I’m no Christopher Columbus or Galileo, but I sure made one heck of a discovery recently. It’s one that those in the know in Cumberland made last year when Doc’s Cafe & Marketplace opened on Tuttle Road.

Per usual, I’m late to the party, but thankfully, it’s an ongoing one of locally sourced foods and plenty of breakfast, lunch and just-plain-hanging-out-with-your-coffee-and-need-a-snack options.

The building is known to locals as “Doc Hanson’s place” because it was a doctor’s office for many years. The carriage house was torn down in 2011 and replaced with a historical replica. But enough with the history, let’s get down to brass tacks: the food.

A friend scooped me up from the office and we took the short drive from downtown Portland to Cumberland, appetites in hand.

Doc’s Cafe had me before the door even shut behind us. With a very homey atmosphere that spilled over into two different rooms of seating with plenty of windows (not to mention a patio), I felt immediately relaxed.

My lunch date zoomed in on the daily specials board, and went for the pastrami sandwich ($7.95). She later described it to me this way: “It was thick, delicious slabs of pastrami with roasted red peppers on perfectly toasted marble rye.”

When it was placed in front of her, she doubted she could tackle it in one sitting, but there was nothing left but crumbs when we departed. Who could blame her?

As for me, I contemplated the Spicy Italian sandwich ($7.95) with salami, pepperoni, capicola, provolone, lettuce, tomato and onion served in a sub roll with olive oil and red wine vinegar. That is right up my alley. Then I looked at the Roasted Turkey and Brie with house-made cranberry chutney ($6.95). That too spun my spurs immensely.

But you know what I ended up getting? Color me healthy (mostly), because I got a fantastic Cobb salad (a large is $7.95; a small goes for $4.50).

The definition of the Cobb salad is a fluid one, and varies from state to state and even restaurant to restaurant. Some feature Roquefort cheese and avocado; others are made with iceberg lettuce and black olives.

I liked what Doc’s did with its Cobb. The ingredients, all fresh, were chilled greens, roast chicken breast, crisp bacon, chopped egg, crumbled blue cheese and diced tomatoes (which were held for me) with a side of blue cheese dressing. The plate was overflowing with stuff, and I took my time with it, navigating like the aforementioned explorer around my plate.

And I’ve got even more good news: Doc’s offers breakfast. An Egg and Cheese sandwich on a bagel, croissant, English muffin or toast is $3.95, and you can get bacon, ham or house-made sausage for an extra dollar. There’s a three-egg omelette with toast and fruit for $6.50, and for a dollar more, you can choose three fillings.

The breakfast menu also includes breakfast burritos, pancakes and corned beef hash. To quote the Terminator: “I’ll be back.”

Finally, it’s certainly worth mentioning the impressive array of baked goods at the counter. Cookies and pastries galore will satisfy any sweet tooth out there.

I’m glad I found you, Doc’s Cafe. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $10. 

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