I have finally found it! A place where I can actually take the gourmet food right off the shelves, give it to the man behind the deli counter and he will make me a delicious sandwich with any fixing my heart desires. It is called The Taste of Portmouth and it is a tiny ex-convenience store right before the downtown area of Portmouth, NH. Shawn and I have a dilemma when it comes to going out to lunch. He always wants something large and meat heavy like Habachi or The 99, but I of course would like something small and light. It is very difficult to find a restaurant in the seacoast area that can make both of these things happen for under 20 bucks.
I had seen ads for this place in the newspaper, but had never remembered to stop in until this weekend. We were both starving and craving something tasty so we hesitantly agreed to try it out, assuming that we would be faced with the same problem that multiple cafes in the past have presented: the tiny sandwich for 20 dollars syndrome.
We could not have been more wrong.
The deli is a cross between a convenience store and a gourmet deli with regular ketchup and potatoe chips intermingled with roasted red-pepper tapenades and root-vegetable chips. The menu offers sandwiches named after local seacoast landmarks like The State St., The Piscatequa, The Wentworth etc. You can also create your own sandwich, which is what I went with. When I asked if they had whole wheat bread, the man behind the counter literally pointed to the loaf on the shelf and motioned for me to pass it to him. When I asked for pesto he walked to the gourmet spreads shelf and pulled a tube to season my sandwich with.
I ended up ordering a create-your-own panini on whole wheat bread with fresh mozarella, roasted red peppers, spinach, tomatoes and pest. It was perfect!
Shawn ordered The New Castle: Roasted Turkey, bacon, romaine, tomato, feta and kalamata-sun dried tomato tapenade on whole wheat. He could not stop talking about it.
We paired our sandwiches with an Orange Pineapple Mango Nantucket Nectars, Boulder Canyon Salt and Cracked Black Pepper Chips and a coffee all for $19! That is a steal for the seacoast sandwich market. Trust me.
It was so refreshing to actually get exactly what I wanted! This place is a great lunch spot and I actually went back two days later with my mom…and yes the man behind the counter did recognize me and smartly reached for my whole wheat bread.
So the next time you are in the Portsmouth area prepare to be amazed by this quasi-convenience store gourmet deli.