367 Main St., Yarmouth
By the time I “celebrated” the anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown last month, I was ready for a change of scenery. I’d put hundreds of miles on my walking shoes over the past year, covering almost every neighborhood in Portland. I’d eaten takeout from pretty much every restaurant offering curbside pickup or a walk-up window. So when I heard from friends in Yarmouth about their new takeout spot on Main Street, I jumped at the chance for a road trip, even if it did only take 15 minutes to get there.
I’ve been a fan of Chef Christian Hayes for years, having watched him destroy the competition on Chopped and having sampled his food at events worked by Dandelion Catering, which he operates with his wife, Christine. But we’re talking about breakfast sandwiches, not canapes. Could Chef Hayes also compete down at that level? I was about to find out.
I parked out front and placed my order online. Three minutes later, a text informed me the food was ready at the window. The server waited until the last possible moment to pour my cup of Rock City Coffee ($2.50 for a medium), ensuring it was still hot when she handed it over. Nice touch; that’s an extra buck in the tip jar right there.
Although there were plenty of empty tables on the spacious patio, I was on a road trip, after all, so I traveled a quarter mile down the road and commandeered a picnic table in Royal River Park. There, I enjoyed my breakfast in tranquility, listening to the peaceful sounds of waterfalls and chirping birds.
I’d ordered two sandwiches, both made with two fried eggs and served on griddled potato rolls that were pillowy-soft and slightly sweet. Both sandwiches were quite large; I ate half of each and saved the rest for lunch.
The first came with bacon and American cheese ($5). For an extra dollar they added a hash brown inside. That simple upgrade elevated this humble sandwich to a thing of near perfection. The bacon was plentiful, crispy and not too salty, and the egg yolks were cooked just hard enough to keep them from running away.
My second sandwich was even better: sweet-chili pork belly and kewpie mayo piled atop eggs and American cheese ($8). It hit every taste and texture note I could wish for — from the salty-sweet heat of the pork, to the unctuous umami of the mayo, to the lacy, crisp edges of the egg whites.
I finished my feast with a cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting ($3.50). It was light and airy inside and crispy outside, with a crackly coating of cinnamon-sugar glaze. The frosting’s slight tartness held the sweetness in check.
With any luck, I’ll be returning to in-person dining soon. But even as more options open up in my own neighborhood, I plan on making more road trips to Yarmouth, if only to eat more of those sandwiches.