Dining On A Dollar At Daphne's
In my neverending quest for good-quality budget chow, I thought I'd give the Greek café chain a shot. The $1 menu items were crying out to be sampled, and though I didn't hold out much hope ('how good can they be for a buck?' was my cynical approach), I was pleasantly surprised.
First, there's the lemon chicken soup: okay, it's only a dollar if you order an entrée too (otherwise it's $3.19)...
But was lovely: soothing, creamy and tangy, all at once. Perfect comfort food, especially for someone (like me) recovering from flu.
Next up, two dips, accompanied by warmed pita, which cleared the sinuses in one fell swoop. The chipotle hummus (this version's available for a limited time) was so moreish I wish I'd ordered a vat of it; the fire feta was hot and spicy thanks to the addition of chillis, and a far more interesting version of the gorgeous Greek cheese that's so hard to find in these parts. (Seriously, where can you get decent feta? Everything I've bought has been a pathetic, flavorless knock-off).
And to finish? Baklava so rich with honey it dripped down my chin. The pastry was crisp, the hint of cinnamon spot-on. Two were not enough!
So there you have it: four dishes for a dollar each--not enough for a big meal, admittedly, but easily a great-value snack or light lunch.
Other items on the menu seem overpriced. A veggie combo plate ($8.59) wasn't bad, the highlight being crunchy spanakopita (spinach pie). But the salad was dull, the rice blah. And it just wasn't worth the hefty tag. Which might explain why there were only two customers in the restaurant at peak dinner time.
If Daphne's could slash their prices and beef up their range of bargains, they'd surely be on to something.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.