Mary Ellen’s Portuguese Bakery

I love finding a local hidden gem, so hidden that some of the other locals might not know about! This popular spot is hiding behind a Dairy Queen, and has that very cozy, friendly, home-y feel to it. A great spot for breakfast and brunch, especially if you like those home cooked or diner-like food and atmosphere.

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Inside is not very large, and with its popularity, it gets busy very fast. The turnover is pretty quick though, so the wait time should not be too long if there is no seat when you arrive. We got there very early, so there was no wait, and we later heard that the owner, Ms. Mary Ellen was actually having her breakfast at the table right next to ours! If the owner eats her food at this place, then it must mean the food is that good. And most of the customers there are locals/regulars, which is another sign of good food.

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They are not fancy, very unassuming, no-frills kind of place. The only fancy things they have are the variety of baked goods and desserts in/on the window display. They all looked really good!

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Some place have certain dress code before you can enter the restaurant, but at this place, it is no issue. they had a sign that said “No shirt/shoes/skirt. No problem.” But if you are in a need of a shirt, they have their tank top for sale.

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For breakfast, we ordered two kinds of Eggs Benedict, French Toast, and a Breakfast Sandwich. The regular kind of Eggs Benedict ($9.25) was very interesting, it had a thick slab of ham over the two English Muffins (they bake them in-house). It was not even cut in half so that it can be placed on each English Muffin properly. Yes, it is that kind of place, very home-y! Very down-to-earth kind of character. The dish comes with home fries, but you can choose it to be regular home fries or “shredded” home fries. This one is with shredded, which is almost like hash browns. Yum!

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The second one was Portuguese Cacoilha Benedict ($11.25), which is a marinated pork. We also got this one with shredded home fries. The marinated pork was so amazing, packed with flavor! It was juicy, tender, super delicious. On both Benedicts we ordered, they had just the right amount of Hollandaise sauce, not too much that they are swimming in it, but not too little that we require more flavor. And it was very buttery and creamy.

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The eggs were cooked perfectly, with the yolk drizzling over the pork and muffin slowly after it was cut open. Nothing like egg porn in the morning…

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French Toast can be ordered as is ($5.75) and with meat of choice ($7.50). We ordered one regular French Toast, and another one with bacon. They use thinly sliced bread make French Toast, resulting more of a soggy kind after the bread had soaked up the egg. So, if you are not a fan of soggy French Toast, this is not for you. It had more of the “egg” flavor because of it. Bacon was cooked in the way that they were not too crispy. If you like really crispy bacon, you might need to ask them to cook them a bit longer.

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They have several varieties of breakfast sandwich, and we chose Linguiça, Egg & Cheese sandwich ($4.50). Linguiça is Portuguese smoke cured pork sausage, and is really meaty and rich. It had deep red-brown color, and I assume from paprika that is used to make the sausage. Very flavorful! The Portuguese roll was really good too, a hint of sweetness to it, with soft and fluffy texture. The sandwich was a pretty nice size, so were all the other dishes.

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Then, we also added an order of cranberry muffin. The waitress asked if we wanted it toasted, and upon request, she cut them in two, and toasted them to perfection. It was soooo delicious!!! Buttery, fluffy, flavorful…one of the best muffins ever!!!

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They also sell all sorts of baked goods, including Portuguese sweet bread/muffin to take home with. Portuguese muffin, compared to English muffin, is slightly sweeter and larger than English muffin. Our waitress told us that they make REAL Portuguese sweet bead, not mass-produced, commercial kind. They are grilled instead of baked, which takes pretty much all day. The result is a heavy, dense muffin with earthy flavor, and the cross-section is smoother, with fewer nooks and crannies than English muffin. If you want a real-deal Portuguese sweet bread, you now know where to get it from!

The service was very nice and friendly, but remember, they have “No substitution” rule, and they are cash only. My husband says “all the best places are cash only” – you will be the judge. And if you can’t make it there in the morning, don’t worry. They serve breakfast all day! It was a nice, comfortable breakfast, I am glad we got to visit them!

Mary Ellen’s Portuguese Bakery – 829 Main St, Falmouth, MA 02540

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