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[Photo: Kathy YL Chan]

In 2008, Ed wrote of the toast bar at Blue Ribbon Bakery Market, a longtime neighborhood favorite for quick bites and light lunches. Fast-forward to 2011 and you'll find slightly higher prices but the same great service and reliable menu of classics.

The menu is written on the chalkboard high against the wall as you enter, but look to the adjacent wall for daily specials. This includes made-to-order toasts such as the anchovy special ($7.50) last week which featured not whole anchovies, but anchovies blended into a luxuriously smooth aioli. Pungent, in a good way. It's smothered on a slice of toasted Pullman loaf, topped with roasted baby tomatoes, chives, a free hand of olive oil and roast seasoning—Blue Ribbon's house blend of kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and thyme, also for sale by the bottle.

The toasts are small and if you want to make a full meal, you might consider two. The best of the menu includes one of sliced hard boiled eggs tangled with a rainbow of pickled peppers, a mayo-lined surface and that roast seasoning. Heartier appetites should go for the chive and sweet cippolini onion-topped tuna melt. Here the tuna is mixed with both mayo and cheese—a buttery raw cow's milk from 5 Spoke Creamery, before being heaped onto the thick Pullman slice. A quick run in the toaster oven and out comes a decadent, though balanced slice that's finished in snippets of chive. Pair with a chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of Iced Coffee ($4) shaken with their house Mexican Honey. It offers the heady richness of a coffee milkshake, in a thin, lighter consistency. Except for the small bench outside the market, there's no seating—this place is strictly designed for take-out meals.

Blue Ribbon Bakery Market

14 Bedford Street, New York NY 10014 (map)
212-647-0408
blueribbonrestaurants.com

About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond. She firmly believes that there is always room for dessert.

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