Choux Box Offers A New Take On Sandwiches

Choux Box entered the Midtown East lunchscape about a month ago, offering sandwiches and little snacks. Let’s be honest — Midtown does not hurt for sandwiches, so how were they going to set themselves apart?

By putting their sandwiches on puff pastry.

What the what? What this looks like, what this costs you, but most importantly, what this tastes like… after the jump.

This sign outside doesn’t mean anything.

Inside a tiny storefront is a very sterile-looking countertop and some seating. I don’t think they expect people to want to sit and eat, because when I went, most of the seats were taken… and some by the proprietor. How do I know who she was? Well, she saw me taking photos and approached me gruffly, saying “I saw you taking pictures…” and then asked that if I post them on social media, to tag them. Once her intention was clear, the conversation was pleasant enough, but initially it felt very much like she was about to ask me to stop taking photos. I think that’s a cultural thing – the owners and some staff are legit French people.

After I asked her how long they’d been open and congratulated them, she gave me a card that entitles me to a ‘free choux’ upon my return, and told me to feel free to ask her if I had any more questions. I politely said “Actually, I’m looking for a place to sit and eat” which is when she got up to let me sit. The other seats were taken by people who didn’t seem to be eating much, either… it was very odd. But you know — first month kinks to be worked out.


(click on image to enlarge)

The entire menu is fairly flexible, allowing you to choose your flavor of ChouxBread – plain, chipotle, bbq, mustard, and everything – with your choice of innards. They have a breakfast menu, too, with other types of ChouxBread (sesame and poppy, in addition to plain and everything). They also offer a “make it a box” option – for $3 you can add two bite-sized ChouxChoux, or $4 for one ChouxClair (which normally costs you $4.75). I was confused how this worked with the sign outside, as I really am more of a savory person, but the cashier (at that moment, the owner’s wife, with whom I practiced a tiny bit of French – real French people, y’all!) informed me that all of the boxes come with potato salad.

Oh… okay. Well, I quickly chose the fried chicken sandwich, with Vermont cheddar, arugula and BBQ mayo, because fried chicken is my JAM. Apparently, fried chicken sandwiches are uber trendy right now, but this was a few weeks ago so I didn’t know yet. To try to keep closer to the $10 ‘limit’ but also so I could try more flavors, I opted to add on the two ChouxChoux – lemon cream because I love citrus, and Nutella because the cashier/owner’s wife emphasized a few times how good that one is, and how popular.

$8 + $3 = $11 plus tax, right? When she told me my total was $13.07, I was a little confused. I’ve admitted that math is not my strong suit, but that seemed high, so I asked her – twice – about it. She simply said “well, there’s tax” and I tried to explain that I didn’t think $11 + tax was $13.07 but finally gave up. The receipt she handed me only had the total on it and wasn’t itemized. I shrugged it off and stepped to one side to wait for my food.

After a few minutes, my food came and that’s when I had the conversation mentioned above with the proprietor/his sister about the restaurant’s newness, welcomed and congratulated them, then took her seat.

As you can see, the potato salad wasn’t put in the box, but instead on the side… likely as the size/shape of the container is a little awkward to fit in there with the ChouxChoux. I failed to photograph it, but it’s a bunch of boiled skin-on potatoes with a slick of mayo, a touch of mustard, and nothing else. It wasn’t particularly interesting, but definitely a necessary and welcome addition to fill me up.

The sandwich itself is fairly long, though narrow. The bread is super thin and light and flaky and really makes this feel like you’re not breaking your diet, which is nice; the chicken is really properly fried, crisp, and juicy, flavorful. The cheddar almost seemed out of place – a little thick – and the BBQ mayo, though it looks barely pink, packed enough flavor in it and added some moisture to the sandwich, while arugula provided a slightly peppery backdrop. Overall, I enjoyed my sandwich a lot – the puff pastry was an interesting vehicle for the ingredients, and I thought it worked really nicely together. How many places do you know that you can get a fried chicken sandwich and not feel like a gross pig afterwards, or not need a nap ASAP? This is definitely one of them, and I’m eager to go back and try some of their other sandwiches.

As for the little ChouxChoux — they were the perfect size for a touch of sweetness at the end of my meal. While the lemon cream one was pretty tasty, the Nutella one was, in fact, a brilliant star. Basically filled with creamy, pure Nutella that gushed into my mouth when I bit into it, it was awesome. The puff pastry part was perfect, but I mean — they created an entire restaurant around their puff pastry, so you kind of expect them to know how to make puff pastry, right? Really tasty.

By the way, the receipt stapled to my bag was itemized. As suspected… it was off. I didn’t bother saying anything because it’s a dollar, but I’ll be sure to say something if it happens again. They’re still new, they’re still working the kinks out.

You should definitely check ChouxBox out if you’re interested in trying a new twist on sandwiches – I definitely will be back to try more of the sandwiches.

ChouxBox, 644 Lexington Avenue, between 54th and 55th Streets
(212) 355-1963

8 Comments

  • sounds about right for the french … be happy they did not fart in your general direction or taunt you a second time

  • You’re 1/2 block from Omar’s where you can get a fantastic chicken shwarma sandwich on home-made pita with complimentary baklava for under $8. You’re mere feet away from a Mexican cart that will prepare a fantastic torta gut bomb for $7. Or you can opt for airy-fairy faux French frippery.

  • Ugh, though i know its “only” a dollar, its the principle of it all!! A bit of a hike, but seems unique enough to take the trip.

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    I’d like to check whether it tastes as good as it looks like!

  • I’ve been there twice. The first time I got the fried chicken on chipotle bread. The chicken was perfectly cooked. The bread was slightly softer than a brick, but was edible. It had an unusual flavor which might just have been the chipotle. It came with a cream puff which was pretty good.

    The second time I got sausage on BBQ bread. The bread was soft. The sausage and accompaniments were very tasty. These guys do meat well.

    A friend of mine got an ├ęclair and she was RAVING about it. She also got the truffle fries and they were pretty good, though maybe a little heavy on the truffle.

    Chouxbox is a nice addition to the midtown lunch scene. It is authentically french. Hopefully it works out for them.

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