Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Afternoon Delight

Maybe I am just on a hot streak lately or maybe the apocalypse is on the horizon, but I had another good dining experience today. That makes two in a row!

Because I have neglected grocery shopping over the past week in favor of kickboxing and the Film Festival (more on that later tonight)I found myself in the precarious position of having to purchase a lunch this afternoon.

Lunch pickins downtown are pretty slim. New London's downtown is home to the world's most ghetto Subway, an Indian restaurant, a Thai/Japanese restaurant that has not come very highly reccomended (hence you haven't seen a blog about it yet), an organic cafe with "carrot toasties" (yeah, NO) and a coffee shop. And as much as I like the Atrium Cafe, I have eaten my weight in grilled cheese since coming to work downtown and needed to switch it up a bit.

My coworker Ryan (who uttered the famous New Year's Eve quote "You know what stereotype is totally true? That white people love cheese.") became aware of my dilema and invited me to join him at the South Side Bistro.

"Where?" I replied.

The South Side Bistro is sandwiched between some shops on Bank Street. It's small and narrow and a little cramped if there are people in there (although there is a great-looking deck on the back that I am looking forward to sitting on this summer). Ryan and I took a table in the back and were served the food we had called ahead to order.

I have never been big on the wrap craze, but whatever instict possesed me to order the Thai chicken wrap was a great one. The chicken had a great grill flavor and was cut into manageable-sized strips. The peanut sauce was tangy and delicious and (most importantly to me) the wrap was NOT drenched in sauce. It was not soggy. Nothing disgusts me more than a soggy sandwich. The wrap also included mixed greens and chopped cucumber - enough to round out the sandwich but not the amount of, say, a Taco Bell taco, which is roughly 75% iceberg lettuce. This was perhaps the most ideal porportion of meat/greens/sauce ever rolled in a flatbread.

Ryan let me have some of his roasted red pepper and gouda soup, and I immediately wished I'd ordered it, too. Roasted red pepper is one of my favorite flavors in the world, and the gouda complimented it's spiciness perfectly. Together, they formed a velvety, creamy consistency neither too thin or too thick.

Ryan's vegetable quiche certainly had plenty of veggies - mushrooms, red peppers, spinach, and onions, along with torn basil leaves. Mixed with the egg and cheese, it had been perfectly baked - solidly set but not at all dry - and proved a delicious option for herbivores (provided the herbivores have no problem with dairy, that is!)

Both entrees were accompanied by an unusual (and extremely tasty) pasta salad with dried cranderries and corn. I'd like to thank the maker of the salad for not drenching it in oil.

I had expected to end up at Subway and take a bread-and-lettuce sandwich with a few slivers of chicken back to my desk. This was a better alternative than I could have possibly imagined...although now that I know the South Side Bistro is there, it's going to be hard not to 'forget' my lunch more often!

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