There is little to not like about Pecan Cafe in Tribeca. In a neighborhood where quick lunches to-go often runs into the double digits, the $9.99 lunch special is a deal I've come to depend on. It includes soup, sandwich, a drink, and chips or fruit. Not bad, right? Don't go out of your way to visit Pecan, but if you work or live nearby, it's a ideal for both to-go or to stay lunches.
There are three daily soup specials, and all (and believe me, I've had all of them) are quite nice. But the one to get really excited about is a hearty, warming Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque (pictured above)—make sure to ask for extra bread on the side; you'll want it to soak all the bisque that your spoon can't reach. Sometimes it'll be a Roasted Red Pepper bisque, with gouda cheese replacing the tomato element. Even better! Chipotle Sweet Potato and the Thai Coconut Chicken Soup are others to keep your eyes peeled out for.
Among the sandwiches, the standout is the Sweet Potato, served warm on a toasted baguette. The interior is layered with thin-sliced and roasted sweet potatoes, bites of soft goat cheese tucked between the layers. A smother of sweet chili mayonnaise and chives to finish. On days with fewer options, the simple avocado is a reliable bet. Sliced avocado, tomatoes, with mizuna and parmesan on a baguette. The only one I haven't had luck with is the Salmon Burger, an awkward, under-seasoned creation paired with honey mustard on a brioche. Couple that with the included chips (or fruit, if you're of the healthier sort) and soda (or water!) and you're set for a filling meal at a bargain price.
130 Franklin Street, New York NY 10013 (map)