I’ve become a quick fan, almost a regular, at The Side Door @ Beacon since they opened a few weeks ago as a relatively inexpensive lunch alternative to the “real” Beacon. Side Door started with an exemplary burger and the Mr. Pink’s Double Dog, and recently expanded to prepared salads.
As usual, no real line at the Door, and though the skies threatened, it didn’t rain.
To show that I take my job here at Feisty Foodie seriously, instead of choosing a meat-centric lunch as I’d normally do, I picked up the new Cobb Salad to see how well Beacon pulled it off.
I also opted for the new vanilla bean cupcake with caramel-brandy frosting. Two bucks is no big deal for dessert, right? The guy recognized me from my several previous trips to Side Door, and, after pointing out this was his last day before he moved to Florida, and introducing the new guy, he threw in the dark chocolate cupcake with peanut brittle at no charge (so that went in the tip jar). I guess I was kind of a regular. Rounding out the lunch, of course I chose the Tiger Tea — who would pay $1.25 for a can of soda or bottle of water when you can get a quart of awesome limey tea?
The salad had what it was supposed to have — a couple chunks of Roquefort, a few slices of avocado, half a hard-boiled egg, cherry tomato slices, some slices of chicken breast, one really long strip of bacon, and a generous cup of “mustard-herb vinaigrette”. A little of everything, not much of anything, on a bed of greens.
Nothing much stood out here, but it was perfectly all right over all. The bacon and chicken were fine; the bacon was cooked crisp, the chicken was standard-issue chicken breast moister than I expected. I’d also like to single out those cherry tomatoes — a little sweet and honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if the entire salad were made of these. So good, especially with a schmear of the Roquefort.
Without an extra bowl, I mostly poked around and picked up a little of this, a little of that, until I was done. If you’re a salad lover, yes, this will do nicely. Granted, it’s rather an expensive salad compared to the chain salad places in Midtown, but at least most of it was good.
To that end, I do have to mention that the avocado was… well, it was getting dark brown on the tips (hidden behind the tomato and bacon in the photo). That was rather off-putting, and I wound up ditching most of the slices as a result.
But… cupcakes! Now, this one certainly gave off a heavy alcohol aroma, but fortunately that brandy didn’t overwhelm the taste, staying fairly hidden in the background. I don’t know that those are gold flakes on the cupcake, but those caramel chips sure were tasty. The cake itself had vanilla bean throughout, and tasted a lot better than any cupcake, vanilla or otherwise, I’ve ever tried to bake.
The chocolate cupcake, I unwrapped just for pictures; that’s just too much sweets for one meal. The peanutty aroma was strong in this one — and it’s so pretty! I ate it a couple of days later; the wrap job is solid: the cupcake is placed on a small takeout container lid, which is shoved into a wide plastic cup, then everything is tightly wrapped in plastic. It was still fresh when eaten, though the peanut brittle had melted into the frosting somewhat, making for a less-pretty picture. It tasted all right; the chocolate was on the cocoa-powdery side but serviceable, it all tasted perfectly fine, but I think I’d stick to the vanilla one and hope they rotate through other flavors in the coming weeks.
All in all, another good lunch from Side Door @ Beacon. Worth ten bucks (twelve with a cupcake)? Umm… not for a growing boy like me, who would rather have the burger or the double dog. Like a good reviewer I’ve experienced it, determined I prefer other menu items, and will now wait to see if the menu changes again to offer me something more intriguing. Does Beacon do pork?