I've recently moved back to NY after 6 years away and am busy exploring lunch places near my new office, with help from previous posts.
So far I've really liked Columbine on W.B'way (up above Franklin St.; mostly takeout, although they have a few stools inside) for soups, salads, and sandwiches. Last week I tried their soup and 1/2 sandwich ($7.50), with the sandwich of the day (cheddar and vegies on multi-grain bread with chipotle mayo) and a cabbage and pancetta soup. Soup was a little salty, but other than that, was very pleased. Despite being called a 1/2 sandwich, it was actually just on smaller bread; it was definitely enough food. Have also been enjoying their cookies... The apricot & almond muffin I picked up this morning was too sweet, though, and not enough apricot for me personally.
I used to go to Kitchenette on W. Bway all the time when they were in the original tiny location, so I gave it a try on Monday. I had the blue plate of shepherds' pie, which I didn't love; the meat was in a sweet ketchupy sauce, more like a sloppy joe, and the carrots in with it were basically raw (!?). I guess they'd been added in at the end... I don't have anything against raw carrots normally, but in the middle of what's otherwise cooked food it's a bit disconcerting. I'll give some of the other items a try, though.
Today I tried Mangez Avec Moi (also on W. Bway, down a little further and across the street from Kitchenette), which appeared in a thread on financial district lunches recently. The menu is a real hodge-podge of various Asian cuisines (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese...), but I chose the chicken Thai red curry. The spicing/flavoring was OK, but the curry itself was somehow both a little watery and a little greasy for my tastes. Not a bad $6.50 lunch special, though. Again, I'll go try more things. The staff was super friendly, so I'm inclined to like this place.
I'll have to give Tribakery a shot for lunch; I've gone in to pick up cookies and coffee a couple times and their salads and sandwiches look nice. Ginger spice cookies and peanut butter cookies have been good, but the macaroon I had yesterday was too sweet, even for a macaroon.
And some day when I'm feeling flush, and particularly homesick for Tokyo, I'll have to give Zutto a try.