It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in the Portland area for almost 20 years and have never been to The Old Port Sandwich Shop. Heck, I almost applied for a job there in the mid-’90s, but didn’t. I had not walked over their threshold until a few days ago.

As soon as I was inside the place I knew I had been missing out. But since regret doesn’t achieve much and certainly doesn’t quell the rumbling in my stomach, I let myself off the hook and surveyed the vast offerings on big chalkboards above the counter.

I inquired if they had any gluten-free bread products (I’m going through a phase) and they said they didn’t but that they soon would. They made good on this promise a few days later and as a result, I have two lunches to tell you about.

My first foray into Old Port Sandwich Shop tastiness came in the form of creamy tomato soup ($3.75 for a cup, $4.55 for a bowl) and an antipasto salad ($6.99). The soup had just the right amount of zip and was a perfect way to kick off this fall’s soup season.

Next up was the salad. I liked it. I didn’t fall head over heels in love with it, but I liked it plenty. The portion was quite generous and featured a ton of lettuce, cukes and a few other usual salad suspects. Atop it was a roll-up of salami, ham, turkey and provolone cut into four pieces. I would have appreciated perhaps a little artichoke heart, roasted red pepper and some olives, but the definition of antipasto is a broad one, so I can’t fault them for what they served.

About four days later I was greeted by a “we now have gluten free” sign at the counter. They offer several types of bread and, much to my delight, three flavors of ciabatta rolls. The upcharge for this is a dollar and it was worth every cent.


I opted for the plain and went with the egg salad sandwich that came with, much to my taste buds’ delight, a slice of cheddar cheese on it. How have I never made this connection before? Cheese on an egg salad sandwich is a bold move and yet an obvious one. It added a certain je ne sais quoi to a lovely sandwich that was overflowing with tasty egg salad. I never thought I’d come close to finishing the thing, but of course I did. In a word: yum!

On my next visit I plan on ordering something from the grill, like a Reuben ($7.99), a BBQ chicken bomb ($7.45) or a bacon cheeseburger ($6.25).

The Old Port Sandwich shop also has a mess of wraps, salad and fried offerings to choose from and one of the best-stocked sections of beverages, chips and baked goods I’ve seen in some time.

I daresay the place is an Old Port institution that I’m happy to be committed to.

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login 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: