Spring Lunches are Here at Columbine in Tribeca
For those of you who work or live in Tribeca, I apologize for what I’m about to say, but on the other hand, I’m sure you’ll probably agree with me when I say that Tribeca is a little hoity-toity. A tad highfalutin. Perhaps a skosh grandiloquent. But you’re lunch’ers nonetheless and for that, we love you. So this one’s for you, Tribeca.
Just yesterday I found out that a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in nigh 6 years and hadn’t even spoken with since I moved to New York had taken up residence in our fair city. In fact, they were living mere blocks from my old apartment and also worked within lunching distance of my office. So the natural thing to do was to meet up for lunch ASAP. Meeting somewhere in the middle, I suggested we give Columbine (on the corner of West Broadway and White St.). Daniel Krieger swung by this spot more than a year and a half ago (took some awesome pictures too!) and made the dreaded mistake of ordering a salad, but I had heard they know their way around a sandwich and a cup of soup. And boy howdy, did they.
I grabbed a regular soup ($5.00) and a jerk chicken sandwich. The sandwich was really good, though as you might expect, not jerk chicken a la Veronica’s Kitchen or the Trinidad & Tobago cart. It was white meat chicken, easy on the spice but big on the flavor. I didn’t get a lot of the Jamaican hot sauce they said was on there (unless they were talking about the jerk spice?), but the grilled red onions and mango-cilantro relish added a nice freshness and depth of flavor to it. All on a nice crusty baguette, this was a damn good sammich with almost no hint at all that it was not made to order. The only problem I had with it was the fact that I was out $8.00. I’m not saying it wasn’t worth it, but damn, $8.00 for a sandwich…
The soup was not a bad deal though, in my opinion. They typically offer three soups a day, rotating them daily. I got the feeling they were definitely moving away from the kinds of hearty, thick soups like I experienced at the Hot Soup cart and offering more of a spring selection, but that’s not to say that these soups aren’t filling. I grabbed the Caldo de Pollo (Mexican chicken soup with tomatoes, rice, and vegetables) and can say that the only thing they skimped on was the rice. There was almost as much chicken in my soup as there was in my sandwich! It was damn good soup too, with a very pleasant whiff of fresh herbs. The chunks of potato I had were a little overcooked, but the chicken more than made up for it. And if all that doesn’t sell you, they throw in a fat slice of bread from the Sullivan St. Bakery with every soup. YUM.
A fair warning for those of you still reading: my friend wasn’t yet familiar with the ways of Midtown Lunch and purchased what we would classify as “untouchable” items. That is healthy, vegetarian, or a combination of both: the dreaded salad. Reader’s discretion is advised, though for the sake of the children, I’ll skip the salad. For those of you who would rather not entertain the idea of eating something without meat and/or refined sugar, please skip ahead to dessert. I promise, it’s good.
For a soup, my friend picked up the Southern Italian Broccoli with White Beans and Pecorino Garnish. It shared a lot of the same characteristics with my soup, namely the fresh, spring vibe and a really great herby aftertaste. Despite the lack of animal sacrifice, this was a damn good soup.
To wrap things up we shared an enormous whoopie pie. I start to get a little weepy just thinking about it. This sucker was amazing, so soft and chocolatey on the outside, squishy and super sweet on the inside. I don’t know if it was worth the $4 (!?!) we paid for it, but it’s enough to make you stop and think about it. I’ll tell you right now, on days when I bring my lunch, I would seriously consider stopping by to spend my lunch money on one of these.
So there you have it. I’m sure there are some great, dingy spots around Tribeca that are more Midtown Lunchish than this, but when you’re feeling classy and still want to keep it under $10, this is an awesome place to consider. It’s a little pricey for soup & sandwich, but they’ve got a $10 lunch special where you can grab half of their daily special sandwich along with a cup of one of their soups. With the soups changing everyday, you’re never going to run into the same thing twice if you order cleverly.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Everything tastes awesomely fresh
- I love whoopie pies! Especially gigantic ones!
- Eating in this part of town makes me feel like a classy gent/lass
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- You’re paying way too much for that
- Where’s the grease? Where’s the pork?
- Eating in this part of town makes me feel like a douchebag
Columbine, 229 W. Broadway (nr. White Street), 212-965-0909