Next week begins Restaurant Week in NYC! So much of my time in New York revolves around eating GOOD food and spending time with GOOD people. When freelancing in the city, I find myself on the hunt for a decent lunch under fifteen dollars so when BG (the nickname for my good friend) told me about the soup and sandwich special at Saxon + Parole, I invited a friend to meet me in NoHo and we made the chilly trek to the corner of Bleeker and Bowery Streets. When I laid eyes on the hostess sitting in the front foyer, I felt a sharp pain in my gut and thought to myself, “This is going to be another fifty dollar lunch day.”
The fairly opulent interior design drew me closer evoking thoughts of a warm bath in a country-style mansion. The staff were as welcoming as an ocean breeze, I nearly forgot about the bitter cold awaiting us outdoors. The lunch menu, sparse and fairly meat or flesh-involved, is well thought out and not a detailed has been spared. Being non-meat eaters, we inquired about substitutions since many chefs frown upon this practice. They were amenable and the waiter went as far as to suggest substituting the pork belly for grilled brussel sprouts. Perfect!
I ordered the BLAT (Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato) sandwich on 7-grain bread sans bacon and my lunch date ordered the Banh Mi sandwich with brussel sprouts, hold the pork products.
When the food arrived, I don’t think we said more than ten words to each other. Our conversation went something like this … hhhmm, this is amazing … uh huh, fantastic … wow … delicious…did you taste the soup? The Banh Mi sandwich was more my speed but it was “his“ sandwich so I suppressed the greedy in me. The flavor was enough to rock any hip hop crowd into submission. The size, generous in proportion and ingredients. And, the carrot ginger soup was no like no other. On the menu it reads:
Warm carrot ginger soup, aleppo marshmallow, cilantro oil
What is aleppo marshmallow, you asked? I didn’t have a clue when we ordered so I went home to investigate:
Follow the instructions for Traditional Vanilla Marshmallows except for adding vanilla. Instead, when combining gelatin and sugar mixtures, add the Aleppo chili flakes (Syrian dried chili flakes; may substitute crushed chili flakes). Proceed with marshmallow recipe instructions.
Spectacular! While my friend visited the Water Closet (WC), I ate the rest of it. No judgement please, it was a small bowl.
My only grievance would be that we both ordered the $10 soup and half sandwich special but apparently the waiter didn’t hear me. We both got the full sandwich which is more pricey. However, to make up for it, they gave us a complimentary lemon and mango sorbet that resembled summertime in the Caribbean.
Can you tell I adore Saxon + Parole?
It was love at first, second, and third bite.
Next time, I’ll go for oysters (East Coast, of course) and drinks.
For the BEEFers, I hear the burger is one of the best in the City.