“Mae’s Café and Bakery continues in their tradition of gentle excellence”
BATH- Sunday Brunch, in the best sense of the word, is a long, lingering, casual meal, with as many cups of coffee as one could wish, a light but hearty food entrée, such as Portobella Eggs Benedict or Cinnamon French Toast, piled with fresh berries, and the sense that the diner has all the time in the world to spend in a window seat or on the deck watching the world go by, while idly engaging in conversation about books, art, theatre, and politics, or skimming the Sunday New York Times Book Review. The biggest question of the morning should be, “champagne or no champagne?”
It should come as no surprise, then , that the successor to Kristina’s, Mae’s Café and Bakery on Centre Street, continues to be an extremely popular brunch destination. Indeed, it is one of the few places in Bath where Sunday Brunch, in the classic sense, can even be had anymore.
Mae’s is also an art gallery. Local artists show their works, displayed on Mae’s walls. Each room at Mae’s has a different kind of appeal. The regular lunch room is an open-windowed affair with bookshelves filled with fun paperbacks while waiting for one’s lunch. The room is also open at dinner and for brunch. There is an upstairs room that is occasionally used for brunch and dinner, but is more often used for special parties. A small room on the other side of the bakery is also open for lunch, dinner and brunch. And in fine weather, there is an outdoor deck. Furniture ranges from classic New England to cozy and funky, depending on where you are seated.
Mae’s also has a lunch menu and a dinner menu. The lunch menu features salads and sandwiches that appeal to a palate that is ready for more than iceberg lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Mae’s signature Tarragon Chicken Salad, for instance, includes a little surprise-red grapes and walnuts, which give the salad a sweet-and-savory flavor sensation. Try the chicken salad sandwich with one of Mae’s own croissants, as tender and flakey as if you had purchased it from a patisserie in Avignon.
Freshly made soups are also the order of the day at Mae’s luncheons. These soups tickle the palate with flavors like butternut squash, lobster chowder and more.
While brunch and lunch are casual and relaxed, Mae’s dinner is a different animal all together. Mae’s provides a mix of vegetarian entrees, poultry, fish, and beef. Each, however, has a distinctive and delicious twist. Try the Apple Roasted Chicken with a brown sugar curry sauce. Even something as simple as broiled scallops, a standard Maine dish, is altered under the chef’s ministrations with a lobster sauce and buttery bread crumbs.
Because Mae’s makes its own excellent baked goods on the premises, desserts are a true joy. A lunch dessert might be a gingerbread man with chocolate chip eyes, eaten on the way back to work. And the cookie will be freshly baked and delicious, to be sure. But if you have time for real dessert, you won’t be sorry. Try the signature Mocha Hazelnut Dacquoise Torte…be sure to ask for two forks, because you won’t be able to finish this by yourself.
You can order holiday torten, cakes, cookies, and fresh-baked rolls to take home, too. Service at Mae’s is cheerful and efficient, coming by at a time when the diner does not have a mouth full of food to ask if anything further is needed, a refreshing change in service!
Mae’ s Cafe is a special-occasion kind of place that will become a tradition for more than Mother’s Day Brunch.