For a quick breakfast or lunch, the easiest option can often be something handheld — stuff you can hold in one hand while doing something else in the other, like checking your phone, walking the dog or reading the Bangor Daily News.
There are lots of fun new options for handheld treats in the Bangor area, whether they’re sweet, savory or somewhere in between.
Bill’s Bagels, a bakery specializing in chewy New York-inspired bagels, started selling earlier this year at farmers markets in the area, including those in Brewer, Holden and Howland. Co-owner Will Martin started making baked goods for his wife, Kim, while she was pregnant and stuck at home in Eddington during the early days of the pandemic.
Kim Martin, who like her husband is originally from New Jersey, was craving New York-style bagels, a delicacy not readily available in the Bangor area. Will decided to try his hand at it, and over the course of the long pandemic months, he began perfecting his recipe, experimenting with ingredients and ratios until he got the perfect chew.
“A lot of people say that it’s the water in New York that makes a New York bagel special, but I’m not entirely sure that’s true,” said Will Martin, who when he’s not in the kitchen works for Orono Brewing Co. “We’re still working toward making it perfect, but we’re getting close.”
Clockwise from left: Bill Martin, owner of Bill’s Bagels, puts together an order for a customer at the Holden Farmers Market on Friday; Bill’s Bagels at the Holden Farmers Market; and Kim Martin cuts up a bagel to set out samples at the Holden Farmers Market. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN
Classic varieties like plain, everything, onion and cinnamon raisin are always available, as are specialty flavors like sundried tomato and basil, bacon and cheddar, blueberry, and an egg bagel made with duck eggs from Loud Dog Farm in Holden.
The Holden Farmers Market, new this year on Tuesdays from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at 723 Main Road, has been a particularly good proving ground for the Martins and their bagels.
“There are so many people driving on 1A that are from New York and New Jersey, so we’ve had people that have stopped to try them and say we’re doing it right,” Will Martin said.
In Old Town, lovers of Caribbean food — in particular, Puerto Rican cuisine — now have a place to get their fix for borinquen treats. Low Key Coqui originally set up shop at the now-closed Bangor Flea Market on Hogan Road. Once the pandemic started, the crew took a break, but are now back and taking to-go orders, to be picked up in Old Town.
Each week Low Key Coqui makes big batches of empanadillas (mini empanadas, essentially), relleno de papa (a beef and cheese-stuffed potato croquette) and dessert empanadas. The savory empanadillas are filled with flavors including chicken and cheese, beef and cheese, pizza-flavored, and hot and spicy versions of all three, while the dessert empanadas are filled with apples or with guava and cream cheese.
To order, send them a message on Facebook, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Right now, food is available for pickup, packaged and frozen to be reheated at home. Low Key Coqui also offers a Puerto Rican catering menu, including classics like Spanish rice and pernil, a slow-cooked pork roast.
And finally, don’t forget to try the doughnuts. Vegan doughnuts, that is, from two different purveyors in Bangor, who both started making animal product-free treats this year.
The Donut Grove makes both cake doughnuts and raised yeast doughnuts in a wild variety of flavors, like S’mores (a chocolate doughnut topped with vegan marshmallows and graham cracker crumbles), County Sweet Potato (a sweet potato doughnut with cinnamon sugar) and Milk & Cereal (a vanilla doughnut topped with cereal-infused almond milk and sweet and salty cereal bits). They sell each Sunday at the Bangor Farmers Market, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
And at the European Farmers Market, also in Bangor on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mediterranean Cuisine by TS also makes vegan doughnuts, in flavors like coffee chocolate, wild blueberry and super lemon-y lemon. That’s in addition to its long-established menu of Lebanese and Syrian food, like falafel, homemade pita bread, baba ganoush and other goodies.