The Thirsty Pig in Portland’s Old Port is best known for its housemade sausages served with craft beer. Now that same sausage is being served in breakfast burritos and breakfast bowls, and in between pancakes in “panwiches.”

Although the restaurant has served the occasional brunch, it launched its first regular breakfast service in December for those who want a quick, casual breakfast away from home, especially people who live and work in the Old Port. The fast casual breakfast is available for indoor and outdoor dining or takeout. Owner Allison Stevens says it was her employees’ idea, hatched when they were looking for ways to work more hours earlier in the day now that restaurants must close by 9 p.m.

“They wrote the menu based on what they eat and what people around them are eating,” Stevens said. “And we did it because the days we’re open down in the Old Port, there’s not a lot of things open for people that work down there.”

The menu includes a breakfast charcuterie board for one that comes with pancakes, maple syrup, sausage, cheddar cheese, apple chutney, pickled eggs and pickled beets.

The cutest little hot cocoa ever, to go with breakfast at The Thirsty Pig. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Stevens said she thinks the renewed emphasis on breakfast during the pandemic is “a reflection of what’s happening to all of us – we’re taking better care of ourselves. Just think of all the time we’ve had on our hands. I’m reassessing so many things about my eating habits.”

That’s one reason why Stevens made sure to include the restaurant’s vegan breakfast sausage in several of the new menu items, which are available Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Fruit-and-granola yogurt parfaits are another healthier option. Other choices include a smoothie bowl topped with peach crumble, and bacon baked beans.

Stevens considered adding cinnamon rolls but decided to go with banana bread instead.

“A slice of a loaf is something people are really into now,” she said. “Like homemade Grandma stuff, you know?”

Oh yes, we know.


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