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Atrium Café is a sure bet for lunch in New London

By Alex Nunes

Publication: theday.com

Published October 03. 2012 12:00PM   Updated October 03. 2012 6:25PM

I walked up State Street earlier today, thinking of where I would like to grab lunch. A few paces, later I saw the sign for the Atrium Café.

Sounds good to me, I thought.

The very first time I went to the Atrium, I knew I'd be back. One thing I like is that they have "breakfast for lunch" items on the menu. Egg sandwiches are one of my favorites and I've always thought some folks limit themselves by only having them for breakfast.

At the Atrium — open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — you can get a fresh eggs sandwich made to order on the grill atop rustic country bread. There's also a breakfast burrito, which never seems to be a bad bet anywhere you go.

Today, I was in the mood for one of their warm wraps, which come expertly prepared on the grill. I went with the Chicken Caesar. It was a liberal serving of lettuce and Caesar dressing with chunks of chicken meat and sprinkled Parmesan cheese.

The man who prepares the wraps has an interesting system to watch. He tightly wraps the wrap and then places it on the grill with a weight over it. Then he flips it and does the same on the other side. The effect is an almost Panini-esque wrap with a crispy exterior and warm, flavorful inside.

The soup at the Atrium is also quite good. Today, I tried the crab bisque with a few cheddar biscuit wafers on the side. It was excellent. Sometimes when places make lobster or crab bisque they don't give you too much actual meat. That was not the case with this bisque.

All in all, my meal came to $10.85. Not too bad for a soup, sandwich and courtesy pickle.

I'd also say even if the food served at the Atrium doesn't sound like your cup of tea, it's worth eating there to take in the sight of the inside of the building. I know absolutely nothing about architecture, yet I'm easily wowed by interesting older buildings.

I like how the skylight provides a nice view as well as some good natural lighting. It's nice to know that when winter comes there's a good climate controlled place to go to have a warm soup and try to soak up some vitamin D.

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