Forage Market: The Best Bagel In Lewiston

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It was a warm and humid day as I walked towards Forage Market, but nothing could dampen my resolve to get The Cure. Yes it was the day after 80s dance, and yes I was tired, but nothing would stand between me and my breakfast sandwich.

For those of you who don’t know, Forage Market, aka Forage, is a nationally-renown bagel and coffee shop that specializes in local artisan products. Popular with Bates students, the Lisbon Street staple has been touted in Saveur as one of America’s best bagels, though it also serves local cheese, milk, maple syrup, and vegetables.

As I walk in the shop, I am overwhelmed with familiar faces and the heavenly smell of fresh everything bagels. I wait in line, my turn ever so far away, and I notice the shop is full of Batesies and Lewiston residents alike; many patrons are on their computers finishing work and sending emails. As I slowly make my way to the front of the line, I order my dream: The Cure on an everything bagel.

The Cure breakfast sandwich consists of a sunny-side up egg, herb aioli, greens, a tomato slice, brie cheese, and prosciutto on your choice of bagel. For those of you that know cheese, you know that the Forage brie is delightfully creamy, usually imported from France. As for the aioli, I couldn’t tell you what herbs are used but I can tell you that they are perfection in a bite. In sum, The Cure is my way of treating myself, Tom Haverford style.

After I place my order, a nervous grimace overcomes the barista; they are sold out of everything bagels! Rattled but not disheartened, I order the next best thing: a garlic bagel. My friend orders a Squealer with sausage on a garlic bagel, and we find a seat.

Because Forage is bustling with activity, we have to combine one “vintage” chair with our thrift-shop table, creating our own eclectic dining environment. I go grab two jars of water, and I think to myself, “why do we need jars for our water?”  This question goes unanswered; perhaps another visit to bagel heaven will enlighten me as to the superiority of repurposed glass containers over regular cups.

After a few minutes of drooling over our neighbors’ savory breakfast plates, my bagel arrives, cheese half-melted, bagel perfectly toasted and filled with deliciousness.  I attempt to take my first bite, but of course the food skyscraper makes doing so quite challenging. Luckily, the smart breakfast engineers in the kitchen have outfitted my sandwich with a toothpick to hold the innards in place. With both hands attempting to hold the sandwich from collapsing, I take my first bite.

Pure bliss follows; I enjoy the gooey melted brie comingling with the aioli and garlic, and the salty prosciutto keeps my tongue energized. As I lift my bagel from my face, I notice my friend is in the same state of rapture with his bagel. Neither one of us talks. Our bagels quickly disappear.

As we descend from bagel heaven down to earth’s reality, I start to notice the sounds of the café once more; I didn’t realize I had tuned them out while I was eating. I sheepishly wipe the cheese from my plate, hoping to get every last taste of the heavenly brie. My friend turns to me and smiles. We must go here again.

Some might say that going to Forage on a weekend morning is a cliché; to these people, I say that clichés always exist for a reason. Forage’s delicious bagels and quirky, hipster atmosphere completely justify the 20 minute walk or 5 minute drive, and I strongly suggest that you visit this bagel haven before your time at Bates is over.

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