With hip flair and a super-friendly staff, Market Street Eats in Portland had me smiling before I had even ordered. Images of Elvis, Sinatra, ’50s and ’60s kitsch, old license plates and vintage roller-derby posters cover the walls.

From there, my attention was directed to the board of “MSE’s Greatest Hits,” which boasted such cleverly named choices as the Horse Whisperer (roast beef, cheddar, onion and horseradish mayo), Slawter House Five (turkey, cheddar, tomatoes and spicy Thai cole slaw) and the Jose Cranseco (chicken salad with bacon and cranberry sauce).

All tempted me. Then I remembered a friend’s suggestion, and ordered the Buffalo Chicken Melt Wrap while my lunch date opted for the Chavo (chicken salad with lettuce, tomato and avocado).

In fewer minutes than we could count on one hand, it was “order up,” and we tucked into our sandwiches. Mine was perfectly toasted, making the wrap crispy. (Speaking of which, the wraps are all-natural, fat-free, low-carb pita bread, a refreshing change from the boring and oft-used tortilla.)

In my wrap, the blue cheese dressing melded with the buffalo chicken spice, and before too long, I had broken into a sweat. The chicken was strips of fresh breast meat, not the deep-fried stuff often associated with buffalo chicken. It was a bit messy, but nothing that three napkins couldn’t handle, and certainly well worth the effort.

Taking a moment for a much-needed sip of Dasani, I checked in with my friend, who reported that her Chavo was hitting the spot.

She appreciated that on her plate was a side of Thai mayo that she didn’t order but that the kitchen thought she would like, which she did.

Both of our wraps cost $6.50 — the standard price for all wraps, the cornerstone of the business. On a blackboard, there was yet another list of offerings under the heading “The Coop,” with wraps such as Funky Chicken (chicken, provolone, baby spinach, pickles and spicy Thai mayo) and the Mike Thaison (ham, provolone, swiss, tomato, onion, pickle and spicy Thai mayo).

Salad fans have plenty to choose from as well, with the Farmer’s Market Salad ($6), the Oriental Chicken Salad ($7), the Turkey Cobb ($7) and a few others.

The breakfast crowd can choose from six different wraps ranging in price from $4.50 to $5.75.

Two examples are the Buddha (two eggs, melted havarti, fresh avocado, tomato, onion and ham or bacon) and the Tatanka (two eggs, sausage, onion, melted cheddar and buffalo sauce).

Recent additions at the eatery include Carpe Diem coffee and an array of hot and cold submarine sandwiches.

I got the sense that there were a lot of regulars ducking in and out of Market Street Eats for their midday nourishment, and I might just become one of them. 

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


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: