Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Second Breakfast

Opening Day Offerings at Ten Ten Pie

As I mentioned in my last post, I am thinking (and eating) like a hobbit this month in order to bring you lists of what I think are some of the best food establishments in Portland, Maine. Monday's post was all about big, hearty sit-down breakfasts and brunches of the sort that put one into a food coma for at least a few hours after eating.  Today we'll cover that most marvelous of hobbit meals: Second Breakfast.  Do I normally eat two breakfasts in a day?  No, but I'd like to, and that is all that really matters.  For this category, I'm including slightly smaller, eat-on-the-go breakfasts of the kind to grab before work on a weekday morning or before flea marketing on the weekend . . . or as a late morning snack any day.  This list isn't exhaustive, but it is pretty darn amazing.  You'll also notice that a couple of choices are in South Portland.  If this is cheating, you'll be glad I'm a cheater.

  1. Ten Ten Pie  This place has only been open since the summer, but it won my heart on the very first day its doors were opened.  Think perfectly executed European pastries with an Asian twist.  I'm talking twice-baked matcha green tea and almond croissants, spiced pumpkin bread pudding with maple syrup, and savory pies stuffed with kale, feta, and caramelized leeks.  Come here for pastries, pick up a few groceries (it's also a corner store), and buy extra goodies to take home--like maybe the homemade canneles or the Chinese sausage tarts.
  2. Oh No Cafe  My favorite breakfast sandwiches in town.  I don't eat meat, so I tend to just get eggs and cheese on a croissant, but I also love the cream cheese, spinach, tomato, cucumber, red onion & Sriracha on bialy.  Mr. Magpie likes the maple glazed prosciutto, tabasco, Vermont cheddar & egg on a bagel.  Not a fancy place.  Very plain and simple decor, but who cares?  Grab your delicious sandwich to go.  Their eggs are fried to achieve a soft center with crispy edges--lots of salt and pepper, and top-quality ingredients.  This is a West End institution.
  3. Standard Baking Company  Located on Commercial Street in the heart of the Old Port, Standard becomes outrageously crowded with tourists in the summer, who come to take photos of the glorious baked goods for their Instagram accounts as much as they do to actually buy bread.  We wait all summer for the crowds to thin so that we can have our beloved bakery back.  I love every single thing I've ever had from here.  At breakfast, I usually have a blueberry-oat scone when I want something a little bit sweet and a fougasse when I'm craving something savory.  And I buy a bag of the chocolate sables for later--the best chocolate cookies in the city.  That's saying a lot.
  4. Big Sky Bread Company  I am blessed to have this incredible bakery in my neighborhood.  They make several varieties of bread every single day, plus my favorite granola, plus truly lovely sunflower-seed bagels, plus whole-wheat cheese squares stuffed with berries and fruit.  I recommend the blackberry cheese squares.  If you want to buy a loaf of bread to make your own breakfast at home, their cinnamon bread is lofty and packed with cinnamony, buttery deliciousness.  Mr. Magpie can't get enough of the English muffin loaf for toasting, and we both love their oat bread for sandwiches.  The old firehouse it's in makes for a great spot to hang out and people watch.  If you have kids, they've got a children's corner with real bread "play-dough" for kids to knead and shape.  
  5. Holy Donut  Yes, I know I had Holy Donut on the last list, but you'll need to go there more than once, so this time I can recommend the cinnamon & sugar and the lemon glazed.  Amen.  
  6. 158 Pickett Street  This is the spot for bagels.  It's in South Portland; it's funky and cute; the people are the nicest; and they've got a sweet little garden out back to sit in while munching.  Or, grab your bagel (mine's topped with pimento cheese, thank you very much) to go and head for Portland Head Light.  Perfect Maine breakfast.
  7. Scratch Baking Company  Also in South Portland, also incredibly good bagels, plus loads and loads of other pastries and breads to choose from.  Very high quality baked goods and the selection changes often.  They also make a killer granola.  
  8. Little BIGS Hand pies and donuts and cakes, oh my!  Another South Portland hot spot.  Good things really do come in small packages.  Go there.  Have a hand pie for breakfast and then split a donut with someone you love for dessert (or have a whole one all to yourself for Elevensies). 
Loaves Cooling at Big Sky Bread Company


  1. wow, danke für die tollen bilder und liebe grüße von angie aus deutschland

    1. You're most welcome, Angie! Thanks for stopping by.


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