I needed a quick lunch while I was downtown this week, but I didn't have time to stray too far from the Shain Park area. I strayed into the on a whim, thinking perhaps a cupcake or two could hold me over, when I discovered a popular lunch spot with plenty of options.
I went with bakery's chicken Caesar wrap, knowing that wraps plus chicken Caesar salad is always a good standby if you're new to any restaurant. The Townsend not only made my sandwich fresh — which I'm used to at several other sandwich joints around town — but the service was fast, and I liked how if you wanted a soda, you could purchase a can and not a 20-ounce bottle. (Who can drink all that soda during one sitting? I can't.)
The wrap was fairly good — a pretty standard chicken Caesar wrap — though I liked how the dressing was served on the side so you're not forced to consume dressing-drenched chicken bits if you don't want to. The best part, though, came when I opened the little box it came in — my $8 meal came with a side of cold, crispy-crunchy grapes. On a warm sunny day, nothing hit the spot better. And while I didn't get to my dill pickle side, I made sure to bring my leftover grapes with me as an afternoon snack.
Birmingham has a lot of well-heeled dinner restaurants, as well as a lot of places to enjoy a business or slow lunch. However, cheap and fast lunches can be hard to come by if you want to avoid the chains, so I'm pleased with the Townsend Hotel Bakery. I'll definitely be back when I'm in the neighborhood (if only to try one of those monster cupcakes).