Saturday, April 12, 2008

Keep It Au (Spring Street) Naturale

I met up with a friend for brunch one Saturday in SoHo on a beautiful spring day. And then, I did something I almost never do...roamed around til a restaurant caught our eye. As Miss Menu, I've become so accustomed to reading up on new restaurants and seeking out unusual places online. It's been a while since I went out for any meal without a predetermined spot in mind.

As I've mentioned before, I'm really not into the whole health/organic food or restaurant craze, so I'm always a little skeptical to try them out. My friend reassured me that I'd like Spring Street Natural, so I figured I'd be daring and give it a shot.

Since it was such a beautiful day and it was prime brunch time, we knew there would be a wait. Judging by the crowd waiting on the sidewalk and in the entry area, I was just hoping for a wait under 30 minutes. I was really hungry, so I was thrilled when the hostess said it would only be 10 minutes for a party of two.

We were seated in a little section of two-top tables that were so close together that when the girl behind me moved around, her hair would touch me...not OK. I’m pretty sure that area was made for 2 tables, but they tried to get away with squeezing in another one. We asked to move to an open table along the huge wrap-around windows. Much better. It was much more spacious, great for people-watching, and great for enjoying the sun on such a nice day.

We were given both the brunch and the lunch menus. I perused them both, and even when overlooking all the tofu and tempeh items, there were still multiple dishes that caught my eye. I was very tempted to get an omelette, but my friend reminded me that the past few brunches we’ve had together I’ve ordered omelettes. Apparently, I love my eggs on the weekends!

Between not wanting to bore you, my loyal readers, or myself, I decided to order something else, and ended up with the Grilled Free Range Chicken Burger. It was served on a toasted brioche bun with melted pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayonnaise, and came with hand-cut French fries. Not being into the free range/au naturale thing, I can’t really say if I could taste a difference between the chicken used in this burger and a chicken burger anywhere else. But, I can say that this one was delicious. It almost had the flavor of a meatloaf, with chopped onions and oregano mixed in. The pepper jack gave it a nice kick, and the chipotle mayonnaise added great flavor too.

The hand-cut fries were really tasty…fresh and crispy. The only complaint I have about them is that they were served with what I’m guessing to be an organic ketchup. Now, I’m sure it’s healthier without preservatives and partially hydrogenated whatever, but I was longing for some good ol’ Heinz to accompany these great fries.

On a negative note, I have to point out that I felt like we were being rushed the entire time. The waiter hounded us to order, and then again to pay our check. I know there was still a huge wait, but I wanted to enjoy a nice Saturday brunch and not feel like I needed to scarf down my food. To avoid this, I’d definitely recommend going here at off-peak hours on the weekend or maybe for dinner during the week. I have a feeling that the experience would be much more relaxed.

On a positive note, there were definitely a few good things to be said about Spring Street Natural. The menu is pretty extensive and offers a little something for everyone…green eaters and not. The prices are also pretty reasonable. It’s nice to see sandwiches (especially organic ones) under $10. Seems outrageous to those outside New York, I’m sure…but it’s pretty commonplace in this crazy city. Overall, I really enjoyed this meal, and think I may have turned a new leaf (no pun intended!) on this whole organic food thing.

Spring Street Natural
62 Spring Street
@ Lafayette Street
website
Menu Pages listing

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