It only makes sense to go to a bakery for a sandwich, I think.

The trouble is, not every bakery makes sandwiches.

Luckily, The Baker’s Bench in Westbrook does, because sandwiches are really the best way to show off their fresh breads. I mean, I wouldn’t normally walk into a bakery and ask for a slice of Scotch oatmeal bread.

But I bought two slices from The Baker’s Bench during a recent lunch break when I found I could get them wrapped around a Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. At $9.35 and huge, it was one of the best sandwich bargains I’ve seen in Greater Portland for a while.

The bread was light with just enough bite, and a slightly sweet flavor. It went really well with the tartness of the cranberries, the savory taste of the stuffing and the giant chunks of roast turkey. These were not thin, cold-cut slices of turkey-flavored meat product.

Before I knew how big and filling the sandwich was, I also ordered an oatmeal cookie ($2.50) for dessert and plain croissant ($3.30), just because it looked good. While driving back to my office, starving, I was happy to have the croissant, because I could easily tear off a couple hunks to eat while traveling. It was incredibly buttery and flaky and delicate, all those things we want croissants to be.

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I could not possibly have eaten the sandwich while driving, because it was overstuffed with fillings. But the bread and the moist stuffing did a good job of keeping it mostly together.

The oatmeal raisin cookie from The Baker’s Bench in Westbrook. Photo by Ray Routhier

As you might guess from the old-school pricing, The Baker’s Bench is kind of an old-school place. I could find no website or online ordering device, so like my forefathers before me, I called them up and ordered my lunch over the phone.

That doesn’t mean the place doesn’t have a strong social media presence. If you go on Instagram and search “The Baker’s Bench, Westbrook” you can find lots of photos posted by devoted fans of the place, including images of croissants, cinnamon rolls, brownie cakes, cupcakes and cream horns. Not to mention some lovely photos of sandwiches, including a dramatic shot of a pastrami and swiss.

The day that I went, some of the other sandwiches offered for lunch included: a Westbrook Club (ham, turkey, bacon and American cheese), a Rachel (sort of like a Reuben, but with turkey), turkey, BLT, hot pastrami, tuna salad, chicken salad and curry chicken salad.

The bread choices for the sandwiches were Parker House white, wheat, Scotch oatmeal and Prairie, a seeded multi-grain. You could buy a loaf of each for $5.75. Also on the board were breakfast sandwiches, including a bacon or ham, egg and cheese for $5.75 or just an egg and cheese for $5. But you can have it on a croissant or any kind of toast.

It’s located in a yellow one-story building that’s on the corner of Brackett Street and busy William Clarke Drive, a block from Main Street downtown. There’s no seating inside, it’s strictly takeout. There are some wonderful looking pastries and baked goods to look at while waiting in line, though.

The Baker’s Bench in Westbrook, facing William Clarke Drive. The door is on Brackett Street. Photo by Ray Routhier


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