Tally’s Kitchen’s second location in Stevens Square Community Center, the former McAuley High School in Portland. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

Visits to Tally’s Kitchen on Marginal Way have become part of my routine after doctor’s appointments at Intermed in the same building. I treat the mini weekday splurge of non-homemade coffee, and sometimes a breakfast sandwich, as my reward for completing this basic act of adulting.

When I heard Tally’s was opening a second Portland location in walking distance of where I live, I imagined I’d incorporate it into more routines – namely trips to the winter farmers market, also located in Stevens Square Community Center, the ever-redeveloping former home of McAuley High School on Stevens Avenue.

I was disappointed to see that the hours listed online indicated it wasn’t open on weekends, but when I visited last week, I learned that it has, in fact, been open during the farmers market on Saturdays and sometimes beyond that, depending on other events happening in the building.

Owner Julie Taliento Walsh, a McAuley alum, said the regular operating hours are actually 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays but have varied to accommodate events, like a recent play for which the cafe stayed open until 8 p.m. to serve the audience at intermission.

The new location just opened last month, but Walsh said it already has a cadre of regulars from the neighborhood and a booming catering business.

Located right inside the entrance to the building, which is in back by the parking lot off Walton Street, the cafe looks like a kiosk in a food court, open to the main atrium with a coffee bar beside it.


The closet-sized space is efficiently and adorably outfitted to showcase a variety of snacks, baked goods and a small case of prepared foods to go, with the counter, where you order and pay, looking onto the full kitchen behind it.

I called in my order, which I was told would take 10 minutes, and it was ready when I got there. Although it appears you can order online, Walsh said that’s only available at the Bayside location for now, but will be among the amenities coming next year, along with third-party delivery options and curbside pickup.

The menu will also expand next year, but already includes customizable breakfast sandwiches and wraps, and for lunch, a selection of salads and sandwiches, from a basic BLT to a crispy chicken club wrap, along with soups, specials and take-home dinners.

A Killer Kale Salad with apple cider vinaigrette from Tally’s Kitchen. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

I make myself a salad for lunch most days, so in order to pay for one, it has to sound pretty appealing and different from mine. The Killer Kale Salad ($6.50) did just that, with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, apples, goat cheese, bacon and a side of apple cider vinaigrette.

I wasn’t sure how all of those ingredients would be prepared or go together, but it was a delicious, fresh, crunchy preparation that felt both supremely healthy and slightly indulgent, though very reasonably priced for the portion size. You can add crispy or grilled chicken, but I didn’t feel it needed anything else.

Although I took my order to go, there are tables in the atrium where you can sit and enjoy your coffee, snack or meal, and Walsh said there are plans for creating a mezzanine with couches and a fireplace. I’m sure I’ll be making that a destination for weekend winter walks, but if you live farther away, you can easily turn your breakfast or lunch trip into a full-blown outing by tacking on a stroll through nearby Baxter Woods or Evergreen Cemetery.

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