Updated Friday, Oct. 14.
As we ease into the off-season, I’m still discovering hidden gems on-Island. One I’ve stopped into recently is the Back Porch Larder, a new venture by Jan Buhrman of Kitchen Porch Catering. Jan Buhrman has been catering on Martha’s VIneyard since 1988, and with that, her passion for food — great food — developed. Recently, she realized the need for a pick-up point for freshly made goods, ideal for lunch or dinner. And that’s how the Back Porch Larder was born, from Chef Buhrman’s endless sense of service.
The Back Porch Larder is an oasis in the middle of Airport Park. The front area, complete with a wooden picnic table under a colorful umbrella, is surrounded by flowers and greenery that will make you forget you’re in a business park. Walk in and you’ll be astounded at what Chef Buhrman and her team are serving up. The menu includes prepared foods and daily specials, Chilmark Coffee, lemonades, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Since everything is made fresh daily, the availability changes constantly and is gone quickly. My advice is to get there early enough to have first pick. On my visit, I had a chance to indulge in a pulled pork hand pie. The crust was incredibly tender, and the filling was unexpected. When menus mention “pulled pork,” I imagine sticky-sweet BBQ pork, but this was a delightful deviation. Braised pork meat with just the right hint of seasonings filled the hand pie, which satisfyingly crumbled in my hands as I took a bite.
“Back Porch Larder is always a surprise,” customer Sheryl Dagostino of West Tisbury told
me. “I know that I will have several choices of foods I feel good about eating. Everything is so fresh, colorful, and delicious. I enjoy the unique specials like quesadilla with tomato soup, lobster rolls, and the staples like tuna wraps and amazing assorted salads. The portion sizes are generous, and the baked goods are some of the most tempting I have found on the Island. It is worth the trip.”
Chef Buhrman shared with me another project that is coming to the front burner soon. She’s working on a line of organic flour mixes, including gluten-free versions. Locally made products make me giddy, so I’m looking forward to these and can’t wait to report back on them. In the meantime, you can find lunch, a quick snack, or even put together a tasty dinner from the offerings at the Back Porch, so make sure to stop in. The seasonally inspired, well-curated menu will have you coming back for more.
The Back Porch Larder is located on 14 A Street (across from the RMV, right side of the building) from 7 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday, through the fall season. Check out kitchenporch.com for events and recipes.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Ms. Buhrman was working with Jo Maxwell of Chesca’s on the organic flour mixes. Ms. Maxwell is not involved in the project.