Friday, December 6, 2013
From staff reports
In real estate, they say there are three things you should always look for -- location, location, location.
Emily Bastian shows off The Famished Farmer at The Market at Pineland Farms.
John Patriquin /Staff Photographer
THE MARKET AT PINELAND FARMS
WHERE: 15 Farm View Drive (off Route 231), New Gloucester. 688-4539; pinelandfarms.org
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The deli is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
CHEAPEST GRUB: Cup of soup, $2.99
WAIT: About five minutes
PARKING: On site
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes
RATING: **** 1/2
*Based on a five-star scale
Well, that might apply to eateries, too. At least it does in the case of The Market at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.
Because it's located in the welcome center at the Pineland Farms campus, you can sit by a window to eat and get sweeping views of some very picturesque rolling hills and farmland. On some days, you can see Mount Washington.
And because it's in one of the historic brick buildings that made up a former state facility for the mentally handicapped, the place has wonderful exposed brick walls, archways and wood beams.
The third location factor has to do with the idea that Pineland Farms is a producer of farm-fresh foods. So the market sells lots of yummy stuff produced right on the farm, including cheese, eggs, jams, honey and pickles. In summer, the market and its eatery sells all sorts of local fruit and vegetables.
In winter, Pineland is a popular spot for cross-country skiing, so the market is a good place to stop for nourishment after a cross-country trek.
When I visited during a recent lunch hour, the place was busy. There are lots of businesses located on the Pineland campus, and the market is a popular lunch spot.
Much of the space looks like a gourmet market with items ranging from beer and natural soda to baked goods, ice cream and produce. In one corner is a deli counter serving fresh soups and sandwiches, the latter made with Boar's Head meats, as well as Pineland Farms cheese, tomatoes and lettuces grown on the farm. You can order your soup or sandwich then get chips, drinks or a baked good from the market to go with it.
The basic sandwich costs $5.95 for a whole and $3.95 for a half. A half is still pretty big, especially if you get a soup to go with it. The day I was there, they had split pea with ham or haddock chowder, both costing $2.99 a cup. For the basic sandwich price, you can choose a kind of bread or flavor of wrap plus a meat or spread, cheese, vegetables and condiments.
I ordered the Almost Thanksgiving sandwich ($6.95), one of eight or so speciality sandwiches on the menu. It had sliced turkey, red onion, stuffing and cranberry horseradish mayonnaise on my choice of locally made Borealis wheat bread.
The sandwich was piled high with turkey. The cranberry horseradish mayonnaise was especially good -- creamy but with a kick. The red onion, which at first seemed a little weird, gave it some nice heat. Overall, the sandwich was great and very filling.
For dessert, I tried an almond cupcake ($2.49). The frosting was about 2 inches thick and very rich. It was plenty big for two people to share for desert.
There are a couple of different seating areas at the market. I sat in the main part of the market on furniture made of branches and logs -- near a window, of course.
The next time I go to Pineland, maybe for a hike, I would love to try one of the other speciality sandwiches on the menu.
They include the Famished Farmer ($7.95) with turkey and ham, Swiss and Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, a Kosher dill pickle and garlic-and-cracked-peppercorn mayo on your choice of bread; Sally's Turkey Salad ($6.95), a mix of turkey, mayo, celery, onion, cranberries, walnuts and a splash of orange juice on your choice of bread or a bed of lettuce; the Mr. Hollywood ($6.95) with roast beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and Pineland Farms' horseradish cheddar cheese spread on you choice of bread; and Pineland Farms' Garden ($6.95) with hummus, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot and red onion on your choice of bread.
The Features staff of The Portland Press Herald anonymously samples meals for about $7.