Broad Arrow Farm recently introduced two new made-to-order takeout dinner options. And breakfast sandwiches on Saturday mornings.
Since mid-November customers of the farm’s market at 33 Benner Road in Bristol can take a break from cooking with the latest iteration of Broad Arrow’s “Suppah Club,” featuring tacos on Tuesday nights and burgers on Thursdays.
The tacos are inventive, and subject to change based on available proteins and the chefs’ inspirations.
Customers can generally choose from two different varieties. Past options included pork and poblano tacos with tomatillo salsa and pickled red onion; mole spiced butternut tacos with garden greens and queso fresco; carnitas tacos featuring pulled pork with pickled red onion, cilantro and lime; lengua tacos that top beef tongue with salsa verde, onion, and paper-thin slivers of radish; and lamb birria tacos with a red chili braise.
Birria tacos are more than a trend on TikTok, they have a long history in Mexican cuisine. Birria tacos are filled with stewed meat and the shells gain additional flavor from being dipped in the stew and then fried.
Burger nights usually have three choices. The pork “smash burger” with cheddar cheese and griddled onions is thick, juicy and flavorful. The gouda-topped beef and bacon burger has the bacon ground into the beef. Caramelized onions and tomato jam add a hint of sweetness to the salt and savory of the proteins. And the lamb burger is well-thought-out, with complementary flavors of arugula, red onion and harissa mayonnaise.
Don’t skip the fries. They are cooked in premium pork lard with deliciously crispy results. Maybe even buy an order for the trip home so they can be enjoyed hot and fresh from the fryer.
The Saturday morning “Breakfast Sammies” feature ingredients like farm-fresh eggs, house-made sausage or smoked ham, local cheeses, and tomato jam, on homemade cheddar scallion biscuits or English muffins. A rectangle of crisp lard-fried hash browns seasoned with thyme, garlic and onion is available as a side.
Dan and Maggy Sullivan bought Broad Arrow Farm in 2014 and have built the business ever since. Broad Arrow is primarily a hog farm, although they do raise meat birds, including chicken, duck, and turkey. The attached store carries mostly local products, meats, cheeses and vegetables grown or made on Maine farms.
Their vision involves a fully integrated experience with all butchering done onsite and a community kitchen with chef-prepared food.
The farm continues to innovate ways to produce meal options that fit the needs of the local community. They offer heat and eat take-home dinners like lasagna and meat pies. And there have been various iterations of the “Suppah Club,” which started as a response to COVID-19. The “Suppah Club” allowed the farm to continue to serve customers quality meals they could eat safely at home, or, based on the season, as an outdoor dining experience at the farm.
Chef Dustin Martin has worked at Broad Arrow Farm for about 18 months. He spent 12 years working in Maine restaurants including Primo in Rockland. He doesn’t miss the “immediate demand” of the restaurant business. In his current position, he has time to slow down, think through menus and preparations, time to breathe.
Chef Omen Viele is from western Massachusetts, and has worked in restaurant kitchens for 20 years including eight years in Portland at Fore Street and Five Fifty-Five. Viele said he burned out on restaurant life and after learning how to butcher meat at the Rosemont Market he continued a trajectory that combined farm and table. He’s been cooking at Broad Arrow for the last four years.
According to Martin and Viele, there’s more to come. They plan on more outdoor events next year as they continue to gauge the needs of the community.
But one takeaway from the pandemic is the wisdom of a cautious approach. While Martin and Viele have big aspirations for the chef-driven operations at Broad Arrow Farm, they don’t want to overextend. They want to grow in response to the business.
According to Market Manager Anna Hymanson, tacos and burgers fit the bill. They are “easy to make, super accessible, and highlight the proteins we offer.”
And, editorial note, they’re delicious. Don’t skip the fries.
Broad Arrow Farm will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24.
Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, starting Dec. 27 with “Suppah Club” hours from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and breakfast sandwiches available from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Orders can be placed by calling 207-800-4550.