One of my recent projects has been trying out the lunch specials at various restaurants in Hell's Kitchen. Yesterday's lunch special to go? Breeze, a "Thai-French" (not really sure what's French about it) restaurant on 9th Avenue near 46th Street.
A and I have been to Breeze before and I have ordered delivery from them at work a fair amount (I'm a big fan of the five star basil chicken), but this was my first time getting a lunch special. For about $7.50 (with tax), you get a spring roll, option of salad or soup, and your lunch choice.
I started with the crispy spring roll, which was your typical spring roll- glass noodles, cabbage, carrots and taro wrapped up and fried.
When I first opened the bag with the spring roll, I was a little alarmed. It looked like there was a lot of oil and grease on the bottom of the bag, but on second look, it was sitting in the sauce you would usually dip it into at a restaurant.
The spring roll was good. Somehow, despite the long walk back to the office while sitting in sauce, the spring roll stayed crispy. Since there was no sauce on the side, I was glad that they included some in the bag. The spring roll also had a nice flavor and you could see and taste the vegetables inside, unlike some places with very bland rolls.
I wasn't really in a soup mood, so I picked the mixed green salad instead of the tofu & mixed vegetable soup.
The salad was a mix of lettuce, mesclun, carrots and other vegetables in an orange ginger vinaigrette. I really liked the salad. All of the ingredients were fresh and the vinaigrette added a nice zing. The healthiness of the salad offset the fried spring roll, but both were really tasty.
Unfortunately the weakest part of the lunch special was the "main course" - the grilled chicken breast sandwich. I was kind of in the mood for a banh mi and thought I would try Breeze's take on it. They described their sandwich as having grilled chicken breast, lettuce, cilantro, green chili mayonnaise, pickled radish, carrots and cucumber on a French baguette. Sounded like a banh mi to me.
The sandwich wasn't that large (I should have done the usual Metrocard comparison to show that). Inside I found strips of grilled chicken, lettuce leaves and a few strings of carrots and radish. No cilantro or cucumber even though those were in the description.
The insides of the sandwich were healthy, but kind of flavorless. The sandwich really needed the green chili mayonnaise that came on the side. Without it, it was just a plain grilled chicken sandwich, and very boring in composition and flavor. It could have used some cilantro and some more vegetables. There was also a random pickle on the side which also got dipped into the mayo, since for me, green sauce makes everything better.
With the green sauce, my verdict was that the sandwich was okay. Without it, it wouldn't be worth a try.
Overall, this was a pretty good lunch special. The discounted lunch price was nice, since the sandwich usually runs about $11 pre-tax (with salad and fries, instead of salad and spring roll). I liked the lunch special "accompaniments" (the spring roll and salad) so I think I would try the special again, but get something else instead of the sandwich. Also, if I get another banh mi craving, this would not be the place.