The Butcher's Daughter, New York
Trekking through New York City on an usually hot and humid day somehow miraculously led me to The Butcher's Daughter on 19 Kenmare Street. After noshing shamelessly on Buffalo Wings for breakfast the previous morning, I felt that a healthy 'Juice Bar cleanse' was in order.
My first impressions of The Butcher's Daughter were slightly swayed by their 'overly cool' looking clientele and the establishment easily fitted the 'we charge triple the price because we serve health foods' category; an accepted practise in both London and New York, but has not yet in Sicily thankfully. When I say 'overly cool' clientele, I mean to say that The Butcher's Daughter attracts a demographic of white, middle-class customers between the ages of 23-35, who all appeared to look as though they were either on the way to yoga or had just come out of a photography studio. I wasn't allowed to sit outside as a solo customer because outside dining is only permitted for parties of more than one. And so I took a seat on one of their extendable window seats surrounded by quaint but still fashionable collection of plants.
Upon sitting down, I was served a lovely bottle of water with mint and presented with the menu. The choice was heavily weighted on Drinks, emphasising the juice bar element of the restaurant. There are Simple Juices, Heritage Juices, Elixir Shots, Smoothies, Biodynamic Wines, I. am. you. detox to retox teas, the list is gigantic; but I somehow managed to choose one. I went with the Mango Lassi smoothie $9; Frozen Mango, Coconut Yoghurt, Young Thai Coconut Pressed Lime, and Bee Pollen.
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My smoothie was refreshing but lacked a lot of flavour. There was a lot of it which was great, but Mango in my opinion, is the fruit version of Avocado; rich, soft, thick and almost creamy but needs to be accompanied with something tangy. I don't think coconut milk and bee pollen was the best option and I certainly didn't taste any lime in there.
The choice of food on the Lunch menu was a bit odd. Here's an example :
Starters, to start off with, (excuse the pun) should never cost as much /or more than the mains, especially if they are only simple things like hummus and bread. In the Middle East, good quality Hummus is always served with Arabic flatbread and it never costs more than around £5. The 'Toasts', are assumingly pieces of bread with different toppings. I didn't really want to pay $12 or $13 for Avocado, Egg or Tofu on bread.
I feel that a lot of trendy cafés and restaurants use phrases such as 'cilantro', 'mustard seeds', 'smoked sea salt', 'pickled dakon radish' and 'toasted 7 grain bread' to sound more appealing but only make things more complicated than it needs to be. It takes too long to read the menu when trying to decipher what something like smoked sea salt would taste like. Essentially, the Herbed Egg Salad is Egg on Toast with assorted vegetables. I decided to choose one of the sandwiches of which has a clear description, sounded delicious and tasted even better.
The Deli Style Reuben $14: Black Pepper Pastrami, Sauerkraut, Cashew Swiss Cheese, Russian Dressing on Grilled Sourdough Bread. This was delicious on so many levels...
The bread was grilled perfectly; it was soft, and only the edges and crusts were crunchy. The filling was simply orgasmic. The tanginess of the pickled flavour of Sauerkraut and salty capers with the pastrami beef, hampered together with Sourdough bread and dressed with swiss cheese and the Russian dressing made every bite a splendour. I will admit this is one of the best sandwiches I've ever tasted.
This was not a cheap lunch, but I knew that it wouldn't be from the beginning. But it also wasn't horrendously expensive either. It was $29 in total for a cappuccino included and tax. I was happy to pay this and the 15% expected tip in the U.S because the meal itself was very satisfactory and the atmosphere inside the restaurant was also very good. The staff were very attentive, friendly but were sometimes a little tense. I would recommend this place for its sandwiches and extensive choice of energy-fuelled drinks but not for students or people on a budget.
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