On Thursday, Janna and I shared a lovely lunch at the Bryant Park Grill. I, of course, filled up on bread and made no apologies. The parsnip soup starter was delicious. The Vegan Organic entree was truly awful. If you’re going to offer a Vegan choice on the menu, you need to provide massive chunks of lots and lots of hearty root vegetables, not a chiffonade of greens with a sprinkling of quinoa and a few, limp, tiny pieces of eggplant; and you certainly don’t put the main dish star — the portobello mushroom — in a side cup chopped up like a disrespected, diced, carrot!
The atmosphere and wait staff at the Grill were phenomenal and friendly and the fact that the great, white, main Fifth Avenue Library is directly behind the Grill — or is the Bryant Park Grill directly behind the library? — made the day even more memorable.
I didn’t mind the lousy Vegan entree because I ate my fill of bread and then some. The waiter was happy to bring us more bread and I ate it all. I even had a flashback to my childhood when I would engorge myself on bread the moment we sat down to eat at a restaurant. I would be admonished for “filling up on hot rolls” and I would reply, simply, by saying, “Yes, I am…”
All my married life I have hogged the bread basket. I’m lucky I have a wife who is more into dessert than bread. Oftentimes, when an abundant, and wide variety, of breads appear on our table, Janna will softly say to no one in particular, “I guess I’m not getting bread tonight.”
And, as ever, I reply to her soft dissent, with this embarrassing, public, shout, “You got that right, sister!” I then promise her my dessert and she is back to not caring about the warm bread overfilling my mouth and belly.
When we used to get our weekly fresh organic food delivery from Urban Organic in NYC, I would always order several loaves of their fresh sourdough and wheat and pumpernickel breads. By the end of the next day, we had no fresh bread for the rest of the week. I had happily, greedily, and eagerly, toasted and olive oiled up every last slice and crumb. And I made no apology. And I did not get fat.
Stay away from the Bryant Park Grill if you want a filling Vegan dinner, but do frequent the establishment if you’re looking for some marvelous oat rolls.