Little Lad’s Basket Bakery and Cafe… and Pals!
You may or may not know Little Lad’s from their presence in the popcorn market. People everywhere rave of the Herbal Popcorn varieties and try to mimic, though rarely successful (dun dun dunnn dramatic chihuahua)… the Secret Recipe!
What is lesser known about Little Lad’s is that they also have a wonderful bunch of cafes. Our trip in Portland, ME included a stop on Congress Street at Little Lad’s Basket, a quaint eatery which features a menu and a buffet as well as takeaway items like bags of popcorn, pints of frozen vegan desserts, whole grain breads and more.
Our gracious host on this journey was Steve. He manages this location and is very humble and proud to be serving an exclusively plant-based offering to his patrons. We arrived early on in the day and though their were few customers in for an early lunch, Steve was eager to gently engage and welcome the clientele. He was overheard discussing with a gentleman a concern regarding the patron’s wife’s health and the desire to heal through whole plant foods. What stood out to me was his desire to truly provide for his guests. A new customer expressed concern of eating as a new vegan and Steve made sure to check in to ask what every server is trained to do, “How is everything?” Steve didn’t want to take money from this person if he was unhappy with the meal. This may appear to be bad business to some however it was heart warming to see the sheer joy when the customer replied, “This is excellent!” Well done Steve! He cooks, he cleans and he serves.
For our interaction, Kristin and I jumped into the Buffet. How could we not after our host walked us through every dish? Fill the tray for 5 bucks? No brainer. Don’t worry doctors. We didn’t max this puppy out. The featured entree was an Eggplant Cacciatore over a Southern Spoon Bread. The sides featured were a Lentil Pilaf, which is one of my top favorites on the Maine excursion, a well seasoned rice, sweet corn done right, herb seasoned and not too salty, not straight from a can and a full raw veggie salad bar. Cheers Little Lad’s Basket!
Upon our departure we thanked Steve for a peacefully wonderful time and learned one more fun fact about Little Lad’s Basket in Portland. Wouldn’t you know it but Steve is an animal lover! Go figure. Us too! So he pointed out a banner he has up running the length of the restaurant. The banner is entitled “Little Lad’s Pals.” Guests are encouraged to bring in photos of important animals in their lives. Pets of all kinds are shown with Steve’s cat keeping you company while you are way from each other. A lovely touch. Visit Little Lad’s and bring a picture of your Chihuahuas Rocco and Charlie or Daffodil the English Bulldog or your cats Donkey and Chicken (Yes, I have two friends who have named their cats Donkey or Donks and Chicken. Don’t judge!)
Eat some vegan soul food and check out an old Maine license plate celebrating Little Lad’s choice to serve NO MEAT here:Little Lad’s Basket 482 Congress Street Portland, ME Phone: (207) 871-1636