Spring Street Natural Restaurant

62 Spring St.

New York, N.Y. 10012

212-966-0290

http://www.springstreetnatural.com

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Lunch at Spring Street Natural in NoLita was deceiving.

Its website describes its cuisine as fresh, healthy and affordable.  One would assume reading this, that the menu would be full of light, affordable options. Does all-natural-affordable mean paying higher price? I beg to differ, especially if the meal made me feel overfull and gassy. Yes, gas is natural. But even if finishing lunch was an option, I couldn’t, since a fly decided my lunch was awesome and dove into my three-quarters eaten sandwich.

Perusing the lunch menu, there were many items using indicators of all-natural: “free range,” “natural,” “organic.” There was a grilled vegetable sandwich (toasted onion ciabatta with grilled portobello mushroom, grilled zucchini, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella and sun-dried tomato pesto; served with Terra vegetable chips & baby greens), scrambled tofu (with red onions, shiitakes, fresh thyme, curry, mesclun salad, and organic brown rice), pumpkin ravioli (crispy pancetta, napa cabbage, brown sage butter, hazelnut crunch). Sounds somewhat healthy, right?

However, it was the grilled free-range chicken burger that stuck out as the dish to try: toasted brioche bun, melted pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayonnaise and hand-cut French fries. Chipotle mayo. Yes please.

When the burger (pictured right) arrived at my table, its presentation was sloppy. In one corner of the plate, the sandwich was engulfed in a white blob of cheese, in another, a mound of dark, thick fries. The only way to get to the meat was to eat through the fries. They were hard, cold and greasy.

The creamy chipotle mayo, however, was a perfect dipping sauce. The spicy kick actually enhanced the fries’ flavor.

In another corner, lettuce and tomato tried to peek out.  There were also two small sauces, one of which spilled onto the rest of the food.

Once the burger could be eaten, fries were stuck in the cheese. The meat was also too big for the bun. While the burger meat had specs of green in it, (hopefully leeks?) the burger had no flavor.

One positive: the bread basket before the meal was a hit. Its website boasts on making as many of the food items in-house as possible, including the breads, which derive from organic whole wheat flour pie crusts. Whole-oat bread (pictured left) greeted us at the table with sesame seeds in it, giving it a nutty flavor. It was light, yet crunchy and satisfying. Another looked like an orange pound cake that had a surprisingly olive taste. After taking guesses as to what it was, the waitress said it was tomato rosemary bread. This bread had a balance of sweet and savory flavors.

Lunch there is a no-go. Head to McDonalds and skip this so-called natural food.

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