Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cosi: Downtown Review

If you've walked around the streets of Philly, it's likely that you've run into one of Cosi's many outposts. Years ago when I was in college in Chicago (think a decade or so), I stopped by Cosi to try their s'mores - basically a set up where you can make your own s'mores on a table-side fire pit. Apparently they still have that and have branched out to pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.

So for a recent work-day lunch, the GF and I met up at the Cosi on 17th and Market, replete with its own roaring pizza oven! This outpost has two levels with plenty of seating for the work crowd.

Signature Salad ($7.99)
Mixed greens tossed with red grapes, pears, pistachios, dried cranberries, gorgonzola and tossed in balsamic vinaigrette.

The GF went with one of their fresh salads. This one had a nice funk from the blue cheese. The pears and red grapes were refreshing, while the dried cranberries offered some tang. The pistachios provided that necessary textural element. The GF opted for light balsamic rather than the sherry vinaigrette, which allowed the vinegary tang of the balsamic to brighten up the dish.The accompanying bread was nicely grilled and satisfying.

Steakhouse Gorgonzola Melt ($7.99)
Tender beef medallions, Gorgonzola, caramelized red onions & bleu cheese spread.

Of course, I did not opt for a salad. I went with the steakhouse gorgonzola melt, which was surprisingly good. While the beef was closer to medium-well, it still had a nicely tender and juicy.

The caramelized onions added heft to the dish, with the funky gorgonzola and blue cheese spread adding coma-induing salty creaminess. Perfect for returning to work.

The sandwich came with Cosi branded kettle chips, which were not at all salty, nor were they greasy.

Chicken Margherita Flatbread Pizza ($13.99)
Grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato

I mentioned a pizza oven earlier in this post. So naturally, I had to try Cosi's pizza as well. Rather than go for the individual portion ($7.69), I went for the 'shareable' portion, of which the GF had one piece (I ate most of the rest and took the rest home for dinner if you really need to know - I am an admitted glutton). You get the choice of regular or thin crust on Cosi's flatbread pizzas.

This is not the best 'artisanal' flatbread pizza I've had, but for what is essentially a chain, this gets the job done. After the bread is baked in the oven, juicy chunks of chicken were spread atop cheesy mozzarella and tart tomato sauce. Then the pizza gets put through a salamander grill to get it toasted and melted. Fresh basil was then liberally distributed all over this monstrosity. This was a lot of above-average pizza for the price. Really surprising.

Overall, Cosi gets the job done for a work-day lunch. The prices are on par with anything you'll find in Center City. They offer salads, sandwiches, and pizza. Pretty standard fare for lunch, but they elevated it to a level that's above what you typically find.

No comments:

Post a Comment