Ever since I read about Free Foods, first on Midtown Lunch and then on Cupcakes Take the Cake, I was eager to try out this new Midtown Organic Cafe. Unfortunately, Blondie wasn't so eager...
Here's how our conversation went.
Brownie: Oooh, let's go try Free Foods NYC.
Brownie: But why? It looks healthy(ish) and good.
Blondie: It offends me that they call it Free Foods and it's definitely not free.
Brownie: (peruses menu) Hmmm. I guess you're right. We could get soup. That's not super expensive.
Blondie: You know I don't like soup. No soup for me.
Brownie: (sighs) Ok.
I can't say I disagree with Blondie on the prices. In my mind salads and sandwiches at essentially a take out place should not cost $12. But I did want to check this new place out so I decided to go and try their soup, a relative bargain at $4.75 cup and $7.50 bowl.
I've been back several times for soup and have sampled the Bahian Lobster Stew, the Spring Vegetable Pistou, and the Green Lentil Chicken Chili. The were all quite good. The Lobster Stew had real pieces of lobster (though none that I got were larger than the little lobster chunk visible in the photo. But when you are buying lobster stew in New York for $4.75 cup and $7.50 bowl what can you expect? The Lobster Stew was made with a touch of coconut milk which for a New Englander like me was a pleasant surprise.
The Spring Vegetable Pistou was good as well, there were sizable chunks of potatoes, whole peas, and pieces of asparagus. But the Green Lentil Chicken Chili was my favorite. I love lentils and the ground chicken was nicely spiced. In fact it was so good, I dug right in and by the time I remembered to take a photo there was but 1/2 a spoonful of soup left.
Overall, I was pleased with my lunches at Free Foods. I would definitely rate their soup above the standard Midtown Lunch soup places: Hale and Hearty (too bland), 'wichcraft (good but salty), Cosi (salty), Pret (eh, but the gazpacho is good in season), and the Soup Man (lacks the glutton for punishment charm of the original Soup Kitchen International and frankly the soup isn't as good). Though the prices are high and I'm not going to become a regular anytime soon, it's a nice option to have in the neighborhood.
18 W. 45th Street