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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: July 2, 2015

Dining Guide: 5 noteworthy spots for sandwiches

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.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

For full listings and more restaurants, see our searchable Restaurant & Bar Guide.

The Local Press

Press Herald file photo

Sandwich and soup at The Local Press. Press Herald file photo

276 Woodford St., Portland | 207-773-0039 |
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.

Cote’s Cafe

French onion soup grilled cheese at Cote's Cafe. Press Herald file photo

French onion soup grilled cheese at Cote’s Cafe. Press Herald file photo

1 Portland Square, Portland | 207-563-0243 |
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.

Big Sky Bakery

The egg salad sandwich at Big Sky Bakery in the Portland Public Market. Press Herald file photo

The egg salad sandwich at Big Sky Bakery in the Portland Public Market. Press Herald file photo

28 Monument Square, Portland | 207-228-2040 |
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.

C-Salt Gourmet Market

C-Salt Gourmet Market. Press Herald file photo

C-Salt Gourmet Market. Press Herald file photo

349 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth | 207-956-7700 |
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.


Soup and sandwich at Verbena. Press Herald file photo

Soup and sandwich at Verbena. Press Herald file photo

103 Ocean St., South Portland | 207-767-2011 |
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.

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