Even though I’m writing this post mostly to talk about the salad bar at City Bakery, I’ll start out with some pictures of the baked goods, first, because those photos came out better, and second, because that’s usually how my meals go.
City Bakery’s pastries are artfully presented yet rustic. Like the salad bar, many of the pastries take advantage of local fruit in season. Others take advantage of copious amounts of butter and chocolate. Though clearly not the vegan chocolate chip cookies, which in my mind look better than non-vegan varieties elsewhere.
The pictures are blurry, but I did want to document my lunch at City Bakery. City Bakery is both a cafe and bakery and is renowned for its use of high quality local ingredients. In the summertime, I tend to not eat out so that I can take advantage of the bounty of local produce that I wait for all year. Several restaurants serve local produce, but there are only so many establishments where you can order a meal that consists almost entirely of locally grown vegetables, and even then, that meal tends to be a green salad in some form or another.
City Bakery is the one place where I eat out while knowing that I am taking full advantage of the local produce available. You see, City Bakery takes just about every vegetable, fruit, and herb in season, and turns it into a mouthwatering dish. Cucumbers are pickled, summer squash roasted, tomatoes chopped for gazpacho, romaine lettuce becomes caesar salad, and much more. They also offer multiple fish and meat options at the salad bar, including broiled salmon and chicken quesadillas.
One of my favorite dishes that they offer is the radicchio and chickpea salad pictured below. The creamy, almost sweet chickpeas provide a nice textural contrast to the crunchy, bitter radicchio, and a mild dressing melds the two together.
The price per pound is higher than most any other salad bar, but then again, you won’t find another salad bar of this high a quality. The freshness and choice of ingredients are unparalleled. Should you want to bring a lunch companion who does not get quite as excited about an outstanding salad bar, the cafe offers more typical lunch fare as well, including sandwiches, mac and cheese, pizza and soup.
3 W 18th St
New York, NY