My lunch date and I met at St. Joe’s Coffee in Gorham, both of us with rumbling stomachs, ready to feast.

After perusing their menu of soups, wraps, burgers, salads and other delights — including fish tacos and grilled cheeses made on “Aunt Ila’s Home Made White Bread” — my eyes settled on the section of pressed sandwiches ($6.25 to $6.75).

I came close to ordering the Cubano (ham, roasted pork, swiss, dill pickle relish and hots), but at the last minute decided on the smoked turkey. I was drawn to its list of ingredients — maple-glazed bacon, brie, apples, arugula and honey mustard — and had a hunch they could all make beautiful sandwich music together. Was I right? You bet.

But before I start singing the praises of the sandwich itself, let me first pay homage to the french fries. They were of the super-crispy, hand-cut, some still-with-skin-on-them variety. And there were plenty of them, none of which were left by the time I was through.

The sandwich was simply delectable with a lot going on with every bite. Sometimes I’d taste the apple, sometimes the bacon and always the tangy goodness of the honey mustard. It was pressed with care, the roll crisped to perfection while still maintaining softness. I didn’t think I’d finish it all, but I sure did.

The same can be said for my dining companion, who also partook of a pressed sandwich, in her case the falafel. I let her gulp down a few bites before asking her to chime in. The word “delicious” was uttered, and she was quick to note the freshness and presentation.

I’ll be hard-pressed (pun intended) to stray from the pressed sandwich options, but if they are any indication of the rest of St. Joe’s fare, then sure, bring it on. The grilled cheese is $4.95; wraps (crispy chicken, greek chicken, chef’s Caesar and garlic hummus) are $6 and $6.25; burger baskets (too many to list) served with fries or chips range from $5.25 to $5.95; and the salads (usual suspects as well as a taco one and the “Thai Awesome) range from $4.95 to $6.75. St. Joe’s also has a tantalizing breakfast menu.

Here’s the story of the name: On March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph (patron saint of workers), zeppolas are eaten by the dozens. Zeppolas, or “bennies,” are 2-inch, deep-fried dough balls covered with powered sugar. At St. Joe’s, they are four for $1.95 and topped with chocolate, blueberry or maple-cinnamon sauce. Count me in.

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


filed under: