If you find yourself looking for good, inexpensive vegetarian food in the Times Square/Theater District/Hell’s Kitchen area, check out Nizza for their lunch specials. You can get a soup and sandwich for around ten bucks — a pretty good deal for midtown. Nizza is this week’s Frugal Friday post.
I should point out that Nizza offers a pretty full lunch menu, and the “zuppa y paninetto” section is much smaller. That said, it’s a pretty good deal, with some good vegetarian options.
I should note that Nizza’s lunch is a sit-down experience. Unlike some other Frugal Friday features, you’ll get the full wait service that you’d get at any other meal. Accordingly, lunch, even if you order the special, starts with bread and olive oil. The bread looks promising but unfortunately was a little on the dry side when I was there recently.
I ordered the chickpea, white bean and farro soup. Unfortunately I had only one choice for my sandwich: broccoli rabe with parmesan a and olive spread. The sandwich was good: the parmesan was sharp and salty and contrasted with the slightly bitter broccoli rabe. If Obama forces us all to eat broccoli, I wouldn’t mind if this was the form I got to have it. The sandwich isn’t served hot, but it’s still quite good.
The chickpea soup, which is served hot, was really good. I thought it was a little bit of an unusual item to have on the menu in the middle of summer, but then again, maybe I was the unusual one for ordering it. (I should note that when my dad ordered the tomato soup, the waitress said it was available either hot or chilled.) The chickpea soup was hearty and flavorful. I liked the dollop of pesto on top and would have liked a little more, although I recognize that it was meant to be just a garnish and not a dominant flavor in the soup.
Eventually we got dessert and coffee, but I’ll leave that out of the review because that would put us out of the Frugal Friday price range.
Overall, Nizza’s lunch is a good, inexpensive option for vegetarians. All three of the soups were vegetarian, which I appreciated; I was, however, a little disappointed to have only one sandwich choice. (The regular menu shows a grilled eggplant panini, and I recall it being an option for the lunch special a while back. I don’t know why the got rid of it but maybe they’ll bring it back.) Regardless, for about ten bucks, you can’t go wrong with Nizza’s lunch special.
Nizza’s “zuppa y paninetto” section of the lunch menu is below. (Return to the body of the post.)
ZUPPA Y PANINETTO
(Cup of soup and a small sandwich) 9.25
- Tomato with fresh ricotta
- Creamy sweet pea soup with creme fraiche
- Chickpea, white bean & farro with pesto & pecorino
- Italian ham, fontina, arugula & butter
- Broccoli rabe, shaved parmesan, black olive pesto
- Roast turkey, pickled onions, fresh tomato & aioli
- Meatball, tomato & pecorino
You can also check out the full lunch menu here.