Posted by: mydarkestplaces | April 22, 2009

Isabella’s Sticky Buns

This has been a long time coming, but I’m going to share a review of sorts about my favorite restaurant in Freeport, ME

According to some of my cohorts in the land of Bean, Isabella’s came under new management in the past couple years. Now, I haven’t been working in Freeport for too long, so I can’t give you a comparison between then and now. However, let me tell you that now Isabella’s is AWESOME. Not just regular awesome, but italicized, all capitals AWESOME. I have yet to be disappointed when I go in there (although there was that time in January when they were closed, that was sad for me). But first things first – the nitty gritty.

Isabella’s is a little whole in the wall cafe. They’re located on School St. in Freeport – which for the unfamiliar is just past L.L. Bean going north on Rte. 1. Their hours are 7am to 3pm. It’s a seat yourself, vinyl tablecloth kind of place, but don’t let that fool you. Their food is first class. They have slowly been renovating their space over the past couple years with the most important addition/change being they now have an espresso bar. For those who have read my review of Bard Coffee in Portland, you’ll notice that I recently added that Bard has the best latte on peninsula. That’s because Isabella’s has the best vanilla latte I’ve ever had (although Bard is a very VERY close second). They also have a pretty varied range of bottled drinks (no fresh juices), teas, and they roast their own coffee. 

Their menu is pretty extensive for being a small outfit. They have a full range of breakfast and lunch items and they serve breakfast all day (the second most exciting development this offseason, stay tuned for the foremost exciting thing). Another nice thing is that both menus are vegetarian friendly. 

On the lunch menu they have everything from a Port-o-Panini (just what it sounds like, a panini with portobello mushrooms and other grilled veggies), a Waldorf Chicken Salad wrap, two or three soups of the day, Steak and Cheese, hummus with grilled veggies, and sandwiches made with deli meats. Of all of these, my favorite has been a Roast Beef wrap that I got. Succulent cuts of meat, slices of sharp cheddar, and easy mayo. As Syd from Ice Age would say, “Yammo.”

However, my absolute favorite menu is their breakfast menu. My staple is their breakfast burrito. Particularly, with bacon, cheddar and green peppers. Here is where I tell you about the most exciting menu development this offseason. They now grill their burritos. It seems like such a “duh” thing, but until I had my first grilled one I had no idea what I was missing. Rounding out the lineup are various other breakfast standards: pancakes, french toast, omelets. Another item of note, which I think is an Isabella’s specialty, is their Turkey Hash with Eggs. Pulled turkey and sweet and red potato homefries blanketed in two eggs (prepared your way) and hollandaise. Wowzer is it ever good. 

Now the coup de grace. In addition to the wonderfulness of their breakfast and lunch menus, they have a great baked goods case. Various cookies, muffins, croissants, whoopie pies, and, of course, sticky buns. My favorites include their raspberry muffin, cherry cheesecake strudel, pumpkin whoopie pie and their day old sticky buns (they marinate in the caramel sauce when wrapped in plastic overnight). 

This is all my way of saying please go in and try it out. Jeff and the rest of the crew are fabulous people, who make fabulous food and fabulous coffee. If you’re looking for a place where the locals go, then I strongly STRONGLY urge you to check out Isabella’s. Even if you’re not going shopping, it’s worth a special trip to Freeport just to try it out.


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