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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 News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.

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Posted: October 28, 2015

Try a Rickroll or Jurassic Pork! Delicious food, inspired names at new-ish Rick’s Lobby Cafe in Portland

Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Rick Wood at Rick's Lobby Cafe in Portland. Whitney Hayward/Press Herald

Rick Wood at Rick’s Lobby Cafe in Portland. Whitney Hayward/Press Herald

Just like a John Denver song, the sandwich I had at Rick’s Lobby Cafe in Portland filled up my senses with more than a few of my favorite things. Here’s the actual description: oven-roasted chicken, crispy bacon, Swiss, red peppers, spinach and Dijon mustard on grilled sourdough.

Before I tell you more about how it tasted, let me tell you the sensational name of the sandwich, which may have been lost on many, but not on this 80s kid. It was called the “Last Night a Dijon Saved My Life,” ($8.50) clearly a nod to the 1982 gem “Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life” by the group Indeep. So this meant that when I got back to my desk, I watched the YouTube clip of the song while I ate my lunch and, five minutes later, both my stomach and my ears were immensely satisfied.


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So…about that sandwich. The chicken was of the Boar’s Head persuasion and supremely fresh. The bacon was cooked before my eyes and the Swiss was melted just the right amount. The red peppers retained their all-important crunch and the spinach was green and perfect. The Dijon mustard was applied with a medium hand so it was just the right. This is important to me as too much or too little would have had serious ramifications.

What’s more, the sandwich was just the right amount of food. I have the tendency to eat whatever I’m given in its entirety and was thankful that, when I finished this sandwich, I wasn’t feeling too full. But I was absolutely satiated.

Rick Wood mans the counter at Rick’s Lobby Cafe in Portland. Whitney Hayward/Press Herald

Rick Wood mans the counter at Rick’s Lobby Cafe in Portland. Whitney Hayward/Press Herald

Rick’s Lobby Cafe’s current owners took over the space that was The Lobby Cafe in May and I’d say they sure have a good thing going. I am already planning on heading back there to try the pulled pork sandwich ($8), the turkey & slaw (made with Sriracha! $7) and the homemade macaroni and cheese ($4, $6).

Not to mention the entire breakfast menu, which includes items such as The Rickroll ($6.50) – two scrambled eggs, sausage and Maine maple syrup rolled in a buttermilk pancake. Or the Notorious P.I.G. ($5.50) which is two eggs, ham, Swiss, spinach and Sriracha served on a ciabatta roll. And hello, you better believe I’ll be trying the Jurassic Pork ($5.50) – egg, extra bacon, provolone, tomato and pesto served on a bialy.

Sorry it took me this long to try you, Rick’s Lobby Cafe, especially since you’re essentially across the street from my office. Your sandwich might not have saved my life, but it sure made me happy.

And guess what? I’ve got some late-breaking news: A day before deadline, I popped back into Rick’s for breakfast and you had better believe I ordered a Rickroll. Back at my desk, I dipped each bite in the side of maple syrup and savored the flavor of morning perfection. This is not a light snack but the kind of thing to eat before you go out and shovel snow or chop firewood. Or in my case, before you go sit down at your desk for the day. Heavenly.

Rick’s Lobby Cafe

400 Congress St., Portland | 207-615-1806 | facebook.com/rickslobbycafe

HOURS: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday
WAIT: 5 to 10 minutes
PARKING: On street
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

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