The new Barber Bros. Meat & Provisions opened in the former Legion Square Market in South Portland in September and has kept much of what made that place so beloved, including the extensive meat and deli counter and a corner store feel.

But one added feature is especially exciting to me: ready-made sandwiches to go. I’m also psyched about the huge local beer section.

Legion Square Market, also known as Smaha’s, had a reputation for its butcher counter. But I always lamented that I couldn’t grab just a couple slices of roast beef and slap them on some bread and walk out of the place, on my way to lunch at nearby Mill Creek Park, perhaps.

But the new proprietors, Jack and Max Barber, also run the Mainely Burgers food trucks and a restaurant in Boston. So they know something about preparing meals. The new market has a refrigerated case near the front of the store, marked “sandwiches,” with a daily selection of ready-to-go, wrapped sandwiches.

The new Barber Bros. Meat & Provisions in Knightville in South Portland. Photo by Ray Routhier

The day I dropped in around 12:30 p.m., the selection was down to two kinds: a veggie sandwich with kale and assorted other produce on wheat bread, and Barber Bros. version of a Maine Italian. I picked the Italian for $11.99. It featured sliced ham, thick American cheese, Bubbie’s dill pickles, shredded lettuce, roasted red peppers and mayo on a Botto’s sub roll.

The roll was nice and fluffy and kept the insides from squirting out. The ham and cheese were better than average and the pickles and red peppers gave it a little tartness and tang.

On the sandwich case the day I went, there were descriptions for two other sandwiches that were sadly gone: a roast beef sandwich with provolone, house pesto mayo, pickled red onion and tomato on a Mainely Grains onion roll; and a roasted turkey sandwich with cheddar cheese, sauteed onions, romaine lettuce and tzatziki sauce on a Botto’s sourdough roll.

The Facebook page for the place lists various other sandwiches on certain days. I was told the sandwiches usually get made and put in the case around 10:30 a.m. and are usually gone by 2 p.m.

Barber Bros. has kept the same butcher counter and general layout as Smaha’s, with lots of produce and grocery items, including slightly upscale food and drink. It seems like a nice place to stock a picnic, since you can get sandwiches, baked goods, crusty breads, interesting sodas and other fixins. And as I said, it’s got one of the biggest local beer sections around.

Barber Bros. interior, with the same general layout as the previous tenant, Legion Square Market. Photo by Ray Routhier

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