I’d Eat That: Quick and Classy Lunch at Market City Caffe, Burbank

Have you ever had one of those work days where you want a quick lunch but don’t want fast food?  Or maybe you want a full service lunch but don’t have the time to spare for a lunch that goes on and on.

Market City Caffe in Burbank has introduced a lunch service that fits both of these cases perfectly.

Called the “Quick Serve Lunch”, the mid-day meal service makes it easy to get a meal that’s the quality of a full service restaurant in about the time you can be in and out of a fast food place.

To keep things moving along, guests place their order at the bar and close out the tab.  The full menu and bar items are available to order.  With a number in hand, guests pick a table and entertain a short wait for their order to be served.  With everything settled, diners can enjoy their lunch and then pick up and go as they please.

I recently tested the concept and it works.

I arrived at the downtown Burbank setting around noon and placed an order for a pizza, salad, and a beer flight.  The menu is lengthy, filled with item after item of what could easily be a favorite dish, but I was able to settle on the Fennel Sausage Pizza and the Market “Cobb” Salad.

But before we get into the entrees, let’s talk beer.

Market City Caffe is featuring beers from Verdugo West Brewing Company, also located in Burbank.  On tap during my visit were four beers that represented a rainbow of flavors from wispy lagers to dark stouts.  I tried the Wax Wing blonde lager; the Quarterly IPA, a West Coast style IPA; the Jack Roller pale ale, and the What Plane oatmeal stout.  It was great to have a mini beer tasting during the short wait for the pizza and salad.

Beers from Verdugo West Brewing Company.

The Market City Caffe pizzas range in price from $11 to almost $16 and are plenty big enough to share.  But given the flavors, sharing might not be an option.  The crust was tender and topped with an equal balance of sauce and cheese, almost on the light side for the sauce.  Indeed the sausage was the star of the pie with a subtle but pungent herb flavor that lingered after each bite.  A dusting of pepper flakes added some heat every now and then for a bit of spice.

Fennel sausage pizza.

The cobb salad ($15.95), also a generous portion, was presented as a mound of fresh, chopped greens topped with avocado and grilled chicken.  Layers of flavor in the salad — from the toasted pepitas to the roasted beets — elevated the salad from a typical cobb (yes the egg and bacon were there too) to something was was more of an experience to eat.  Each bite was a pleasant surprise.

A Cobb salad that’s full of pleasant surprises.

Oh and just because it’s a quick lunch doesn’t mean one can’t splurge some.  As I mentioned, the full menu is available including dessert.  I was inclined to wrap up with the cheesecake which was phenomenal.  I was really like two cheesecakes in one: a top layer that was smooth and creamy and a bottom layer that was textured and fluffy, both seperated by a Graham cracker crust.

Double decker cheese cake.

Market City Caffe has been a mainstay in the downtown Burbank dining scene for 25 years.  With the Quick Serve Lunch, they’re innovating to serve the needs of diners looking to enjoy a more upscale, fast-casual lunch that includes attentive service and delicious italian fare.

The Quick Serve Lunch is available Monday through Friday from opening until 2:30 PM.

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