Midcoast Munching

Unforgettable sandwich at Union Street Bakery

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Chris Chase – Coastal Journal Restraining myself for long enough to take a picture of this beauty was tough.

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BRUNSWICK — Sometimes, as soon as you walk into a place, you’ll know that it’s going to be exactly what you’re looking for.

I remember the first time I visited Union Street Bakery, located on (who guessed it?) Union Street in Brunswick. I was hitting up all the bakeries in the area before Halloween, trying to find places that had some special Halloween-themed treats for a story I was doing.

At that time, Union Street Bakery had barely been open a few months. Sandy Holland, former co-owner of The Humble Gourmet, was busy making magic in the rustic-style space. She didn’t have any treats ready yet, but told me to come back the next day and there’d be plenty. I needed good photos, so I took her up on that offer.

When I returned, I bought a sandwich while I waited for her to put some finishing touches on the treats. I still remember that Turkey BLT with some avocado - months later - because it was that good.

Last Saturday I returned once more, girlfriend in tow.

A good way to describe the Union Street Bakery is the kind of place that would fit right into Hollywood’s imagining of the perfect town. The walls are decorated with local art and some homey touches. A giant vintage fridge sits in the back, looking like something straight out of Pleasant-ville. Comfortable couches with some reading material, a few booths, and a few tables are the options for seating.

Usually, the smell of something being baked will assault you and make your mouth water as soon as you walk in, and the displays of baked goods will taunt you. It’s not a good place to be if you’re trying to lose weight (though they do have plenty of healthy options, if you have the willpower to deny the German chocolate cake whispering in your ear).

I ordered a Turkey Bacon Pesto Panini, with pesto mayo, roast turkey, cheddar, bacon, tomato, and arugula, all toasted for $7.45.

My girlfriend chose the Roast Beef Sandwich, with roast beef, Provolone, roasted red pepper, red onion, horseradish mayo, lettuce, and tomato for $8.95.

We each also got a side of the potato salad. Unfortunately, in my haste and hunger I forgot to note the types of bread.

Union Street Bakery roasts their own turkey, and serves it up in thick, juicy slices on the sandwich. The bread is also baked there, and it was buttery, crispy, fresh, and delicious.

Whenever I see pesto included in any food item, there’s always the worry the flavor of basil will completely overwhelm everything else. That was far from the case here, as the pesto melded into the flavors of the sandwich. This pesto was a good wingman rather than a showboat, making the rest of the ingredients taste better.

The vegetables were all fresh, the arugula was crisp and the tomato flavorful. A pet peeve of mine is flavorless, odd-textured tomatos that clearly came from a hothouse in who-knows-where and tastes like a watery bit of red paper. Union Street Bakery uses the good stuff.

Of course, I had to grab a bite of my girlfriend’s sandwich, as well. I didn’t get to have too much of it, but that one bite, to me, tasted like summer. It tasted like sitting at a picnic with family, enjoying the sunshine, and having a pleasant, cool sandwich. The horseradish was present, but not overpowering, the veggies fresh and crunchy, as well.

The one complaint I have is the side. Not that the potato salad was bad, far from it. It was made with red-skinned potatoes, what I believe was a hint of dill, and had a good ratio of mayonaisse to potato. Each ingredient tasted, once again, fresh and the potato was cooked to just the right consistency.

However, there wasn’t enough of it for me, as it was so good I wanted to keep eating it.

Holland said that business has been going great since she opened last June, and with the food she makes it’s easy to see why. Scarily enough, with the sandwiches as good as they are (and they are very, very good), I hear the baked goods are even better.

How the staff manages to keep fitting through the door in the presence of all that food, I’ll never know.

The Union Street Bakery is located at 40 Union St., Brunswick. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday though Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Midcoast Munching II takes into consideration food quality and presentation, ambiance, service, drink selection and price points. In the event of an exceptionally bad dining experience, Chris chase will return for a second visit. If you would like to recommend a sandwich joint for Chris to visit, email: cchase@coastaljournal.com