watched cars and foot traffic go by. Tally’s is in the same building at InterMed, and I can only assume those folks and the rest of the building’s tenants are thrilled to have on-site food, drinks and sweets so readily available. I know I’d be an instant regular, if that was my neck of the woods.

So back to my salad. Was it life-changing? No, but few are. Was it very good and was the chicken fresh and the bacon crispy? Absolutely. Of course, I could have eaten a salad three times as big as the one I had that day, but the $7 price tag is fair. I was a bit surprised that it was served in a plastic to-go container. When I asked about this, I was told they don’t have real dishes and might not be able to given the limited space and water capabilities but did say they were looking into getting recyclable packaging.

As for the rest of the Tally’s menu, several items jumped out at me, including egg and chicken salad sandwiches served on Botto’s Bakery breads and very reasonably priced at $5 and $5.50 respectively. They also have something called the California Club (roasted turkey, avocado, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon with chipotle mayo served on a warm ciabatta roll for $7.50) which, when I renew my friendship with bread, I’ll be all over. The ham and brie melt also speaks to me, as does the Thai Chicken Wrap ($7), and the entire list of breakfast sandwiches and wraps. Those of you with a sweet tooth will also appreciate Tally’s because its list of bakery items includes chocolate chip cookies, molasses cookies, zucchini bread, lemon squares and scones. Some of these were on display the day I had lunch, and they all looked delicious. All in all, I say welcome to the neighborhood, Tally’s. It already seems to fit right in across the street from Trader Joe’s and down the street from the Miss Portland Diner.

TALLY’S KITCHEN AT BAYSIDE

WHERE: 84 Marginal Way, Portland. tallyskitchen.com or 207-400-2533
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday
WAIT: About 5 minutes
PARKING: on-street metered
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

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