Between a fabric store and a nail parlor is the Fairground Cafe, a long-standing restaurant at the Topsham Fair Mall. The large restaurant is known locally as a good place to get breakfast, but it also offers lunch and dinner.

The Fairground Cafe is a down-home type of place, with warm wood and dark-green tones. The decor — posters, old news clippings and other artwork — celebrates the tradition of statewide agricultural fairs and horse racing.

The restaurant serves breakfast all day, which makes it one of my favorite places to eat in the area. Plus, the folks at the cafe are truly nice.

When I arrived on a Wednesday morning, the place was busy, but not as packed as you would find it on, say, Saturday or Sunday. I had my choice of table, booth or bar seating. I chose a table, and was soon visited by a friendly waitress offering me coffee and a menu.

I ordered three slices of Texas French toast ($4). I considered adding bacon to my order (which would have added $1.75), but decided against it.

I didn’t have to wait long before my breakfast arrived, steaming, on a plate before me. It hit the spot, and considering how full I was after eating that much bread, I was glad I passed on the bacon.

The breakfast menu offers pretty much what you would expect, with such items as plain pancakes for $4; blueberry pancakes for $4.75; home fries, a breakfast sandwich of egg and cheese on an English muffin, and bacon, ham or sausage for $4.25; a breakfast burrito for $5; and sausage gravy and biscuits with home fries for $5.50.

When ordering an omelet ($5.75 to $7.75) for breakfast, you get home fries and toast, but if you order one for lunch, you get fries or toast.

Non-breakfast items include a cup of soup and half a sandwich for $6.25; chicken caesar salad for $6.95; a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for $5.25; liver and onions for $5.75; two grilled hot dogs for $4.75; and roast beef, chicken pesto, chicken caesar or buffalo chicken wraps for $6.75. 

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