I'm a big fan of the lunchtime sandwiches at Murray's Cheese in the West Village, both the pre-made and panini-to-order sandwiches, but it wasn't until a friend deemed their quesadilla as his favorite lunch item did I even realize Murray's even offers quesadillas. Make that quesadilla, since only one type of quesadilla is offered: chicken. It's not a quesadilla in the traditional sense, hot, savory and oozing cheese. Rather, it's a complete, rice-based meal stuffed into a grilled tortilla. The tortilla itself is finely seasoned, most prominently with chile powder.
Inside, you've got the works, braised chicken thighs, brown rice cooked with garlic, cumin and onions. All of this is tossed with chopped peppers, black beans, corn and cilantro. There's supposed to be pepperjack cheese in there, but ironically, I could only make out a minuscule portion. A near cheese-less quesadilla. That aside, it's satisfying, full of flavor, and doesn't leave you feeling heavy or overstuffed. The quesadillas are pre-made and grilled to order. Make sure you ask for it extra crisp, lest you end up with a floppy tortilla.
And for dessert? Pass on the house made chocolate chip cookies and blondies, but say yes to the cream cheese brownies and lemon bundt cakes. Better yet, pick up the Tumbador Ring Ding or Scooter Bar.
However, my latest obsession here are the Quicos ($4.99). Sold by the half pound bag, quicos are water soaked, roasted corn kernels dipped in a silky layer of dark chocolate, rolled in cocoa powder and finished with a sprinkle of salt. As you might guess, these are utterly addictive, and that eight ounce bag gets wiped out quicker than planned. Every bite has sweet, salty, crunchy, and chocolate rolled into one. It's along the lines of chocolate-covered corn pops, only crunchier with a tinge of salt.
The only hard part about having Murray's for lunch is that there is simply nowhere to sit. In the summer you can head for the park down the block. But in the winter? I like walk a few doors down to Amy's Bread, order a cup or hot tea or apple cider, and munch away my quesadilla on a corner seat.
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