With summer in full swing it is time to be outdoors getting fresh air and soaking up the warmth. Having a ready-to-go picnic basket facilitates that impromptu picnic. If you’re struggling with a menu, here are some grab and go options that are picnic perfect.
A “hidden jewel” location is “Victoria’s Express” located down the hallway across from the entry to Victoria’s Ristorante and Wine Bar. They are open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 1:30 pm, and have salads and a great selection of ready to go sandwiches, including a wonderful chicken Caesar salad and a wonderful fresh spinach salad. Cold bottled water, pop, ice tea and fruit juice is available in the coolers.
Sandwiches, cheeses and more are available at ZZest Lunch Counter in the downtown skyway. They are open Monday-Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. Their chicken salad, consisting of tender cooked meat tossed with a mayo-based dressing, chopped celery, dried blueberries, tarragon and mint (the perfect hint of herbs) has proven to be a customer favorite. It also is the basis for one of their “Euro Style” sandwiches. Check out the cooler case for cheeses and the shelves for crackers, chips and condiments. Don’t forget their wonderful chocolate chip cookies and homemade brownies.
Great Harvest Bread, on North Broadway, offers a wide selection of sandwiches at their lunch counter, Monday through Saturday, 11am to 3 pm. For a dollar more, you can add chips and a cookie. Throughout the day chose from an array of breads, muffins and bars to accompany cheeses purchased elsewhere for a simple picnic pleasure.
Andy’s Downtown Liquor, located in the lobby of the Hilton, is convenient as you walk to the park or riverfront. They offer a great selection of wine splits (or half bottles) and four packs (single serve) wines, many of which are twist tops, perfect for when you forget a bottle opener. Chilled options include an extensive variety of white wines, sangria and beer. Don’t forget to plan ahead for Sunday picnics!
If you ever find yourself scrambling to assemble a picnic meal, head over to the People’s Food Coop on First Avenue and Sixth Street SW. You’ll find a grand selection of fresh deli salads and sandwiches both pre-packaged or available to order at the counter. For a sweet finish, check out the dessert selection—their carrot and vegan chocolate cakes are exceptional.
3 picnic tips
• Keep reusable ice packs in your freezer for short notice
• Use reusable enamelware for your picnic ware
• Include a serving tray, which often comes in handy to pass food around