Cheap Eats: Square Bean Coffee
Dillsburg's only coffee shop is pretty trendy.
The Square Bean Coffee logo is hand-drawn on all take-out bags and boxes by the owner's daughter. The paintings on the wall were done by a local artist who used family photographs from a visit to Chili as inspiration.
Low-calorie smoothies are always available and wraps, salads and paninis dominate the menu. And, owner Jeff Conrady assures customers that he takes his espresso seriously.
The shop is artsy, but fosters a local community feel. Regulars are addressed by name and some two dozen of them have custom sandwiches and drinks named after them.
Building relationships is what Conrady, the associate pastor for Youth at Dillsburg Brethren in Christ Church, takes pride in.
The name Square Bean Coffee might make people think it's just a place for a latte and a quick bite, but Conrady wants it to be a destination.
"When people drive by, I want them to say that's a great place to go, whether it's for the community connection or the food - hopefully both," Conrady said.
A coffee shop has occupied the square for several years, previously Coffee Express before Square Bean took over in October of 2011.
I went to the Square Bean for lunch and took my mom as a second pair of taste buds. It was weekday afternoon and there were about three other tables filled.
I'm a sucker for a chalkboard menu that includes smoothie and latte options. So, I was sure to get a specialty drink.
I ordered off of their seasonal Strawberry-Time
Specials menu and got the strawberry almond chicken salad and a frozen strawberry lemonade. Mom went for the Sonoma chicken salad in a spinach wrap. We sat at a round high-top table near a painting by local artist Susan K. Getty until our food arrived.
My salad filled a square plate and was stocked with strawberries and chicken. It came with a vinaigrette dressing that looked homemade from the way the spices sunk to the bottom.
Mom's wrap was also packed with chicken and lettuce and served with a side of kettle chips and a dill pickle.
The strawberries were fresh and the chicken was tender. It was healthy option that I devoured. My frozen strawberry lemonade was refreshing, not too sweet and came in at just 100 calories. Score. Mom said she liked the wrap because of the additional crunch of cucumber in her chicken salad.
After lunch, Conrady came to my table with four mini chocolate chip cookies -- still warm. Apparently, anyone that dines for the first time gets free mini cookies.
It seems like Square Bean has figured out how to have the artsy college town feel while still being hospitable to a community of regulars.
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants, aiming to please our palates and our wallets. Reach Ashley May at 717-771-2053, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AshleyMayTweets.
To see a list of all Cheap Eats articles, go to www.yorkblog.com/flipside/eats.
Square Bean Coffee
LOCATION: 1 South Baltimore St., Dillsburg; Note: If you plug this address into a GPS, it will take you to a neighborhood about six miles away. Instead, use the address of the Dillsburg Public Library (17 S. Baltimore St., Dillsburg), which is next to the coffee shop.
ASHLEY'S PICK: Strawberry almond chicken salad, $6.75 and frozen strawberry lemonade, $4.25
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday
PRICE RANGE: .25 to $6.75
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit
KID'S MENU: No