The day after we had the pastries from Balthazar, we decided to return to the restaurant to get some lunch if we could somehow manage to secure a table without a reservation. Obviously, in New Yorkâ€™s highly competitive lunch scene, this was like asking for miracle, despite it being mid-week. The place was just jam-packed with folks, including people eating at the bar at midday. We were advised of a 1 hour wait and with Marketman and The Kid prone to sugar lows, we decided to seek lunch elsewhere. That meant a five meter walk to the boulangerie and with one look at their sandwich and snack menu we ordered lunch there instead. Same kitchen, after all. I had a curried chicken sandwich with watercress and grapes that was served on walnut bread. What came is exactly what was expected â€“ meaty chunks of chicken with a curried mayonnaise with sliced red grapes and lots of peppery watercress. The bread was a substantial and delicious wheat bread with large chunks of walnuts in it.
Mrs. MM had a Smoked Salmon sandwich which was served on a pain de seigle with an herbed cream cheese, cucumber slices and watercress. The Kid opted for a deceptively simple but well executed mozzarella, tomato and pesto panini that took a few minutes to make. The mozzarella used was first rate and The Kid loved this sandwich. All sandwiches were $8.00. We ate right outside the boulangerie on park benches placed on the cement pavement. To round off the â€œlunch,â€ we had a lemon madeleine and a chocolate chip cookie (both $1.50). Total lunch bill, less than $30.00. We got some drinks a few corners away from a hotdog stand. While we would have loved to sit down in the restaurant and order from a slightly more extensive menu that included typical bistro fare, we were more than happy with the sidewalk lunch. Now fortified, it was time to do a bit of shopping in SoHoâ€¦