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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for 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 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 of course.

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Posted: April 20, 2017

Off the small menu at Coffee ME Up is a life-changing turkey club

Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Exterior of Coffee ME Up in Portland Staff photos by Aimsel Ponti

Exterior of Coffee ME Up in Portland
Staff photos by Aimsel Ponti

Coffee ME Up recently opened on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Wilmot Street in Portland right about where the East End, Bayside and downtown meet — and not far from my office.

A few weeks after I first heard about this new joint, a lightning bolt of hunger tore through me while sitting at my desk, so I took a short walk over to Coffee ME Up for refueling purposes and decided to stay there and enjoy my lunch for longer than the normal 19 seconds that I usually take to inhale it while working.

The menu isn’t giant, but that’s OK because it says to me they’re not trying to be good at too many things at once, and I can respect that.

Baked goods at Coffee ME Up in Portland.

Baked goods at Coffee ME Up in Portland.

Breakfast options include a mouth-watering array of baked goods, including croissants that were practically whispering to me (in French, of course) and bagel and egg sandwiches (with assorted meat and cheese options, as well as avocado).

The lunch menu has seven items on it and most of them were tempting. I ordered the turkey club (spicy aioli, turkey, bacon, tomato, avocado, lettuce and cheddar cheese for $8.50). It was sensational, but more on that in a minute.

Other lunch-ables include the prosciutto sandwich (liptauer cheese spread, cheddar, red peppers, gardiniera mix, tomato, arugula, lettuce and beets for $8.50), spicy tomato sandwich (tomato, chipotle aioli, arugula and avocado for $5.99) and the Super Green salad (kale, spinach, arugula, strawberry, onion, apple, almonds and goat cheese for $7.50). There’s also a rotating soup of the day for $3.50. Coffee ME Up also offers smoothies and the coffee comes from Coffee By Design.

Turkey Club at Coffee ME Up in Portland

Turkey Club at Coffee ME Up in Portland

Getting back to my turkey club. Somehow, I didn’t realize that it was going to be pressed, panini-style, or come on a ciabatta roll. The bad news is that it was so good I think I might be ruined for life and require all of my sandwiches to be grilled. The good news is that it was grilled to the kind of perfection I didn’t know was missing from my life until that very moment. When I sunk my teeth into it, it was like walking through the pearly gates of sandwich heaven. Welcome to the ‘hood, Coffee ME Up, let’s be friends.

Coffee ME Up

WHERE: 221 Cumberland Ave., Portland. 536-1279.
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
WAIT: Less than 10 minutes
PARKING: On-street and a small lot out back with a few spots
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Front entrance has an approximately 4-inch high ledge. Rear entrance has stairs.

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