Our Rating  

The Kitchen
593 Congress Street

Four plates  
The Kitchen The fourth in a series:
In search of Portland's Best Sandwich Shop

Reviewed: Summer, 2000

Where's the most logical place to go for food when you're hungry? We thought The Kitchen would be a good place to try, and we were right. Take a seat in the art lined, tin ceiling eatery, or bring your food back to your own living room; wherever you choose to eat it, you'll be satisfied.

My wife and I have frequented The Kitchen's Congress Street, Portland location, (The Kitchen also has a location on Pleasant Street in Brunswick), and have never had a bad sandwich there. The menu includes a wide variety of wraps and subs, as well as salads, and homemade soups and chili, and the daily specials board displays good deals.

As with the previous sandwich shops we've visited for review, we bought sandwiches from The Kitchen on two separate occasions. The first afternoon, we ate in and enjoyed examining the colorful artwork on the walls, and the intricately molded, vintage tin ceiling. My wife ordered a Mediterranean Wrap, featured on the special board for $3.99 (regularly $5.25), filled with Kalamata olive pate, feta cheese, and roasted red pepper on brown rice, with green leaf lettuce, tomato, and cucumber (she loves cucumber on her sandwiches!). Not only were the ingredients incredibly fresh , the generous sized wrap was stuffed so full that she couldn't even finish the whole thing.

My Turkey Sub from the special board was nearly perfect. Fresh turkey breast, just the right amount of mayo, tomatoes, onions, and shredded lettuce topped with salt and pepper, inside a really good sub roll and warmed in the oven (I opted not to have the melted provolone cheese). The sandwich was stuffed plentifully, though I wish the sub as a whole had been larger than eight inches. Still, for the $2.99 special (regularly 4.25/8 inch & 5.25/10 inch), it was deal.

On the second visit to The Kitchen, we picked up sandwiches to take home: a small Tuna Melt Sub, and a Thai Spiced Chicken Wrap, again from the specials board. Just the right amount of mayonnaise in the tuna fish, a bit of pepper, shredded lettuce, melted provolone cheese in a soft fresh sub roll received invoked a mouthful of approval from my wife. I need to learn to eat more slowly to better enjoy food like this. The enormous Thai Spiced Chicken Wrap, stuffed with bean sprouts, onion, broccoli, brown rice, green leaf lettuce, scallions, peanut sauce, and plenty of grilled chicken provided a filling meal. A satisfying dinner made all the more so because we got a deal ($2.99 Tuna Melt, usually $4.25 & $3.99 Thai Spiced Chicken Wrap, usually $5.25).

wheelchair accessible
vegetarian selections
vegan selections
most credit cards accepted
With a soda and a coffee, our first trip to The Kitchen cost us $9.70. Without drinks the second time, we spent $7.33. The Kitchen's regular menu prices aren't outrageous, but they're not inexpensive, either. However, you get both quality and quantity with your order, equally important factors in my sandwich estimation. And, it's tough to beat their specials board, on which there's always a soup, salad, and roll combo ($4.49); two sandwich choices; and a half sub and cup of soup combo ($4.49).

Hungry? Get into The Kitchen.  back to the top

      Matt O'Donnell is a poet and freelance writer who lives in Portland.






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