Thursday, April 26, 2012

Balducci's Gourmet on the Go 04-11-2012

Location: 301 W.56th St.
Time: 12:30pm

Feelings: I never used to like salads, but ever since my vitamin deficiency, I have been a regular to those annoying salad stations in Midtown. Most of them are overpriced and unexciting, but I may have finally found an enticing custom prepared salad spot: The newly opened Balducci's gourmet takeout store, located in Hearst Tower.

For $8.50, you can choose unlimited fresh toppings, and they have more refined ingredients like fennel and goat cheese. With additional $1, you can add nicely flavored protein such as egg salad, tuna salad and chicken. And if that plastic salad bowl isn't your fancy, you can choose between plastic and paper containers. Who knew I would be asked "paper or plastic?" during my lunch hour.

My egg salad with spinach was quite a treat. Each ingredient is exceptionally fresh, and the flavors of dressing and protein are definitely more complex and gourmet compared to many other made to order salad spots. They carry fresh produce from local farmers, and the promising tastes and textures can be found here.

They also offer vast gourmet selections for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Balducci's finest coffee, pastries, macarons will deliciously greet you when you first enter, and there is a fresh crepe station, soup, sandwiches and pre-packaged sushi. Just be careful if you try to take pictures of their crepe area--the crepe man harshly told me, "You can take pictures of the crepes, but not me," leaving quite an unpleasant and uncomfortable atmosphere. Perhaps "Do you mind not including me in the picture," would have made my salad taste not so bitter. Nonetheless, I apologize for trying to take the pictures surrounding the crepe lad.

Balducci's markets in Manhattan closed around 2006, but it is nice to see them come back with this delightful takeout shop. For a quick stop for lunch, Balducci's Gourmet on the Go definitely beats Whole Foods and its madness during lunch hour. 

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