As I was walking in Tribeca yesterday around noon, I came across a bakery that I had been to a couple of years ago with a friend who had then started selling her artwork (pottery, paintings, jewellery etc.) on Etsy. She has been on vacation…or so it says on her Etsy profile. Evidently, I have not been in touch with her for a while. I had forgotten the name of the bakery, but when I saw it yesterday, I knew it was where I met my friend – the bakery is called Grandaisy Bakery. I remembered that I liked the bakery when I met my friend there and was keen to see what it had to offer for lunch yesterday. Grandaisy Bakery’s website says that it’s a European -style artisanal bakeshop tailored to modern New York sensibilities.
The guy ahead of me in the line (queue) was from a restaurant in the neighborhood and he was checking if the bakery made any bread from rye – sourcing locally made bread is awesome, right? Unfortunately for him, the bakery did not. Fortunately for me, there were many vegetarian options for lunch – there were paninis, pizzas and breads on display.
I was tempted by the Panini Soppressata (made with italian soppressata, pecorino, jalapeno, roasted bell peppers, basil) and that is what I had – a little cured meat, once in a while, is my treat to myself – not that I had been through a rough day or week to feel the need to treat myself, but hey, who’s judging me?? – this blog is Not Just Vegetarian, after all….
It’s incredibly tough for me to tell you what I liked best about the panini – the spicy soppresata, or the semi-hard sheep milk pecorino, or the fresh sweet basil that tasted as though that it had been plucked off the plant just then, or the sweet roasted red and yellow bell peppers with fresh, black pepper cracked on them, or the gentle surprise of the jalapeno spread, or the bread (ciabatta?) that had been freshly baked. Or perhaps, the combination of all these ingredients was just perfect!!! I relished every single bite.
I am always partial to pecorino – perhaps, because it was the first sheep milk cheese that I ate on my first trip to Europe / Italy, perhaps because the most charming landlady served it at my first Bed and Breakfast stay on the tiny Italian island of Capri. I am digressing….
Everything about this panini was just perfect – it was at the right temperature too. I am always so disappointed with many cafes / lunch take-out options (including Pret) in NYC, where the food is cold. May be because I grew up eating food that was always warm, it took me a few years to get comfortable eating a tossed salad here in NYC, where all the ingredients are somewhat fresh, but inevitably COLD, because they are sitting on ice. My trick to deal with the cold salad – get the salad, let it sit on my desk for about 20 minutes while I finish some calls, and then eat it.
Not all of you may like this panini – do not try this panini if you feel that the jalapeno spread would be a nasty instead of a pleasant experience for you. The jalapeno spread is really spicy!!
The Moroccan Mint tea after such a hearty, filling sandwich was extremely refreshing. After chamomile tea, Moroccan mint tea is one of my favorite teas (sorry, peppermint tea does not come close).
Some vegetarian options at Grandaisy Bakery are:
- Panini Caprese – Mozarella, tomatoes and basil
- Panini Greco – chickpeas, pickled onions and carrots, arugula, and skordalia
- Panini Barbietole – marinated beets, goat cheese, and arugula
- Lo Scandinavo – egg, cucumber, dil, capers, pickled onions on seven grain bread
- Panino de Colazione – onion frittatta with asparagus and pecorino on ciabatta
- Colazione Francese – spaghetti squash jam, butter, and walnuts on stirato(long Italian bread)
- Pullman cranberry cornbread – just the combination of tart-sweet cranberry, and the not too sweet / and (maybe) savory cornbread sounds sooooo tempting
- Banana walnut bread – looked delicious
Reviews from Yelp and Menu Pages indicate that the Roman style square pizza slices are delicious and not worth skipping. I am tempted by the pizza with zucchini and gruyere, and the one with potatoes, onion, and rosemary, and the one with fresh artichoke hearts, sea salt, and garlic and the list goes on….
After such a tasty and fresh meal, I am definitely going back to Grandaisy Bakery, if not to the one in Tribeca, then definitely to the one on the Upper West side.
Go to Grandaisy Bakery to enjoy a perfect sandwich, or to meet a friend for coffee or tea, or for lunch and tell me what you think of the paninis or pizzas or the bread there.