I found heaven the other day. It’s in Bowdoin.

On the hottest day of the year (so far), I wandered into what surely must have been the hottest barn in the country. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed a delightful lunch prepared and served by a friendly group of people.

Dripping with sweat and saddled with a fast-melting Moose Tracks ice cream cone, I departed feeling that I had experienced rural Maine in the best possible way.

Rocky Ridge Orchard in Bowdoin is situated just off Route 201 on the road to Augusta. Follow Route 201 north, and look for the old GMC pickup on the left side of the road. It’s about 6.5 miles north of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

Rocky Ridge is a delightful, authentic spot, where one can enjoy a quick treat or a full meal. The restaurant also serves freshly baked pies, breads of all varieties, cookies, dessert bars and squares, whoopie pies, doughnuts, fudge and many other Maine-made delights.

On Saturdays, you can get baked beans and coleslaw. Of course.

I had business in Bath and Brunswick and was looking for a place for lunch that was unusual and different. A friend from Bath suggested Rocky Ridge. She has driven by many times, but never stopped.

My advice to her and to you: Next time, stop.

I liked Rocky Ridge for two primary reasons: The food is good and the place is unpretentious. There is no fake country charm or cutesy put-ons that try to make you feel like you are experiencing something unusual.

The barn is a little gritty, a little dusty, and the fans work overtime to try to cool things off. There are racks of pies and breads, a cooler stocked with local dairy products and other cold drinks, and a hand-written menu board with a dozen or more sandwich choices and grilled items.

There are also jars of cookies, trays of doughnuts and cookie sheets lined with bars and treats. If you like sweets, this place is utopia.

I ordered a pastrami and cheese sandwich on marble rye ($5), with a cup of serve-yourself haddock chowder ($3.95). I know — what am I doing ordering a hot cup of chowder on a day when the digital thermometer in my car needed all three digits? But the friendly woman behind the counter assured me I was not the first, and would not be the last, of the day.

The sandwich may well have been the best pastrami I’ve ever had. The meat was without any rubbery fat whatsoever. The rye was lightly grilled, the cheese melted just right, and the pastrami hot enough but not too hot to eat. It was perfect. I had mine with mustard.

I ladled myself a bowl of chowder from a crockpot off to the side. It was packed with large chunks of meat and potatoes, and was creamy but not thick. I added one bag of oyster crackers. The chowder did not have a lot of spices, which suited me just fine.

That should have satiated me, but I am a sucker for cookies and ice cream, so I asked for one of each. Rocky Ridge serves Cote’s ice cream. I ordered a medium-size cone of Moose Tracks ($2.65) and an oatmeal-raisin cookie ($1). I assured the woman who took my order that I would eat the cone in the car before it melted and save the hand-sized cookie for later. Alas, I devoured both before I left the dusty parking lot.

I bought a sticky bun to bring home to my spouse, but it mostly melted into a puddle of goo in my car by the time I got back to Portland. I could have taken home any number of loaves of bread. Rocky Ridge bakes a variety, including white, oatmeal and honey, cheese, molasses, cinnamon raisin, etc. Prices range from $3.25 to $4.75 per loaf.

The pies looked spectacular for $12 each. Next time, I am taking home a blueberry pie for sure — along with the raspberry bar, a few doughnuts, another cookie or three and some farm-fresh milk.

The Features staff of The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram anonymously samples meals for about $7.