Walking out of the pouring rain and into Blue Olive Market, I was greeted by a bright, inviting space. Stations around the store were serving soups, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods. Customers sat at a wine bar in the back while scattered shelves displayed produce, dairy, cured meats, and other Mediterranean goods.
The Gigante Vlahos Seven Grain ($8.50) is supposed to come with feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and romaine, along with olive and pepper tapenade. In ours, the eponymous seven grain bread had been replaced with a baguette, and the cucumbers and romaine had been replaced with mild white cheese. Despite these strange modifications—no other item on the menu has similar contents—the sandwich was quite good. The baguette was crisp and tender, the feta salty and plentiful, and the tapenade rich and briny. The missing vegetables would have helped round out the sandwich, but as served it was still a worthwhile lunch.
Blue Olive is a neat place to have near Grand Central for some specialty groceries and a quick lunch. But be sure to check your order before you leave.