New to downtown, Buns and Roses is a small place offering a diverse menu of items for breakfast and lunch. Located on the first floor of the Manhattan Building at 5th and Boulder, the restaurant is described as a "'50s-style deli with Mediterranean flair and a touch of old country."
The Buns and Roses name stems from the owner and founder Michelle Goldstein's grandmothers' names, after Goldstein's paternal grandmother, who is referred to as "Buns" and her maternal grandmother's name is Rose.
Little movement was happening on the streets of downtown and the sun had barely peeked out its head for my 6:45am breakfast. Goldstein's voice echoed through the lobby, which helped direct me to Buns and Roses' location, which opened a little more than one month ago.
Goldstein provided some insight to how she came to be the owner of Buns and Roses. She said she was a photojournalism major, but she yearned to return to what she grew up knowing: the restaurant business.
She has 19 years of professional experience in the food industry, along with time in non-professional settings. As with many restaurateurs, Goldstein's love of the culinary arts began in the domestic setting of family kitchens. She credits her grandmothers' nurturing to fueling her desire for her own restaurant. They each instructed her on the basics of preparing meals, beginning with such treats as pigs in a blanket and moving on to Matzo Ball soup and sponge cake.
Goldstein continues the family cooking business tradition with Buns and Roses and now has advanced beyond pigs in a blanket to sandwiches, wraps, salads and soup from her grandmothers' recipes as well as her own creations.
Diners will find menu items named after people who were important influences in her life. For example, the B&R Specials (all $6.75) include Grandma Buns' Hot Ham & Cheese (ham, brie, mango, chutney, bacon, lettuce and tomato on sourdough); Grandma Rose's Roast Beef (roast beef, blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato, horsey sauce in a spinach wrap); Grandpa Max's Turkey Avocado Club (smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, bacon, tomato, deli mustard on wheat berry bread); Nana's Chicken Caesar Wrap (grilled chicken breast, Caesar dressing, romaine lettuce parmesan cheese and tomato in a wheat wrap); and Grandpa Jack's Reuben (corned beef, Swiss cheese, bistro sauce, sauerkraut on rye).
Breakfast is what I was interested in when I dined here recently. Buns and Roses offers muffins (.99), pastries ($1.99), breakfast paninis ($2.69), breakfast burritos (.69) and bagels (.75, .50 extra for cream cheese) along with Java Dave's coffee. Breakfast is served until 10:30am.
I sampled a few items: a bacon, egg & cheese panini and a ham, egg and cheese burrito. Goldstein brought the breakfast sandwich to me when it was ready. No trays, no plates, the sandwich was simply wrapped in a yellow deli paper and handed to me. The panini was tasty: Two very thin half slices of bacon, a perfectly rounded cooked egg and provolone cheese was between a three-inch cut of ciabatta bread. (These paninis can also be served on a biscuit, English muffin or croissant).
The sandwich was filling and enjoyable, served very hot. The ciabatta bread was a good match, but the top part of the bread was a little too small. Half way through eating it, the top part became flattened and was gone before the sandwich was eaten. A larger slice of bread would have helped this matter.
The Breakfast Burrito (which can be served on a plain, wheat or spinach wrap) was made with my preference of a wheat tortilla and Swiss cheese. The tortilla was very large and filled with a thin slice of Swiss cheese, chopped egg and a good number of layers of thinly sliced sweet cured deli ham. This, likewise, was good, but for the large tortilla, too much tortilla bread overpowered the ingredients. A good section of the tortilla wrap was leftover after the filling was gone. However, when all the contents of the burrito were present, it was tasty.
The "'50s style deli" description fits the lunch menu with many selections of meat (nine types), cheeses (eight types), veggies such as cucumber, mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, dressings (such as mustard, mayo, even mango chutney and hummus) and breads (hoagie bun, wheat berry, marbled rye, to name a few), which make the sandwich and wrap options increase quickly.
The dining room is an open space with small tables, surrounded with ceiling to floor glass windows, looking onto 5th Street and the Manhattan Building lobby. A small private dining room is available as well.
Buns and Roses offers services of: dine in, carry out, call-in/pick up and catering. Soon, Goldstein said she hopes to expand her menu to offer sushi.
Buns and Roses
111 W. 5th St.
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