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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 saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: April 28, 2015

Dining Guide: 5 Portland-area delis to fill your big-sandwich cravings

While fans of Fully Belly Deli, which closed its longtime Portland location in January wait for it to reopen (as Rosen’s Deli in Westbrook), they’ve had to seek out other sources for reubens and roast beef on rye. None of the following are exactly like Full Belly/Rosen’s, but you’ll find hearty sandwiches and more deli specialties at all of them.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

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Otherside Delicatessen

Otherside Deli on Verandah Street in Portland Carl D. Walsh/Press Herald file

Otherside Deli on Veranda Street in Portland. Carl D. Walsh/Press Herald file photo

164 Veranda St., Portland | 207-761-9650 | othersidedeli.com | $$
One of the city’s newest delis was opened this winter by chef Peter Sueltenfuss, the former chef at Grace. Housed in the old Quattrucci’s Variety, Otherside features sandwiches made with locally sourced, high-quality ingredients, such as pork schnitzel with caper and egg relish and mustard on a bulky roll, or a pork belly bahn mi with liver mousse, country pate, carrot and cilantro. Sueltenfuss is curing his own salmon, butchering his own meats and offering cut-to-order steaks, as well as “take and bake” dinners.

Mac’s Deli

Mac's Deli in Scarborough. Gordon Chibroski/Press Herald file photo

Mac’s Deli in Scarborough. Gordon Chibroski/Press Herald file photo

426 Route 1, Scarborough | 207-396-5356 | macsdeliandcatering.com | $$
Mac’s is a little hard to spot if you’re not looking for it, on a busy stretch of Route 1 south of the Haigis Parkway, across from the Len Libby candy shop. There are a few tables and a small counter for eating in, and the build-your-own sandwich menu includes more than a dozen meats/fillings, a half-dozen cheeses, more than a dozen kinds of bread, and two dozen or so toppings. Sandwich specials, such as braciole roast beef on a poppy seed bulkie roll with provolone, lettuce, mayo, and onions, are listed daily on the Facebook page. New Jersey expats, take note: A breakfast sandwich, “The Jersey”, is the real deal, made with Taylor ham (pork roll).

Clark Street Deli & Market

Clark Street Deli in Portland. Jill Brady/Press Herald file photo

Clark Street Deli in Portland. Jill Brady/Press Herald file photo

81 Clark St., Portland | 207-774-1996 | clarkstreetdeli.com | $$
The new incarnation of Vespucci’s — a longtime West End institution, Clark Street Deli & Market serves classic deli sandwiches, panini, eggplant and chicken parmigiana sandwiches, thin crust pizza and more. Many of the sandwiches are named for for Portland neighborhoods: “The Parkside” panini is thinly sliced roast beef, tomatoes, melted cheddar cheese and horseradish mayo on a pressed crispy roll and “The Stroudwater” is an an open-face tuna melt with sliced red onions, pickles, tomatoes and melted Swiss cheese on toasted rye bread. Breakfast is available Monday – Sunday.

Leavitt and Son’s Deli

Pete Leavitt of Leavitt & Sons Deli in Falmouth. John Patriquin/Press Herald file photo

Pete Leavitt of Leavitt & Sons Deli in Falmouth. John Patriquin/Press Herald file photo

37 Depot Rd., Falmouth | 207-781-3753 | leavittandsons.com | $$
Just off Route 1, Leavitt & Sons is a convenient stop for lunch (mostly take-out, but the place has a few tables), as well as for locals who pick up Pete Leavitt’s famous chicken pot pies and other ready-to-go options for dinner. The sandwich list includes all the classics, plus more creative choices such as The Sidelinger: Black Forest Ham, brie, roasted pears, honey mustard; there are also salads and homemade soups. In season, Leavitt gets lettuce, herbs and other produce from the deli’s own garden.

Saco Island Deli

Mark Claussen of Saco Island Deli in Saco shows off a “Mainah,” one of the deli’s specialty sandwiches. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Press Herald file photo

Mark Claussen of Saco Island Deli in Saco shows off a “Mainah,” one of the deli’s specialty sandwiches. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Press Herald file photo

110 Main St. Suite 1204, Saco | 207-286-3842 | sacoislanddeli.com | $$
Housed in a handsome old mill building, on an island in the Saco River between the downtowns of Saco and Biddeford, the deli is known for its creative sandwiches made with high quality ingredients. A favorite is “The Mainah:” pan-seared chicken breast, bacon, Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded romaine lettuce and maple aioli on a crusty roll. Daily specials and soups are posted on Facebook, and the deli also serves breakfast. There’s plenty of seating if you want to eat in, but just across the river there’s a nice picnic area.

Key to prices

The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up

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