158 Pickett St. - South Portland, ME

See that young lady right over there? Why, she’s about your age, son. This must be kismet. It’s just her and us at 7:43 AM grabbing a bagel on a Saturday morning. She’s a hot ticket too… The way the warm morning light hits her freckly cheeks, she’s a looker m’boy.

            You’re going to talk to her and there are no two ways about it. First: make sure your eyebrows are full. Straighten ‘em I’m serious. You gotta make ‘em like a sharpie marker attack. The first thing a woman notices — even if she doesn’t know it and most of ‘em don’t — is a man’s eyebrows. Believe me, if you got no eyebrows you are as good as a damn eunuch to these females. They yearn for robust brow hair like what grows in our family. We’re blessed in that regard.

            Oh! Oh you see that? What she just did… No of course you didn’t. Jeezum crab apples perception must have skipped a generation. No she didn’t just wipe her mouth. That’s rookie talk son. She dabbed at the right corner of her lips using her left hand. That means she’s ovulating. What’s ovulating? It means she’s in rut! In heat! She yearns for jelly, son! Alright, alright I’ll cool it. She is looking, yes. But she can’t hear me, I have precise volume control, down to the foot.

            Put simply son, you have a chance here. Hold your breath, quick. Hold it… Keep holding, what are you looking at me for? Ok… Keep holding, this is important, boy, life or death here. Just one more second annnnnd… exhale.

            Can you feel it? Your manhood is at a rolling boil. You are throwing off more pheromones than a fightin’ chimp.

            Alright, go get her.

            Wait! Sit back down quick. Almost forgot: when you speak to her, speak only in the present tense. No, “I was hoping.” Or, “I would like to.”

            “I am taking you out.” That’s a good, strong, declarative sentence. “You are joining me for a meal tonight.” Why aren’t you holding you breath? Hold your breath again, son. Yes, now!

            And think only winning thoughts here. This is your one shot at keeping this family’s genetic seed from dying in the fallow desert of your loins. What I mean is earth’s very evolutionary line depends on this, son. From its inauspicious beginning, wallowing and fighting in the primordial sludge, life has found a way to hold strong its singular line. From prokaryotes to eukaryotes to fish to crawling marmots, up to the pea-brained Neanderthal life has won the battle against both death and time. Now, right there! in your greasy teenage abdomen that line is in danger of meeting its end! Will you let life as we know it die? Or will you man up and go ask a young woman if she is not opposed to continuing this magical mystery of being? Can you just take time out of your busy morning to do that? Huh?

            I thought so. Alright you can breathe again.   

            Look at that, it’s working already! You see her sip that coffee? Don’t act like you’re at a monkey house, son! Watch better. Watch more carefully or this whole thing is shot. There you go. Like that. Just glance at her sippin’ that coffee. She can feel it, the imminence of the vital tradition of courtship: the necessary hokey-pokey prelude to the flamenco dance of sublime creation.

            What are you doing just sitting here, looking like a damn cactus? Get over there! Get over there and — oh man! Look at that! She’s leaving. No, sit back down, sit back down. Jeezum crow! You had your chance and look what happened. Slipped away. I hope you learned something, son, because I certainly did. I learned quite a bit about you. I’ve had it up to here with all your big talk. Next time you quit yapping and act! Jeezum crow…





My inaugural trip to 158 (One Fifty Ate) Pickett St. began with high expectations. My first foray had me sitting down to an “everything” bagel with cheddar, Canadian bacon and eggs. Everything was in place, but the end result just wasn’t really impressive. The bagel was well made, but the eggs, cheese, and C. bacon just didn’t bring much flavor to the table. After resorting to salt and pepper, the bagel went down much more tastily. My second trip furnished me with a a lox special featuring chili garlic cream cheese and the works. The bagel was presented very nicely and they didn’t skimp on anything, but again, the flavor just didn’t deliver what I was hoping for. In short, both bagels felt absent of the necessary seasonings, a bit bland, in honesty. Don’t get me wrong, they were both better-than-average bagels. But after hearing the hush-voiced veneration 158 Pickett receives, I expected something far more exceptional.


Bagel Bite

Most of the bagel specials run around $6-$8. Add a coffee to that and you’re barely into the double digits. Good brekky prices.


Bespoke Hermit Shack

This might be my favorite part of One Fifty Ate. The artsy, hominess of its interior seems the right amount of intentional. I know the space itself is small and gets crowded (and a little smoky), but I went early both times and never had to deal with a line. The wood and art and cozy seating perfectly matches the type of food they’re serving up.


Counter Culture

They turned out my bagel sandwiches quick and easy both times. Definitely had the speed and quality aspect of the operation wrapped up. I’d imagine with a line their speediness wouldn’t be as impressive, but I’m sure they pump out the orders post haste.



Like most of the skips I’ve ever given, this comes with disclaimers and equivocations. First, I know that my opinion will not stop tons of South Portlanders and USMCC students from frequenting 158. Heck, if I lived in South Portland, One Fifty Ate would most certainly enter into my weekly breakfast schedule. However, if you’re driving around, looking for the best place, so many other breakfast sandwich options (Ohno, Dutch’s, Tandem Bakery, etc.) are superior to what I had at 158. All things considered, I don’t want to make it sound like 158 isn’t a good bagel shop. Their bagels are legit and their ambience and attention to detail are well appreciated. It’s simply that they don’t appear to have a handle on the sort of seasoning that sets apart the good places from the better.


158 Pickett St.
158 Benjamin W Pickett St, South Portland, ME 04106