It may be small, but its flavors are mighty. And the music is never turned off. Never. Could be Jimi Hendrix, could be Black Flag, could be Bauhaus, but when you walk into 86 This, a sandwich joint right near the intersection of Main and State streets in downtown Ellsworth, you can expect two things: an awesome wrap and a killer soundtrack.
Opened by the husband-and-wife partnership of Jeff and Diane Kelly-Lokocz in spring 2011, 86 This specializes in wraps and burritos that are anything but garden variety. Instead of deli meat, there’s real roast beef and chicken breast. Instead of a traditional beans, cheese and meat burrito, there’s options like sweet potato, pulled pork, sweet sausage and house-made hot sauces. Local vegetables and meat are used whenever possible. And all the menu items are named after indie and punk-rock bands, from the spicy, meaty Social D burrito to the vegetarian or vegan Mountain Goat wrap.
“I always wanted to have a little punk-rock place where kids could take their punk-rock girlfriends or boyfriends, and go out and have a cheap dinner,” said Jeff Kelly, who previously worked as a chef at restaurants such as Cleonice in Ellsworth and Table in Blue Hill. “We use the flavors that we like … we just kind of imagined what kinds of things would taste good together. And as it happened, it worked.”
In the year and a half since it opened, 86 This has amassed a loyal local following, who like its reasonable prices and its gourmet take on quick lunch or dinner. They also have expanded to do catering for weddings and other events, as well as soups, salads and desserts. But it’s the wraps and burritos that make the place — do yourself a favor and try the Boss Hog, which is filled with 86 This’ tangy, tender, house-made citrus-chipotle pulled pork, beans, rice, cheese and cabbage slaw.
“If we like it, we put it on the menu,” said Kelly. “The locals have really been supportive and have spread huge word of mouth all over. They’ve been recommending us to everyone. It’s great.”
86 This is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It is located at 2 State St. in downtown Ellsworth.