Sunday, December 8, 2013
From staff reports
The Local Buzz opened its doors in 2010, and I've been sporadically hanging out there ever since. Cape Elizabeth was lacking a spot like this -- one where you can chill out with your book alone; get caught up with friends over some local brews; hop on their wi-fi and actually get work done with a mug of coffee and a bagel; or meet friends for lunch or dinner. It also hosts live music performances and even tarot card readings.
Dawn LaPointe, co-owner of The Local Buzz on Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, heads toward a table to serve a customer a salad of mixed greens, cucumber, tomato and goat cheese.
John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
THE LOCAL BUZZ
WHERE: 327 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth. 541-9024; capelocalbuzz.com
HOURS: 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m. to noon Sunday
CHEAPEST GRUB: Multi-grain toast with butter, $1.60
WAIT: 10 minutes
PARKING: Off-street lot
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes
RATING: *** 1/2
Based on a five-star scale
So when it came time to choose a place to write about, I texted a friend and scheduled a midweek lunch date with her and her 2-year-old daughter. That's the other appealing thing about Local Buzz -- it's very kid-friendly, with a corner alcove of toys.
In fact, all of Local Buzz is comfortable, with its combination of traditional tables, a community table and overstuffed chairs. Add to that tasteful low lighting and natural light from the front windows, and it's the kind of spot you want to spend time in.
Per usual, I arrived starving and ready to sink my teeth into anything that wasn't nailed down. But I forced myself to calmly peruse the list of offerings and soon became fixated on the panini and sandwich list.
Most cost $6.95 (served with chips), and I decided on the grilled chicken with roasted red peppers, onion, cheddar and pesto served on a baguette. The wait was longer than it should have been because we there at a pretty quiet time, but salvation was found upon taking the first bite.
Bonus points awarded for the heated baguette. I gazed at it and thought, "There's no way I'll be able to eat the whole thing" -- and then proceeded to eat the whole thing. The ingredients were an all-star team of sandwich superstars, and it will be a challenge for me to order anything else next time I go there.
Panini options include the Caprice (mozzarella, tomato and pesto), the Continental (prosciutto, gruyere and fig jam) and the BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo), among others.
On previous evening visits to The Local Buzz, I've enjoyed pulled pork sliders topped with barbecue sauce and broccoli slaw (three for $9). Next time, I may opt for the Mediterranean Plate (hummus, greek olives, pita and almonds) for $9.50. There's always a soup of the day, and recent ones included a chilled gazpacho and a cold roasted beet and apple that are perfect for summertime. A bowl is $4.25, and a cup is $3.25.
Another option for both lunch and dinner is the Build-Your-Own-Salad. The base of either spring mix or spinach greens is $3. Fifty-cents-each add-ons are tomatoes, onions, roasted red peppers, cucumber and garbanzo beans.
For a dollar each, you can get the speciality toppings: Grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, blue cheese, hard-boiled egg, goat cheese and nori sesame cashews. My friend's salad looked sensational, but be careful when you order, because those add-ons add up quickly.
On the breakfast front, The Local Buzz offers bagels with either cream cheese, veggie cream cheese, homemade hummus or peanut butter and jelly for $2.45. Cage-free egg-and-cheese sandwiches are $3 on a bagel and $4 on a croissant. You can add prosciutto or bacon for 50 cents. There are assorted baked goods at the front counter.
Beverage options include coffee, iced coffee, cafe au lait, Americano, espresso, hot tea, iced tea, chai latte, cappuccino, cafe latte, macchiato, cafe mocha and hot chocolate.
At lunch and dinner, The Local Buzz offers wine, local and commercial beer, and a variety of liquors, including Cold River vodka and gin.
The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $7.