It’s shopping season. The feet ache. And the stomach is empty. With the mall food court packed, we hunt for an alternative: Bloomingdale’s 59th & Lex Café, an old-fashioned oasis, offers genteel surroundings, custom-made salads, cooked-to-order burgers and roasted turkey.
The cafe is set up for takeout, with a counter up front and menus on a nearby table. In 15 minutes, you’ll have your food, packed in sturdy containers and placed in a Bloomingdale’s shopping bag.
The food is a step up from the food court for portions, price and quality. Burgers are Angus, and the chef hit it right on medium, as requested. Toppings include Gorgonzola, caramelized onions, bacon or roasted peppers. Get the sweet potato fries for a twist on the tried and true. If you’re not into beef, the salmon burger is the perfect alternative.
Salads range from standard Caesar with chicken or salmon, and scoops of tuna, chicken and egg salads on greens to chicken and berries, steak and portobello, and mango and chicken. The Aegean features a slab of salmon over a Greek-style salad with Kalamata olives and feta.
The specials were sweet coconut-breaded shrimp atop mixed greens flecked with strawberries, mango, pineapple chunks and shredded mozzarella, and a blackened grouper sandwich, which lacked the expected zip.
Be prepared to pay a third to a half more than at the food court. But items can be split and shared. In any case, to avoid the chaotic mall food court this time of year, the price of peace is worth it.