Sampling corporate cafeteria cuisine



 

Corporate Cuisine

 

These cafeterias make good food their business.  

Retro is in at the Merrill Lynch/Heineken cafeteria. 

Corporate Cafeterias aren’t just for sloppy Joes and neon-orange trays anymore. With lunch hours getting shorter and palates becoming more sophisticated, corporate cafeterias in Westchester have been stepping up their game. Some are open to everyone, others you might need to infiltrate via an employed friend, but these centrally located dining halls will boost any lunchtime rut. Serving up everything from steak au poivre to creamy vegetable soups at lightning speed, this new breed of cafeterias ensure you make it back to your desk with a gourmet meal in no time at all. So, which companies boast the best? Here, our top two:

Merrill Lynch/Heineken

360 Hamilton Ave, White Plains

Just a block away from the bustling City Center, the 360 Café is a quiet escape from the hectic White Plains lunch crowd.

The Food:  Nothing over-the-top here, but the chefs have perfected the standards—salads, sandwiches, and soups. The salad bar changes daily, but expect to find perfectly grilled veggies, cold pasta salads, a variety of cheeses, and grilled meats. The thick, juicy burgers also are a great choice; pair one with fries and you won’t have to worry about making a big dinner that evening. No canned soups here; the chicken noodle is perfectly seasoned and tastes just like Grandma’s homemade version. If you’re looking for a sweet treat to end your meal, try a slice of cheesecake or a Häagen-Dazs ice-cream bar. And forget fighting the masses at Starbucks across the street; the ’Bucks are brewed here, too.

Price: Average lunch ranges from $10 to $15. The décor: Think retro diner meets lunchroom. The space is large and filled with aqua booths and Formica tables. The best part? Classic rock tunes are constantly pumping through the air. Open to the public? Yes Parking: The Church Street municipal lot or City Center garage.

Consumer’s Union

101 Truman Ave, Yonkers

The crowd here has eyes trained for evaluating, so it’s no wonder the cafeteria serves up above-average cuisine.

The Food: One of the many Flik-run cafeterias (a chef-run corporate catering company) in the area; the set-up is pretty basic. But with such a diverse group of diners—everyone from scientists to editors—the menu changes frequently, with a focus on ethnic cuisine. The emphasis on seasonal items and high-quality ingredients gives this cafeteria a Whole Foods vibe. From burgers topped with tangy Manchego cheese to tender and peppery steak au poivre and sweet pumpkin flan, there really is something for everyone. Specialty sandwiches like fresh mozzarella-and-tomato with fresh fruit go quickly, as do the hot entrées like salmon and oven-roasted potatoes.

The décor: Nothing fancy here. Just your average plastic chairs and square tables. But it does boast a large patio. Price: Average lunch ranges from $11 to $16. Open to the public? No. Our advice? Befriend an editor or scientist working at CR to get you in! Parking: Visitor’s lot

Erica Wilders, a New Rochelle freelance writer , wasn’t allowed to buy her lunch in the cafeteria until she was in the 9th grade.

 

Second Helping

Check out these other corporate cafeterias open to the public:

Starwood

1111 Westchester Ave, White Plains
Why go: Sushi Tuesdays

Mastercard

2000 Purchase St, Purchase

Why go: Thai cuisine