We often feature full-on restaurants in this space, but for the summertime, we’re going to change things up a bit and mix in some more casual options. Such as these fine places for sandwiches in the greater Portland area.
276 Woodford St., Portland | 207-773-0039 | localpressme.com
This small panini shop is known for serving Boar’s Head meats and for its bowls of “Rundown,” a spicy Caribbean chowder made with coconut milk, curry and root vegetables. The Reuben is noteworthy for not only its top-quality fillings, but also for the rye bread. The children’s menu includes the usual PB&J and grilled cheese, but also has a couple of selections for the more adventurous child – for example, the “Nutty Nana,” which is made with peanut butter, banana, Nutella and bacon.
1 Portland Square, Portland | 207-563-0243 | cotescafe.com
On the lower level of the TD Bank building downtown, both the location and staff of Cote’s Cafe are bright and cheery. Although there are two tables available it’s mostly a takeout place. The offerings include a salad bar, fresh soups, specialty and traditional sandwiches, wraps, burritos and rice bowls. Especially recommended: French onion soup grilled cheese sandwich.
28 Monument Square, Portland | 207-228-2040 | mainebread.com
On the ground floor of the Public Market House, the satellite location of the original Big Sky location in Deering is a popular place for downtown workers to pick up lunch. The counter staff is especially friendly and the menu includes well-made sandwiches, soups, a couple of salads and pizza (at the adjacent Pie in the Sky Pizza). There’s no place to sit downstairs, but you can take your lunch upstairs to the seating area where there are about a dozen tables of various sizes.
349 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth | 207-956-7700 | csaltgourmetmarket.com
This new cafe and market is housed in a cheery, cottage-like structure right in the center of town, on Route 77 near the high school. Order from the blackboard menu over the counter, and choose one of several tables, or take your breakfast or lunch to go. The menu offers a variety of sandwiches — including ham, brie and honey mustard on a croissant and a house-roasted beef with cheddar, caramelized onions and chipotle mayo — burgers, grilled cheese, salads, soups, slab-style pizza and a large selection of baked goods.
103 Ocean St., South Portland | 207-767-2011 | verbenaonline.com
Verbena draws a local crowd to the resurgent Knightville section of South Portland with a large menu of daily specials and a comfortable, easy-going vibe. The standing menu lists two salads and three sandwiches, notably Catie’s Famous Chicken Salad with celery, apples and grapes. All sandwiches are served on bread from Portland’s Standard Baking Company. The space has very high, old-fashioned pressed tin ceilings, wood floors and honey-colored wood furniture, warm green walls, and both table and couch seating.