Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Restaurant: Cosi

I first went to Cosi years ago, by accident, looking for a quick lunch in downtown Philadelphia. Over the years, they've reproduced and now have more locations in Philly than anyone, even me, really needs. We used to get Cosi sandwiches, salads, and pizzas pretty regularly, even putting up with some subpar service at my suburban location to enjoy the unique foods.

Cosi is a quick food place, one of those chains where you order at the counter and then take a number to your table so the person bringing your sandwich can find you. However, since moving to Cincinnati and being Cosi-less, this place has become an obsession for Alex and me. Whenever we're in a town that has a Cosi, we stop by (so far, this has only been Columbus and Lexington, plus our trips back to Philly). It is that good. Plus, the Cosi we visit in Lexington has Southern charm and hospitality, a far cry from the sometimes dirty, sometimes slow, sometimes get your order wrong shops in Philadelphia.

We were in Lexington last night and stopped by Cosi. We shared a salad and a sandwich, plus we took an extra sandwich to go. We ate it cold, in the car, on the drive home from our concert. Still good.

From veggie cookie

What's so special? For me, it's the T.B.M. Melt. Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella. Yum. First, the Cosi signature is their bread. It's freshly baked flatbread that's chewy and lightly salted. They stretch and bake the dough right in the store. We've tried to recreate the T.B.M. Melt at home and made some pretty good sandwiches, but this bread is unlike anything else I've had. Top it with sundried tomato spread, tomato slices, basil, and fresh mozzarella, then melt it. It's heavenly.

They also have a great signature salad. I wasn't feeling it last night, but Alex proclaimed it's his favorite salad above others we enjoy. It's mixed greens, a lot of romaine, grapes, pears, Gorgonzola, pistachios, and dried cranberries with a "sherry shallot" vinaigrette. It's really good, and also something we've tried to recreate at home, but as infrequently as we go I like to stick to the T.B.M. Melt.

So yes, this little fast food place is one of our favorites. I'm not ashamed of that.

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