The counter at A Cafe & Bakery in Wells. Photo by Bob Keyes

WELLS — The restaurant was teeming with men in uniforms. As I looked closer, I noticed these firefighters represented departments across New England, and I surmised they were in Wells to pay their respects to the town’s late fire chief, who had died just a few days before.

I was honored to be in their presence, and happy to wait at the back of the line that queued up at the counter of the bright and spiffy A Cafe & Bakery, newly open on Route 1 in Wells. It’s a beautiful space, decked out in a decor of red and black, marble tables and a collection of glass cases that brimmed with baked treats. The service was quick, pleasant and efficient, and in no time I was at the register – and unsure about what I wanted to order. It all looked good.

The blueberry muffin at A Cafe & Bakery in Wells was nearly perfect. Photo by Bob Keyes

I had to start with a blueberry muffin. A plate of them caught my eye the moment I entered the store, as I was attracted by the glistening sugar on the muffin top and the abundant berries ($2.50). I also ordered a breakfast sandwich called the Standard – with egg, cheese, bacon and a choice of bread ($5.99). I thought I asked for it on a bagel, and it came on a chewy brioche bun.

The muffin was exceptional, and I enjoyed it with my coffee ($2.49 for a small) while I waited for the sandwich. The muffin was moist and the blueberries were still slightly warm. I loved the crusty sugar top, and thought it was presented with simple elegance. The sandwich arrived a few moments later, and it too was fabulous. I loved the chewiness of the brioche, and didn’t give a second thought to the missing bagel. At a glance, I thought the oversized bun would overwhelm the eggs and bacon, which seemed almost lost amid the bread. But the bun was so soft and chewy, it proved a perfect complement for the eggs, bacon and cheese.

Whereas the muffin was served on a nice plate, the breakfast sandwich was served in a plastic basket with plastic utensils. I didn’t love the disposable nature of the utensils, and didn’t understand why the muffin was served on a hard plate and the sandwich on plastic.

The space felt a little formal and almost more like an ice-cream shop than a breakfast and lunch place. But it’s neat and clean, and quite cute. There’s a small courtyard for outside diners, though it faces Route 1, which is very busy this time of year. I am eager to explore the menu, both for breakfast and lunch. The Green Eggs and … comes with eggs, avocado and sprouts and a choice of bacon or ham. The Morning Reuben is an egg, corned beef, Swiss and sauerkraut option, and the Hot Mama comes with eggs, pepper jack cheese, roasted red peppers, banana peppers and tomato.

There are cold and hot sandwiches for lunch, as well, including a meatloaf sandwich on sourdough that looks obscenely good.

The Standard breakfast sandwich at A Cafe & Bakery in Wells. Photo by Bob Keyes


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