Healthy lunches in NYC
TONY checks out five health-conscious lunch joints to see which of them are worth their salt.
Tue Dec 28 2010
301 E 49th St at Second Ave (212-223-1050) * 1217 Lexington Ave at 82nd St (212-794-2222) * calistasuperfoods.com
The shtick: Organic, whole-grain, all-natural—you know the drill. The defining trait of this midtown minichain is its axing of superfluous fats, oils and sugars, and the sheer quantity of cuisines on offer: Tex-Mex, Japanese, Mexican, Italian and more. The made-from-scratch goods come in soup, salad, wrap, burger and entre form, plus there's a decent selection of protein-enhanced smoothies and figure-conscious snacks.
What we ate: An artfully presented Asian Tofu Salad ($9.45) featured a fanned-out avocado freckled with crunchy black sesame seeds, over spinach tossed with carrot chips, roasted cauliflower and moist tofu baked in ponzu. A Bison Sloppy Joe Wrap ($8.25) was lean but flavorful, aided by low-mayo coleslaw, kidney and black beans, brown rice and a sweet chili barbecue sauce, and the PB&J smoothie ($5)—made with all-natural peanut butter, fresh strawberries, low-fat yogurt and vanilla soy milk—was a rich and filling knockout.
The verdict: Of all the lunch joints elbowing for a seat on the Pollan-Schlosser bandwagon, this is the one to beat. The space is immaculately clean, the menu offers enough inventive combinations to inspire return visits, and that PB&J shake may as well be liquid heroin. (Though, one hopes, less likely to trigger a heart attack.)