Almost Paradise – Review of Paradis To-Go

BY SARAH IP

Paradis To-Go
114 4th Ave
(between 11th St & 12th St)
East Village

(646) 416-6709 /
paradistogo.com/index.html

Paradis To-Go.  Photo by Sarah Ip.

Paradis To-Go. Photo by Sarah Ip.

Fresh fall tulips and gerbera daisies.  Hot cup of coffee.  Hugs and smiles.  This is a perfect Saturday afternoon lunch with my bestie.

After months of separation, my friend K and I finally made plans to meet up for some quality bonding time.  Where better to catch up than at a cozy little café off of Union Square?  Paradis To-Go is barely the width of a Pinkberry, complete with a pretty scalloped awning and green bench.  Scribbles of pastel-colored chalk covered the menu boards, highlighting the Daily Specials. The two counter attendants reminded me of the lead pair in 500 Days of Summer – but more ‘hippie’ than ‘hipster.’  They were gushingly friendly and seemed genuinely interested in catering to us and making our experience a positive one.

Herb Turkey Gruyere.  Photo by Sarah Ip.

Herb Turkey Gruyere. Photo by Sarah Ip.

Croque Monsieur.  Photo by Sarah Ip.

Croque Monsieur. Photo by Sarah Ip.

I had the Herb Turkey Gruyere sandwich on oat, pecan and raisin bread, while K picked the Croque Monsieur with French bread, ham and béchamel ($7.75 each).  The sandwich prices are a bit steeper than I’m used to paying, but for the quality and creativity, worth the occasional splurge.  Two small coffees ($1.75 each) rounded out our order.  Soups on display included broccoli-cheddar-cauliflower-bacon and butternut squash.  $4 for a small, $5 for a large.

Sweetie Pie.  Photo by Sarah Ip.

Sweetie Pie. Photo by Sarah Ip.

Sweetie Pie Layers.  Photo by Sarah Ip.

Sweetie Pie Layers. Photo by Sarah Ip.

We took a heart-shaped chocolate cake, aptly entitled ‘Sweetie Pie,’ to-go.  The Sweetie Pie resembled a big whoopee pie with three dense layers separated by marshmallow frosting, topped with luscious strawberries and sugar.  Even though K and I were quite full from our meal, this cake was too cute to pass up.  We split it.

Paradis To-Go is also known for its fist-sized, gooey chocolate chip cookies.  Come for the cute soups, sandwiches and cookies!  Other sandwich options include Spiced Rub Pork, Goat Cheese with Avocado, Pastrami Reuben and Chipotle Tuna.  Free Wi-Fi is available; I spotted a young woman in the corner typing away on her laptop while she sipped her coffee.  Next to us, another woman dug into a hearty bowl of soup, with a roll on the side.

I’m not sure why this place has ‘To-Go’ in its name because I could stay here for hours.  Make yourself at home on one of the comfy chairs with a good read, for some chill time or to people-watch.  Time slows down when you’re in paradise, and this is about as close to it as you can get.


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