If you've been following our series on Smorgasburg pop-ups, you may be familiar with Bombay Sandwich Co., the stall dedicated to all-vegetarian Mumbai-inspired lunch and snack food with a healthy-ish edge. Earlier this month the owners of the company opened a permanent space in Chelsea devoted to sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and other lunch fare.
The menu, with its quinoa salad and "veggie mashup," reads like spa food, and the food kind of tastes like it—but from an alternate dimension where spa food retains its flavor despite its lack of fat, and where clean, light, and refreshing don't automatically mean insubstantial. If you're looking for a light lunch (or a vegetarian one, and no they don't mean the same thing), give it a look.
We were more partial to the Chana Masala Sandwich ($8.50) you see up top: chickpeas stewed with ruddy spices, tarted up with pickled onions and greens, and sweetened with date chutney. The flavors play to the tomato-and-chickpea stew we've all had dozens of times, but with less meandering sweetness and an overall clarity of flavor. The soft bun, something between bread and pita, cradles the stew nicely.
The Bombay Club ($8.50) is the cafe's flagship sandwich: three slices of quality toasted multigrain with sliced potatoes, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and a grassy-hot green chutney. It's a salad on a sandwich and it knows it, but there's a slick heat and generous coat of spices to the whole thing that makes it more than the sum of its parts.