Food & Drink » Food Review

Jenny's Lunch Line

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Jenny's Lunch Line might be small, subterranean and sparsely decorated, but the little restaurant has a lot. A lot of choices, that is.

Each day, Jenny's menu changes and features a selection of soups, salads and creative sandwiches, like turkey meatloaf and baked brie, precisely the two my friend and I ordered when we hit the joint for lunch last week.

Everything at Jenny's is a la carte. Sandwiches don't come with requisite soups, salads and sides like they do at other restaurants. In fact, sandwiches don't even come with their other halves; you have to order both to get a whole sandwich. It's a great idea for people who want to pay only for what they want to eat.

I supplemented my whole sandwich with a salad made with pears and feta cheese. My friend added a spicy Moroccan chicken soup. The food is pre-prepared every morning, so the counter lady just pulled it from the display case; there was no waiting.

A la carte is nothing new--and it's a great idea. First you have a little, and then if you're still hungry, you have a little more. The guy behind me in line, in fact, took full advantage, ordering halves of two separate sandwiches. He apparently likes variety. The guy behind him ordered a humongous bowl of tomato basil soup. He likes one thing in large quantities. A la carte restaurants allow for experimentation.

My friend and I paid for the food and took our trays to a table looking out at the sidewalk. Jenny's is located in the parking lot alcove off Main Street, in the shop that used to be occupied by Le Poulet Rouge's bakery. The new version of Le Poulet Rouge is still in its regular spot, and the two restaurants share an overflow seating area.

Since Jenny's wasn't overflowing with patrons that particular afternoon, we chose to eat in. Ordering delivery would have been another option. Jenny's has established quite a reputation for reliable, quick and easy delivery service to downtown locations.

Several business women I know order from Jenny's on a weekly basis--often on Monday, BLT sandwich day. Another group of friends--runner types--also dine at Jenny's regularly because they know that Jenny's purpose is to provide a healthy and homemade lunch option for busy people downtown.

And though Jenny's love doesn't cost a thing, Jenny's is kinda pricey if you're eating in--our total was about $20, and we had to bus our own table. Of course, it's reasonable when you use their free delivery service, and when you factor in that everyone gets a free apple with their lunch. But I should have just opted for the lunch bag, the best deal of the day. It includes a whole sandwich, cup of soup, mini-side dish and a cookie for $11.

No matter where I go, I know where I came from (work) and in general, I'm still going back to Jenny's from the block.

--Jennifer Gelband saw an atom walk into a restaurant and say, "Oh no, I think I lost an electron!" "Are you sure?" she asked. "Yes, I'm positive."