More than a decade ago, I ate at a pub outside the walls of Windsor Castle in England. I had at that pub a shepherd’s pie unmatched in its yumminess by any cook before or since. That is, until last week, when I ate the shepherd’s pie at Mousse Cafe and Bakeshop in Portland’s Monument Square.

I’d say it was beyond describing except I’m going to tell you about it.

First of all, it was a hunk of comfort food perfect for the rainy and windy day on which I ate it. I was able to get two meals out of it, which makes its $7.99 price tag a deal. There must have been an inch-thick layer of mashed potatoes (with a top browned to perfection) capping ground beef mixed with carrots, onions, peas and bacon. The taste was simply mouth-watering. The shepherd’s pie also comes with a side salad.

One of my companions ordered a half chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread with a cup of fish chowder ($5.99). The chicken salad sandwich looked so good that I went back to the cafe earlier this week to try it. I’m very particular about chicken salad — it’s so easy for the mayo to overwhelm it — but it was great.

My other companion ordered off the breakfast menu (breakfast is served all day). She got the huevos rancheros — two eggs, chorizo sausage, black beans, onion, chilis and Monterey jack cheese on corn tortillas with salsa and sour cream ($8.99). Everyone liked their meals.

The cafe offers takeout as well as eat-in and delivery options. You order at the front counter, where there are many tempting treats. If you are eating in, a member of the staff will wait on you at your table.

Breakfast items include biscuits and gravy for $5.50, a bowl of oatmeal for $5.50 and vanilla-scented challah french toast for $7.99.

On the lunch menu, you’ll find homemade turkey chili ($4 for a cup, $6 for a bowl), angel hair pasta with prosciutto, blistered grape tomatoes, asiago and fresh basil for $6.99, a BLT for $5.99, a garden burger for $6.99 and a veggie quesadilla for $6.99.


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


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