A dream delivered the P.b and J. burger to Simple Eats Chef Magen Goforth.In the dream, she opened a burger shop with “random” burgers like the P.b. and J. She decided to try it at her Lewiston lunch spot — a handcrafted beef patty infused with sweet chili sauce, served on toasted ciabatta with homemade tomato jam, crushed peanuts, spring mix, pepper jack cheese and slivered onions. The Thai-inspired burger ($9) is now one of her biggest sellers.
“The flavors just really make sense once you eat them,” says Goforth, a 28-year-old Clarkston native.
Since transforming from a catering-only business to a storefront two years ago, Simple Eats has become a downtown Lewiston staple with lunches under $11 served in a small, contemporary space in Towne Square.
Her most popular item is probably the homemade Mac & Cheese with Bacon ($9) or Bacon, Blue Cheese and Fresh Tomato ($9.50), she says. Other forms of the penne pasta and three-cheese sauce dish are jalapeno and chicken, or tomato pesto.
Simple Eats offers a variety of more standard salads, sandwiches and wraps, like roast beef, clubs, roasted red pepper, and Italian chicken.
There’s an emphasis on fresh ingredients made to order. Goforth and her staff modify meals for just about any dietary need — vegetarian, vegan, paleo, diabetic and gluten- or dairy-free. To-go orders are common with workers on the go. A children’s menu is priced from $3 to $4.50.
Goforth comes from a line of family cooks and says she got her start when her mother instituted “fend for yourself nights.”
After her first restaurant job at 16 she attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, Ore.
“What I really put behind my menu is pairing flavors that complement each other and don’t compete with each other,” Goforth says. “We’re a family and customer-oriented business.”
Periodically, 360 features an area restaurant’s specialty. Restaurants can nominate their unique dishes at firstname.lastname@example.org.