Like a lot of people, I went through a vegetarian phase when I was younger.
Today, I still like eating vegetarian meals, and consider The Green Elephant in Portland one of the better restaurants in Portland, period.
Whether you are vegetarian or not, the next time you find yourself in Biddeford, you should check out Dahlia’s Delights, a vegetarian cafe on Main Street that has an accessible and affordable menu.
The cafe is fairly small, but the sunny yellow walls and local art on display give it a nice warm atmosphere even in the middle of winter. Seating choices include two wood tables for four, three two-tops and a bank of four bistro-style chairs at a bar on one wall.
Customers order at the counter, and if you’re eating in, the food is brought to your table when it’s ready. The menu is posted in colored chalk, in small handwriting, above the counter, and this was one of my only complaints.
Yes, it’s cute to have a chalkboard menu in a rainbow of colors, but I wish more restaurants this size would have real menus that you can hold in your hand and easily read. There was one paper menu on the counter, but it did not include the day’s specials.
Dahlia’s serves pizza as an appetizer, but most of the regular menu consists of salads and sandwiches ranging from $4.95 to $7.25. Sandwiches include a Field Roast Vegan Sausage Wrap made with vegan sausage, onions, peppers, spinach and Swiss, and an apple, cheddar and fig panini that a friend who frequents the cafe says is her favorite.
Add Daiya cheese (a dairy-free alternative) to any order for $1.25.
The vegetarian chili is made, as far as I could tell — if I was reading the small print on the board right — with mushrooms, kale, brown rice and leeks.
I was tempted by one of the specials of the day — a Gouda melt with avocado, tomato and pesto for $6.95 — but in the end. I decided to try the other special, a Quorn casserole with a side salad for $8. (Quorn is a meat substitute that’s supposed to taste like chicken.)
The salad was a spring mix with shredded carrots, halved cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumbers, and you get your choice of dressings.
The Quorn casserole arrived on the same plate as the salad, in a cute individual casserole dish. It was made of egg noodles mixed with bits of celery, mushrooms and chunks of Quorn in a creamy sauce.
There was lots of Quorn in the casserole, but to this meat eater, it was fairly tasteless. That’s OK, though — I just viewed it as some added protein in an otherwise delicious dish that served as some nice comfort food on a cold winter day.
I would definitely try this place again.
The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $10.