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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: January 21, 2015

Dining Guide: Four food and drink destinations in Biddeford (and one in Saco)

Once down-on-its luck Biddeford is gradually being revived, with one of the country’s hottest diners, a handful of new breweries and a $50 million mill-development project in the works. There’s a fresh energy and better dining options than ever.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

For full listings and more restaurants, see our searchable Restaurant & Bar Guide.

Palace Diner

Chef and co-owner Chad Conley at The Palace Diner. Press Herald file photo

Chef and co-owner Chad Conley at Palace Diner. Press Herald file photo

18 Franklin St., Biddeford | 207-284-0015 | palacedinerme.com | $$
Chefs Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell have turned Maine’s oldest dining car into a destination for the modern Blue Plate Special, winning national acclaim in the process. They take the original homey staples, replacing the run-of-the-mill ingredients and slap-dash plating with quality ingredients — and make it taste and look beautiful. Cash only. No reservations.

Biscuits & Company

25 Alfred St., Biddeford | 207-774-2972 | facebook.com/biscuitsandcompany | $$
Open a little more than a month, Stacy Cooper’s cozy cafe celebrates the biscuit. Hers are made with local flour, butter and buttermilk, and tricked out with a variety of fillings. These range from the classic — sausage and gravy, or eggs, bacon and cheese — Moxie BBQ pulled pork and fried chicken with braised greens and gravy. The menu also includes soup, hand pies and other baked goods.

Los Tapatios

The dining room at Los Tapatios. Press Herald file photo

The dining room at Los Tapatios. Press Herald file photo

11 Adams St., Biddeford | 207-602-6284 | No website | $$
Go below street level to find what fans say is some of the area’s best, authentic, homestyle Mexican food. The subterranean space has brick walls and a beamed ceiling; a brightly painted mural and plenty of knick-knacks give it a funky, dive-y vibe. Regulars rave about the guacamole, the freshly made tortilla chips, the enormous portions and the cheap drinks.

Elements

265 Main Street, Biddeford | 207-710-2011| elementsbookscoffeebeer.com | $$
Coffee, books and beer are the “elements” that define this cafe/bar, which helped jumpstart Biddeford’s hip new lease on life when it opened 2 years ago. Depending on what time of the day you go, it has the feel of a really cool college library, or a chill bar where all the beers on tap (10) are local and the men sport lumberjack beards and plaid shirts. On the menu: bagels, soup, charcuterie, cheese and hummus plates.

Run of the Mill Public House

The bar at Run of the Mill Public House. Photo by Ted Axelrod

The bar at Run of the Mill Public House. Photo by Ted Axelrod

100 Main St., Saco  | 207-571-9652 | runofthemill.net | $$
Where textile machinery once whirred and clanked, happy patrons now raise glasses of beer brewed just below this spacious pub. Run of the Mill is housed in one of the 19th century brick buildings on Factory Island in the Saco River, which like the old mills, has been cleaned up and given new life. The 14-barrel brewery turns out 23 different varieties of beer — all only available at the pub. A deck overlooking the river, large enough to hold 100 people, is especially popular in the summer.

Key to prices

The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up

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