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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: June 10, 2019

You’ll need another hand for the sandwiches at Blue Spoon Cafe

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

Exterior of The Blue Spoon Cafe in Portland’s West End Photos by Aimsel Ponti

Blue Spoon Cafe, an extension of the restaurant of the same name on Munjoy Hill, opened in May in the spot that was home for many years to Aurora Provisions in Portland’s West End.

The cafe has a glorious breakfast menu that includes scones, beignets, breakfast sandwiches and grain bowls. On the lunch front, you’ll find a daily soup, four types of salads, three varieties of tartines and, what got my interest, a selection of sandwiches.

I rolled in there for a late-ish lunch on a dreary Tuesday afternoon, and the joint was pretty jumping with several sit-down parties, as well as a few people grabbing stuff to go.

Like with Aurora Provisions, the cafe revolves around an island of display cases where you can peruse baked goods and prepared side dishes, order food and help yourself to the coffee bar.

Interior of The Blue Spoon Cafe.

There are several seating options, including a corner alcove that seems like the perfect place to hunker down with a laptop and a giant coffee to get some work down. I chose a window seat and appreciated the natural light.

I could have ordered any sandwich on the lunch menu, including the BLT, turkey melt or ham and brie, but I went with the chicken salad, with dill, aioli and local greens served on sourdough bread for $9. A Spindrift cucumber sparkling water and bag of Deep River chips rounded out what indeed would be quite the happy meal.

Chicken salad sandwich from The Blue Spoon Cafe in Portland’s West End
Photo by Aimsel Ponti

When my sandwich was presented to me, I felt like “The Flinstones” in the Bronto Burgers drive-through, getting a rack of ribs so big it tips over the car. Surely, it would break my table in two. And surely I would never, ever be able to eat the whole thing. Right?

Of course, I did, partially because this became the day I fell in love with dill. I finally understood what’s been missing from every chicken salad I’ve ever eaten (and there have been quite a few), not to mention the magnitude of putting it on some of the best sourdough bread on the planet.

My only complaint was the acoustics. It was loud in there, an echo chamber of chattering voices and not the kind of typical din you’d expect to hear in such an environment, but I reached into my bag, pulled out my earbuds and the problem was solved with some cello music.

Now, a different song is playing in my head, as I think back fondly on my lunch – to the tune of “Blue Moon,” but with the word “spoon” instead.

Blue Spoon Cafe

WHERE: 64 Pine St., Portland; (207) 613-9922, thebluespoon.com
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
WAIT: Less than five minutes
PARKING: Lot
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

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