It was the last day of National Fig Week so I decided to drop by Metropolitan Bakery for lunch. The day was drizzly and gray but sitting in a little café cheered me up a little. The place is nothing exquisite, unlike some of the quaint little bakeries in center city. However, the server was friendly and the place was rather clean.
The Fig Bar did not live up to all the hype on the online reviews. However, it was quite good. The fig filling was not very sweet but had quite a lot of figs inside it. You can taste the strong fig flavor and the seeds made it crunchy. The crust was a little dry and left in the oven a tad too long. It was quite buttery and crumbly but not overly greasy or sweet. This would go well with a latte.
They also offered samples at the counter. The Raspberry Bar was not as good as the fig one in my opinion. It was much more generic, with a very buttery crust and topping. It was not sweet enough for me and slightly too buttery and bland. The raspberry filling was quite generic. The bar was very fresh, though, and was still a tasty bite.
For my lunch, I started with a 4013 Salad. For almost $8 after tax, it was definitely not worth it. The salad was in a decently sized bowl, but it was still just a handful of spring mix, chopped granny smith apples, walnuts, and bleu cheese. Everything was just thrown in and I asked for raspberry vinaigrette on the side. The ingredients were fresh but it was just so not worth the price and was thus very disappointing.
The salad also came with a roll and I picked the Rosemary Olive Oil Roll. It was simple but had a nice and light rosemary fragrance. The roll was perhaps left out just a tad too long as it started getting a little too tough on the outside. The inside was airy but slightly dry.
Finally, the highlight of my meal was the Roasted Portobello Mushroom Panini. This was actually very good, which it should have been considering it was $8.50 before tax. Despite the fact I loved it, it was still outrageously over priced. At least it was good, though. The focaccia bread was absolutely lovely – slightly soggy on the inside, very airy and flavorful in the middle, and crispy on the outside. The panini was quite large and had a whole roasted Portobello mushroom that was very flavorful and juicy. I loved the texture of it. The roasted red peppers were also great, along with the provolone cheese and the very fresh basil pesto. I loved that there were still bits of basil left in the pesto. This was certainly one of the best paninis I have ever had.
I seriously thing Metropolitan Bakery should reconsider their prices. It is the most unattractive aspect of this café. The ambiance simply does not justify the overpriced items. However, I will admit that they make a mean panini.