Monday, January 18, 2010

Review: Boulangerie Ltd

Name: Boulangerie Ltd
Address: 526 Plum St Syracuse, NY
Phone: (315) 466-3108
Neighborhood: Lakefront (Franklin Square)
Menu: View Menu
Cuisine: Deli, Gourmet Sandwiches
Restaurant Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 3 PM
Parking: On Street
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Take-Out: Yes
Delivery: No

Opened in 1991 (and not too long after the rebirth of Franklin Square in 1987), Boulangerie Ltd has been serving up gourmet sandwiches in the redeveloped area for almost 20 years.

The small eatery tucked away on Plum Street, functions a bit more like a sandwich shop that has predetermined menu items and less like a made-to-order delicatessen. Those predetermined selections however are really interesting and creative like the tuna salad with apples, nuts and cheddar, or the roast pork with cranberry mayonnaise, sliced apples and Swiss, or the turkey and salami wtih feta, marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, purple onion, spinach and hot peppers. There are roughly 20 of these creative sandwich items on any given day and each sandwich comes with your choice of bread: French, Sour Dough, Multi-Grain, Wrap, or Foccacia.

The interior is small, but large enough to enjoy lunch with a group. Seating consists of several tables with a long, cushioned booth along the wall. Windows cover about half of the place which provides it with a nice, scenic view of Plum Street as well as a good view of the old, New Process Gear tower.

Up front you'll find the counter (think cafeteria-style ordering) with a list of daily specials and a display case of other things like pasta and fruit salads.

It was relatively busy during lunch time with the higher-end business clientele getting their lunches to-go and hustling in and out of the place steadily.

The order...

Kiwi Strawberry Snapple: $1.50
Ham & Pasta Salad: $3.50
Turkey, Garlic Mayo, Tomato, Bacon, Swiss on French Bread: $5.65
Total Money Spent with Tax & Tip: $12.40

The pasta salad left a little something to be desired: bland dressing (that tasted essentially like mayo) with undercooked pasta was not an appetizing combo. It made the whole thing dense and unsatisfying. Also, I don't mind random vegetables in a pasta salad like peas or carrots, but corn and lima beans just seemed out of place. Thumbs down.

The turkey sandwich however, was great: perfectly cooked pieces of bacon (more chewy than crunchy), tasty garlic mayo that was delicious, on freshly baked bread that was the best balance of soft and crunchy French bread ever. The tomatoes/bacon/bread provided all the slightly juicy, fresh, and crunchy textures on their own so much that the sandwich itself didn't even need lettuce.

But to nitpick, the turkey wasn't your traditional, sliced turkey breast. It was more or less the pre-packaged stuff you would find at a grocery store. I suppose you can't expect any more at a sandwich place. I also suppose it's debatable whether or not Boulangerie is considered a deli, but either way, if I'm at a place that specializes in making gourmet sandwiches, I'd rather not eat something that is giving me the impression that it could easily pass as Airplane food.

End nitpick.

Other things of note...

- While I didn't see a soup menu of any kind, I much rather would have preferred that than pasta salad on a cold afternoon.

- Boulangerie offers a catering box lunch option (sandwiches, pasta or fruit salad, chips, cookies and soda). $10.59 per person with a minimum order of 10 and a 24 hours notice.

- They also offer wrap and sandwich platters for business lunches - orders can be faxed in.

Boulangerie had good things going for it: a clean atmosphere, quick and friendly service, a creative menu, and a really nice location. Given the quick service, options, and catering-focus, it seems like a great place for take-out if you work in the area. But I suppose nothing really blew me away about the place.

I'm kind of kicking myself because I feel like I may have played it safe with what I ordered (a turkey with bacon and garlic mayo isn't exactly too outside-of-the-box as far as their menu is concerned). They do have a lot of really interesting combinations here that sound tempting. I'd go back for lunch at some point to try some other sandwiches and breads on the menu.

My rating of Boulangerie Ltd:

Your rating of Boulangerie Ltd:


Jim Johnson said...

This is one place that I've been meaning to try at some point. My favorite deli in Syracuse is Casey's, but this sounds like it could give it a run for its money.

Josef Lorenz said...

i've heard good things about casey's. not sure if i've mentioned this in another blog post, but i'm quite partial to niko's in hanover square. love that place.

Owen O'Neill said...

Don't know where Casey's deli is - can someone fill me in on that? I tried Boulangerie and shared your reaction. The bread was far above average by Syracuse delis standards and there were some interesting combinations available for sandwiches but it did not blow me away.

Considering their prices, relative to the size of the sandwiches, it is NOT nitpicking to comment on the processed turkey being used instead of something closer to carved turkey breast. They can and shoudl do better than that but I suppose they can get away with it due to lack of competition in the immediate neighborhood.

I agree about Niko's being great but my job has me stranded near carrier Circle for my 30 minute lunch break and options are limited out here.

Jim Johnson said...

Casey's has 3 locations: One Lincoln Place (Clinton Street), Warren Street and another on East Manlius St.

Owen, my office is by carrier circle too, I go up Fly Rd, through E. Syracuse and over the bridge to Bridge St. Take a left and it'll bring you right to Casey's (in that Swiss Village plaza just past Rico's).