What started as a unique way to cater major corporations throughout the city turned into a healthy, sustainable eatery with two brand new locations. So what makes this grab-and-go or eat-in spot different from Hu Kitchen, Sweetgreen, Chop’t, Hale and Hearty, and Dig Inn?
Let’s start with the space. The owners clearly had in mind a rustic theme, to instantly allow your mind to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and more importantly, your crowded office. The location on 40th Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue is filled with wooden tables, plants, and exceptional artwork. The walls are lined with shelves of local products. With everything from Josephine’s Feat Granola and itskale chips to Hu Chocolate and nuts+nuts cashews, basically everything found in the restaurant can be found in New York.
“In terms of ideal experience, I just want our customers to identify our eateries as a break from the mundane,” said Jon Eisen, the owner of Between the Bread. “You arrive to a beautiful and artfully designed space, enjoy friendly and courteous service, and receive a filling meal that is tastier than everything else around. We want our space to be a reflection of our food, which is fresh and approachable.”
The quality and effort put into the style of the restaurant goes hand in hand with the quality of food produced. Between the Bread uses a newly developed line of eco-friendly products and has completely eliminated plastic bottles from the store. “We are going the extra step to ensure that as our company grows, sustainability and environmental impact becomes a much more important item to us, which is why everything served at our stores is now compostable, biodegradable, or in some cases post-consumer recycled,” Eisen said. “We offer recycling and composting at our stores, and we try to source as much as possible locally, especially in our drink and snack selection.”
For breakfast, they are famous for their muffins of the month, but lunch tends to be the most popular at this hot spot. If you’re looking for variety, exceptional local produce, and a switch-up from your boring grilled chicken salad, the Temperate Seasonal Plate is the way to go. There is something for everyone as each month, the menu is altered based on the fruits and vegetables that are in season. You have the choice of five proteins: two chicken options, two salmon options, and a catch of the day. For the sides, you can choose two grains, two vegetables, or one of each. The November menu has seven types of vegetables and four types of grains. It was hard to believe that this was their “short list” of side options. For the vegans and vegetarians out there, there is a three-side option, where you can go crazy with the vegetables and the grains.
“We rotate our menus monthly based on the freshest vegetables of the season,” Eisen said. “Each month we choose a star vegetable to represent our menu. For instance, October was pumpkin, November is Brussels sprouts, and December will be winter squash, which is mixed into the recipes with many of our side salads and grains, as well as our proteins. We believe that this, in conjunction with our commitment to sourcing the highest quality ingredients and preparing all of our food fresh daily, allows us to serve the absolute freshest and most wholesome food that can be found in a take-out setting in New York.”
After you have branched out from your PB&J or garden salad, you will have long forgotten about sugar sweetened beverages. With options such as freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, coconut water, and various other specialty drinks, you will not be shaking from that sugar rush post-lunch.
Although the dishes are perfect for any health-conscious individual, there is no sense of a push to be healthy, which many people find comforting. “While it's great to be healthy, we mostly just want our customers to be full and happy,” Eisen said. “Our food is healthy because it is natural, freshly sourced, and of high quality. Our dishes are largely prepared just with natural canola oils and a few spices and we prefer to bake instead of fry. There are small things that make eating our food a healthier experience overall without being in your face about it.”