Around Town Laura is taking a week off. While she's relaxing (or slacking), we'll revisit her favorite Rochester restaurants with excerpts of some past columns. Today, let's do lunch!
: 'Lunchbox' lunch just right
, in the Papa Joe's plaza, offers a delightful Japanese tradition called the Bento lunch. Bento means "convenient" in Japanese. It's also the name for a box-shaped container, or lunch box, that contains a little bit of everything.
I love a little bit of everything. In the Sakura Bento lunch, you get a cup of miso soup, a small house salad, three California rolls, three shumai (dumplings), rice and your choice of entree.
There are 11 entrees to choose from, including chicken, beef, shrimp and tofu prepared in different ways. I selected the Chicken Teriyaki. It's presented on a Bento plate, with four compartments for the different foods. The meal was delicious and satisfying without leaving you uncomfortable, stuffed or in need of a nap.
Sakura, by the way, had a really nice atmosphere for a working lunch. With large tables to spread out on, an unobtrusive wait staff and a low noise level, you can get work done while enjoying a break from the office.
Sakura serves Bento lunches from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. They cost $8.95.
: Healthful, fast food served at child-friendly Chomp
How can you sit down and hold a focused conversation with a friend while your 4-year-olds are in tow? has the solution, and your children will love it.
Nestled under the flat-screen TV is a cozy child-size table. It seats four and includes an activity. (The day we were there, the activity was dinosaur stamps.) The children's menu has all the under-10 crowd's favorites, from hot dogs and cheese quesadillas to PBJs and turkey wraps. Each children's meal costs $4 and comes with your choice of fries or apple slices, a beverage and a sucker. How's that for sweet?
So meet your girlfriend and the minis for a lunch you can all enjoy. Place your order at the counter. (All-beef burgers are Chomp's specialty, but I enjoyed a huge antipasto salad.) Then take a seat at one of the tables or watch the action on Main Street from a tall stool at the counter. Your food and beverages will be delivered to you with a smile.
The atmosphere is relaxed and definitely child-friendly, the food is fast and healthful, and it's the perfect place to catch up with a friend.
: Rev your engine with 'Meal in a Cup'
If your crazy agenda doesn't let you come up for air, let alone eat, may I suggest a "Meal In a Cup" from ?
This isn't just a smoothie, it's science at work to make you a superwoman. To break it down in an Einstein-like equation, it goes like this: special nutrient-rich vitamin and mineral formula plus whole fruits and other pure ingredients equals your daily vitamin and mineral requirements, sucked through a straw as you race from errand to errand.
The top sellers at the downtown Rochester location are Total Energy, Very Berry Berry (my favorite) and Razzle Dazzle, all delicious and healthful.
Now, let's just say you do have the time for a sit-down meal. You can still enjoy Beyond Juice. Warm soup, toasted sandwiches and a bright, cheery atmosphere await you.
"Meal In a Cup" drinks are 20 ounces and range from $5.25 to $6.80.