This week, we stopped by In Dyer Need Café, the lunch spot that filled the proverbial clean, well-lighted space vacated when Provence left the Roundabout. There, in the shadow of Musica’s nine naked butts, owner Racquel Dyer delivers an efficient roster of fresh salads, sandwiches, pastries and coffees to the workday crowd in and around the gleaming high-rise at 1600 Division.
We were fortunate to stumble onto Hot Lunch Thursday, when Dyer offers a choice of two hot entrees with a drink for $7. This week’s choices were beef Stroganoff and chicken and dumplings.
We started at the refrigerated shelves, choosing a salad of grilled chicken on a fluffy bed of mixed greens, with big chunks of blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers and grape tomatoes. The $8 meal was a generous and fresh combination, which bodes well for the other salads, which included fresh berries, cheeses and nuts with spinach and mixed greens.
Our homesick New Yorker could not resist the temptation of rare roast beef over rice with brown gravy and a side of heavily steamed vegetables, a prepared meal available in the cooler that could be reheated. While she would have preferred the beef on a sandwich, Yankee Girl conceded that it was a tender cut and a welcome pink specimen in a city that likes its beef on the gray side.
Our unexpected favorite dish was chicken and dumplings, which plated three or four fluffy biscuits over a bed of floppy noodles, topped with a thick white sauce studded with light and dark meat. Served with a crusty roll—no, seriously, biscuits with a side of roll—the carbolicious, all-white meal went counter to everything we know about obeying the food pyramid, but damn, it was good and we ate every bite.
We rounded out lunch with a brownie and a bag of so-called everything cookies, chock full of dried cranberries, white chocolate, nuts and, well, everything.
Given that In Dyer Need is within walking distance of our office, we will likely return often. On those Thursdays when dumplings are on the menu, we’ll make a point to walk there and back.