Light filled the room, glinting off a few chandeliers that hung from the ceiling and making the orange banquettes lining the wall brightly stand out against the white marble tables and blue-gray velvet chairs. Neo Baguette is quaint, to say the least.
The restaurant is walk-up service style at a small counter with desserts in a case at its side, tempting the customer with different types of cakes and pastries.
The menu is made up of European dishes, mainly French but also Italian with flavors that have a Moroccan flair. Choices include salads, sandwiches, toasts, dinner and side choices. I decided on a sandwich but had a hard time deciding between the Vegetarian and the Poulet Classique.
Eventually, I went with the Vegetarian, which is grilled eggplant and zucchini, an eggplant spread and creamy burrata on a baguette. My meal came with the choice of a side salad or French fries, and because I felt healthy enough going with the vegetarian option, I chose the fries.
The desserts in the case next to me were enticing, so I asked the cashier which one he would recommend. He suggested the Flourless Chocolate Cake.
I grabbed a water from the self-serve table on the side of the restaurant and made my way to a table at the orange banquettes. I’ve sat in a lot of booths in my life, and I found this to be one of the most comfortable.
Soon after my food was brought to the table. The sandwich was neatly placed on the side of a mini frying basket filled with fries.
I rarely, if ever, choose a vegetarian option (other than a salad) for a meal. I was raised on chicken and beef and so I naturally choose options that have one of those proteins. I decided on the vegetarian option at Neo Baguette, because for the first time when I read the description of a vegetarian dish, it actually sounded like it would be good.
Overall, it was a little light on the flavor side. The eggplant and zucchini were good together, but the main thing I tasted was the eggplant spread. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my book. It seemed to me that the sandwich’s contents complemented each other and meshed into one main flavor, which I liked.
The fries were covered in a reddish seasoning that, even though it covered the fries, it didn’t over-season them. The light spice was delicious on the fries and I ended up eating them all. Then again, I’m partial to fries.
Lastly, I had my Flourless Chocolate Cake. I’m a big dessert person, so I was interested in what a flourless cake would taste like. It didn’t have a regular cake texture; it was more compact. There was only a hint of sweetness to it. The chocolate reminded me of cocoa powder, which is probably the reason it wasn’t as sweet as a regular chocolate cake.
There was also a crunchy ingredient in the middle that I couldn’t quite place. I thought maybe it was a wafer. It wasn’t bad, but I think I’ll stick to cake made with flour.
Next time I stop by I may have a salad, which the menu suggests will have me saying goodbye to the treadmill.
Address: 201 E. 20th St.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. everyday
Healthy options: Yes
Star of the show: Vegetarian sandwich