Dandelion Deli & Catering1170 S Wells Ave.
Reno, NV 89502
I just returned from a road trip across the Midwest with elderly, meat-eating relatives. While there was much about the trip that was delightful, the food was not part of it. In vain I searched for something I could eat. I am quasi-vegetarian—I eat fish. Thus, I reasoned, it shouldn’t be so difficult to find myself a meal or two. But across this vast nation of ours, I continually stumbled only upon steak and asparagus salads, beef patties that covered the plate and bacon in almost everything.
And so it was with great relief that I arrived home last week and was able to head down to Anthony’s Dandelion Deli & Café for some good vegetarian cuisine. Anthony is a confident fellow and boasts that his cafe has “Reno’s best vegetarian and vegan food.” While I wouldn’t say this was the best vegetarian and vegan food I’ve ever had, it is definitely a leader among local options.
I had the Dandelion special sandwich homemade hummus: tabouli, lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts and mustard ($7.25). Two and a half weeks of iceberg salads ended in a stylish and healthy fashion. The hummus was smooth and lemony, and the tabouli added an agreeable Near Eastern flair.
My husband chose the homemade vegetarian chili with a fresh baked corn muffin (small $4.75, medium $5.75, large $6.75). It was good, but missing something. We took small bites and mulled it over. My husband finally concluded that, while tasty, it wasn’t particularly superior to good vegetarian chili out of a can. In other words, satisfactory but not awe inspiring.
What was awe inspiring was the short-lived vegan chocolate chip cookie we shared for dessert. I ordered one with my sandwich because I couldn’t quite imagine being truly satisfied with a vegan cookie. I’ve tried them before, but this was different: chewy, but not too sweet and yet very rich. If a woman could live on cookies alone, I would go this route in a heartbeat.
Meat eaters need not give up on this review and turn to the political commentaries. Anthony’s also offers an array of meat sandwiches, such as cashew chicken ($7.25), meatball hero ($6.95), and curry turkey and mango chutney ($7.25). There are fresh salads from green garden, (large $6.95), to Greek, (small $5.95), homemade soup (vegan and wheat-free, small $4.75) and a number of other vegetarian sandwiches to choose from, as well, like the very veggie (avocado, cheese, tomato, sprouts, $6.95) or the artichoke and hummus (marinated artichoke hearts, hummus, tomato and sprouts, $7.25).
Deli trays, salads and bag lunch catering are also available. And on Friday nights, there is always a featured entrée. The Dandelion Deli is a great little place for a healthy lunch during the week. The service is quick and the staff very friendly. Everything about the place—from its pink walls to its anomalous stuffed toys—exudes charm and hospitality. Anthony and his staff seem to know they have a good thing going, and while they might not serve the best vegan and vegetarian food I’ve ever had, it’s still a terrific local find.