Top Your Salad With Antipasto at Picnic
After almost four years at Penn, I had somehow managed to miss Picnic, a casual restaurant at the edge of University City. Finally, two friends and I braved the cold and walked the daunting eight blocks (a serious endeavor for a weekday!) for a late lunch. Picnic offers a selection of daily specials that include soups, sandwiches, salads, and dishes from their refrigerated case. For those who don’t have time to sit, they also offer “ready-to-go” items that can be quickly wrapped. We decided to order one soup, one sandwich, and one salad to best cover the menu.
I enjoyed the soup and salad special which included a 12 oz vegan mushroom barley soup and a small garden salad. With a roll, the meal came to a little over $6. I really enjoyed the salad and appreciated that it included sprouts, peppers, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes instead of just greens. The white balsamic dressing I chose had a great flavor and we found ourselves dipping every last bit of bread in it. As for the soup, it was good, but I was hoping for a bit more flavor. Next time I will have to try one of their non-vegan soups which seem a bit heartier. For those who want a filling lunch, I would suggest ordering the 16 oz version and/or a roll on the side.
Next, we got the grilled chicken sandwich with dijon sauteed mushrooms, onions, melted swiss, and lettuce on a sourdough roll. For $8.37, it was a bit pricey, but it definitely had high quality ingredients. The bread, supplied by Metropolitan Bakery, was delicious. The mushrooms were a little messy and their mild taste somewhat resembled the mushroom barley soup.
The star of the meal by far was definitely the antipasto salad with pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, artichokes, kalamata olives, baby arugula, and balsamic vinaigrette. Just looking at the plate, it was so colorful that you could tell the vegetables were fresh. My friend definitely got impatient as I continued to take photos of her meal – it was just that pretty! The ingredients had a great taste and the pepperoni was a welcome change from more standard salad proteins. With a roll, this portion of the meal cost $8.37 as well. My only suggestion would be to ask for the dressing on the side, as the salad had a bit too much balsamic.
Overall, Picnic was a welcome change to my University City routine. I’m looking forward to returning and tasting some of their prepared foods, especially the mac and cheese!
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Delicious, fresh ingredients
- Sit down or take out options
- The menu changes daily, but always includes a selection of favorites
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Difficult to get a table
- Soups are not very filling
- Salads are a little overdressed
Picnic, 3131 Walnut St (@ 32nd) 215 222-1608