Watercress soup from Jackrabbit in Biddeford. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

When I awoke a couple of Fridays ago, I had no idea that two things would happen – that I’d end up having lunch at Jackrabbit Café in Biddeford on its opening day or that that meal would include the best cup of soup I’ve had in my life.

I had read about the impending opening of Jackrabbit – the new venture of Elda chef/owner Bowman Brown – in Press Herald food writer Meredith Goad’s column The Wrap in April and had made a vague mental note to keep tabs on it. Scrolling through Instagram, I saw that May 7 was opening day, and as luck would have it, that was the date.

Located in one of Biddeford’s sprawling brick mill buildings, Jackrabbit won me over before I even glanced at the menu. The interior bricks are painted white, and the many windows allow natural light to pour in without being hindered by curtains or blinds. The hardwood floors are a light tone, the artwork has a retro Russian vibe to it, and the tables and chairs have a mid-century modern-meets-Scandinavian look to them, complementing the Scandinavian-inspired breads, pastries and dishes on the menu.

The menu has been tightened up since opening day, and unfortunately the life-changing potato and watercress soup I had – with spring garlic and chickpea miso for $6 – didn’t make the cut, but it might return, perhaps as a cold soup this summer. I’m planning to petition for that, because the flavor was otherworldly, but in the meantime, there are plenty of other reasons to pay the restaurant a visit.

Avocado hummus with grilled sourdough toast from Jackrabbit in Biddeford. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

The avocado hummus with grilled sourdough toast ($9) that I also ordered was not the trendy version that I’m used to seeing, but rather a perfectly round mound of a glorious hummus-avocado partnership, served with just the right amount toast. I savored every bite.

I washed everything down with a tall glass of Jackrabbit’s hand-poured iced coffee ($3.50), served on its own wooden tray. I could taste the freshness and gave it extra points for presentation.

Iced coffee from Jackrabbit. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Though I didn’t partake, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the extraordinary array of desserts and pastries at Jackrabbit, including a maple buttermilk tart, rhubarb danish and cardamom bun.

I love Biddeford immensely, and it was fun to see the opening-day hustle and bustle of a wonderful new spot. Soup or no soup, I can’t wait to ride back down there to try the rolled omelet (toasted spelt brioche, onion marmalade; $10), the crispy potatoes (poached egg, pork green chili; $12) or the chicken katsu sandwich (charred cabbage, roasted chicken gravy, $15).


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