Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Sad City's Guide To Quick Downtown Lunch
You've just landed a job in downtown Hartford. Most likely you don't live downtown, Possibly you aren't familiar with your eating options at all. You've got one hour before you have to get back to ascending the career ladder, you don't want to waste it and have a crappy lunch, but at the same time, you can't afford to be gone too long lest your boss be checking in. So where do you go? Well head on over to the always handy Sad City Guide section of course.
Without further ado and not to be confused with our previous Guide To Lunch published in a galaxy far, far away, we present the Sad City Guide To Quick Downtown Lunch!
Ed. Note (All scores are on a scale of 1-6 beers. At some point, we will next review sit down lunches for those downtown power players.)
The Cornerstone Deli:
A real downtown staple, the biggest drawback of Cornerstone is the line can coil to 50 deep between 12 and 1230 at this popular Main Street deli. Offerings are simple and classic, sandwiches on a roll or 8 inch grinder, salads, and pasta specials. Seating is plentiful and despite being swamped, Cornerstone operates with the requisite speed and efficiency to usually get you in and out quickly. The best part? The prices. Cornerstone really can’t be beat price wise and sandwich rolls sell for between $4 and $5 and grinders between $6 and $7.
Also located on Main Street, Subway basically serves as a spillover option for times when the line at Cornerstone is just too long to bear. Kind of like that Mexican place next to Plan B.
Hey, at least it’s not McDonald’s. No need to go into discussion of what the offerings or prices are. There’s a multi-million dollar ad campaign attempting to keep Apolo Ohno relevant that will fill you in on Subway’s offerings.
There are two Max Bibo’s located in downtown. One at 250 Main and one at 208 Trumbull. Max Bibo’s posits itself as a gourmet deli and while they certainly have more upscale and fancy sandwiches than Cornerstone, you are going to pay for it.
We also get really annoyed at the “a la carte” style sandwich menu. Look, we know it’s widely accepted that you add a charge for bacon or avocado, but it is really annoying to have a surcharge on a $7 sandwich for a slice of cheese. Very good sandwiches that could stand to put more in the stomach and take less out of the wallet.
What can we say about Woody’s that we haven’t already said once, twice, three times already? It is highly recommended that you do not eat here five times a week, but it’s highly recommended that you do stop by at least once a month. Our current favorite is the slaw dog. Besides the decidely unhealthy menu, the only real drawbacks are the occasional long waits and low quality napkins. When eating smothered dogs on a work lunch, one really wants a high quality napkin to keep things under control. (Cash only)
A deli on Pratt St, we tried Rose Gourmet for the first time last week. The offerings were plentiful but also a bit confusing. Despite listing over two dozen sandwiches, many weren’t all that different from the others. The pricing of the salad bar was very confusing. We ordered a panini and while it was a good sandwich, it came in a warm pita wrap and was decidedly not a panini. Rose Gourmet seems like it has potential to be a good upscale deli but needs a bit of a reorganization. Give it a shot and see if they can get their footing.
We think we’ve eaten at Quizno’s once and we’re pretty sure it wasn’t in downtown. Nothing particularly memorable, it’s a large chain. Like Subway, passable if you must.
DD’s Gyros & Spuds:
As big fans of gyros, we were sorry to see Tapas close a few months ago. That leaves DD”s on Temple Street as the last good gyro place in downtown. With lots of options ranging from a simple gyro to entire plates and great sides, we are grateful to have DD’s in downtown. (Cash only)
No. Just no. Alright, we will admit they have some really good fries. If you find yourself a little worked over from a night of “power meetings” maybe you can indulge in the fries two to three times a year. That’s it.
La Petit Chef:
Neighbor to DD’s on Temple Street, La Petit Chef might have the best sandwiches in Hartford. The food is nothing short of delicious. The sandwiches are remarkable, the salads are excellent, the bread is fresh and amazing, and the dinners are as good as anything you will get at home. Fresh roasted chicken and turkey, this is not only real food, it’s really, really good food.
Quite simply, a brilliant lunch place. If there is any drawback is that the menu isn’t always fully available, three times we have ordered the pork loin sandwich and three times it hasn’t been available. Decent seating. Cash only. Put it in your rotation. Watch for a follow up story.