Lunch for One: Columbine
I recently starting working out of a different office, the new one, in Tribeca. Every morning I would get off the A train at Canal and walk past this corner shop that always, and I mean always, had a line. One day, I got in line myself. And now I find myself in line at Columbine far too frequently.
Soups and sandwiches (made on Sullivan Street Bread) are the stars here; salads and sweets are solid, but secondary. The food at Columbine is slightly more expensive that what I would be comfortable paying for a daily lunch, but two times a week is just about right.
All sorts of sandwiches, after the jump.
If you only get one thing here, make it the soup. Three flavors are offered each day on a rotating basis. Recently spotted: Moroccan Carrot with mint yogurt, a broccoli puree soup, and a hearty beef vegetable. My current favorite is the Calabasa Squash Puree with a dollop of cumin cream. It appeared on the menu once last week—I had it twice, that day—and I've got my fingers crossed that it'll appear again. Amazing in this chilly weather.
Salads are where I cannot help but feel slightly ripped-off; they're fresh and well-made, but priced too high. Pictured above is one of the daily special salads: romaine with bacon, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, croutons, and Great Hill blue cheese vinaigrette. The other day I spotted a arugula salad with roasted figs, toasted almonds, and parmesan.
Sandwiches comes in half or whole sizes. If you get a half, you'll need soup or something extra; perhaps one of their "sides," which can be anything from roasted new potatoes with garlic and goat cheese or sesame green beans with ginger dipping sauce. The whole fills you up quite tidily. Most days I have the Smoked Chicken Sandwich, served on ciabatta bread with lettuce and tomatoes. I'm all for smoked chicken, and only which it showed up for frequently on sandwich shop menus.
The Tuna Sandwich is also a winner, mixing white tuna with chopped roasted red onion, peppers and olives. Topped with sliced hard boiled eggs and lettuce, also on ciabatta.
And for something plain and simple, you can't go wrong with their Mozzarella Sandwich. Slices of fresh mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and peppers, arugula, olive oil, balsamic and black pepper on ciabatta. It's not quite as delicious as Doma's mozzarella sandwich, but it's pretty darn delicious. The vegetarian friendly options are also worth revisiting. Most popular is the Tuscan Vegetarian, with white bean puree and oven dried tomatoes, arugula, onions, garlic, pepper, and parmesan on Sullivan Street's pizza bianca.
As for desserts? There's a daily sweet special featuring anything from chocolate pudding to German chocolate cake. Cookies in flavors of oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and a "lone ranger" with oats, chocolate chips and pecans, are there every day. To be honest? I'd pass these up and dash on over the bakery to go counter at nearby Locanda Verde. Gingerbread! Scones! Doughnuts!
P.S.: A deal too good to pass up—half off all sandwiches and salads after 5pm.