First things first — get the beet chips. Don’t have an internal debate in your head about it, just do it.
To give you a sense of how good they are, Jamie Pacheco, managing partner of the New Beet Market (was there an Old Beet Market?) said customers have been asking whether the beet chips will ever be sold as take-home items.
Some day maybe, Pacheco said, but she has her hands full at the moment.
On a spring-like weekday in late February, the lunch spot on Brunswick’s former naval air base is bustling and for good reason. The place is great.
It’s open and bright and simple in a good way.
Everything is local. The baked goods are made from scratch on site, with the exception of gluten-free offerings, which come from Wildflours.
The bread is Big Sky. The cheddar on most of the sandwiches from Pineland farms. The produce comes from a vegetable and herb garden in the cafe’s front yard that’s run by Seeds of Independence and from a student-run fruit and vegetable farm at Harpswell Coastal Academy.
I had a sandwich called This Little Piggy ($7.75), comprised of thick slices of smoked ham, the aforementioned cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato, with mayo on wheat bread. It was a simple sandwich but, again, in a good way. My lunch date had the Cranberry Coop ($6.90), a take on chicken salad featuring cranberries and shallots. Again, simple but savory.
There are also daily soups, paninis and even some breakfast offerings.
Back to the beet chips ($1.50). They are super thin slices of beet, deep fried and salted. Really tasty. Even my companion, a well-established picky eater, approved.
We also shared a massive slice of carrot cake ($3) that was dense and moist and not too sweet.
The lunch spot has a great vibe too. There are plenty of tables and even two oversized leather couches in one corner for coffee drinkers. Most of the customers who were there when we arrived were still there when we left, about 45 minutes later.
New Beet Market is every bit as good as Wild Oats or Big Top Deli – two other well-known Brunswick lunch spots – but its location could end up being a challenge.
Even though the former Brunswick Naval Air Base has long since closed, many people still forget that civilians are allowed on the expansive site.
The dozens of businesses and hundreds of employees that now call the old base home will likely help keep the market in business, but others should give it a try too.
WHERE: 25 Burbank Ave., Brunswick; 406-3367 . Newbeetmarket.com
HOURS: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes