by Nick Kaye
Special to The Weekly
BANGOR — Hungry college students have been indulging in soups, salads and sandwiches at Harvest Moon Deli since 2007, when owner Keith Manaker set up shop in downtown Orono. Now, residents of Bangor can enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurant’s new location on the corner of Cross and Columbia streets in the former storefront of Montes International Catering.
“Both locations are inspired by Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ album,” said Manaker, “and we’ve built the menu and atmosphere around that musical vibe.”
The specialty sandwiches at Harvest Moon sport classic rock names like Jefferson Airplane, Ringo Starr and Janis Joplin. They are served hot off the panini press on a bread of the customer’s choice from Levant-based Daily Bread.
“The Bobby Zimmerman is by far our most popular,” said Laurie Merrill, general manager. “It’s peppered turkey, bacon, swiss cheese, spinach and avocado ranch dressing.”
The deli also offers daily special sandwiches, named after contemporary musicians, which provide an opportunity to experiment. The Mumford and Sons, a recent special, was a veggie burger with goat cheese, spinach, red onion, tomato, red pepper and garlic dressing.
For less adventurous customers, the menu includes “The Classics,” such as a BLT, a grilled cheese and chicken salad. There’s also a soup of the day, a selection of salads, low-fat Greek yogurt fruit smoothies and the option to “build your own” sandwich.
Like its specialty sandwiches, the restaurant’s aesthetic conforms to a musical theme. The walls of the Bangor location are filled with paintings of iconic artists from Jimi Hendrix to Jerry Garcia, collected and arranged by area designer Megan Krause. Krause also created an original painting and mural for the restaurant.
“We took what we learned in Orono and tried to stay even closer to the theme this time,” said Manaker.
The Bangor location includes several new features. Customers can enjoy expanded hours, delivery throughout downtown Bangor, a by-the-pound salad bar stocked with local ingredients, and a children’s menu, which includes choices like mac n’ cheese and peanut butter and jelly, all served with fruit and dessert.
When it comes down to it, though, Harvest Moon is all about its sandwiches.
“When people eat here, whether they can put their finger on it or not, they realize there’s something special about our sandwiches,” said Manaker.
It would seem that the public agrees. Harvest Moon Deli has been voted “Best Sandwich Shop in Greater Bangor” by readers of the Bangor Metro for five years in a row.
“Bangor has a great dining scene,” said Manaker, “and we’re excited to bring our unique product here.”
Harvest Moon Deli in Bangor is open 10 a.m-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. For information or to place an order, call 947-3354 or visit HarvestMoonDeli.com.