Sometimes I need to just not be at work.Especially when I've eaten terrible food the night before and sleep horribly as a result. So I sleep in until 10 and take the day off. But then? Sometimes I just need to get away from my apartment. I needed wireless, and though I can now get free Internet at Starbucks, I'm loving local lately. So I walked up Lincoln to the Grind.
I've never felt terribly enthusiastic about the place, despite the fantastic exposed brick walls and chalkboard menus (damn, I'm a sucker for those). Outside, a dry-erase sandwich board with a charming message always beckons to me, but they don't open until 7 a.m., long after I leave for work in the morning. But not today. I grabbed a table for my laptop and me — for once, I don't have to share! — and browsed the food offerings. Inside the refrigerated case sat stacks of crumb cakes, a carrot cake topped with bright-orange frosting carrots, a pyramid of spinach and feta pies and three beautiful quiches, one covered in basil leaves and slices of bright red tomato. And there are few finer things than ripe tomatoes in the summer. When it arrived at my table — tomato and basil with sliced onion, fresh mozzarella cheese, a no-extra-salt-necessary blend of seasoning and crunchy, deep-dish-pizza-like crust (how I love hyphens) — I took a bite and was instantly in heaven. Often, quiche is too slimy for me, like the egg's not cooked completely, but this was a perfectly creamy blend of cheese and egg, just done enough. I could always do with more tomatoes, but the toppings were balanced enough that I didn't mind. As I sat with my computer, absentmindedly finishing the last of my quiche and listening to NPR through my earbuds — noting the room's 8 Mac laptops to one PC — I felt very Lincoln Square, quite erudite and pleasantly full.