For about 2 months now, I have been "dreaming of broccoli" and hearing "saigon calling" to me mid-day. Twice a day Monday - Friday you will find me at blynk organic. I've never been very focused on eating healthy, or consuming "clean" foods. I've never thought twice about using plastic silverware or the amount of styrofoam containers I used eating lunch out each year, but that has changed.
I am admittedly a creature of routine, functioning most happily within a known structure. For years lunch has been a random mood/weather/company dictated decision I had to actively make each day. More often than not I found myself frustrated by the decision making process and lack of options that spoke to me.
Several weeks back, while wandering down S. Tryon trying to get myself excited about Quiznos, yet again, I noticed a sandwich board advertising blynk organic, so I decided to change course and check it out. I tried the Thai Sky wrap and was hooked. Why was I hooked from one sandwich? It was a tofu wrap - I do not like tofu, never have, but it was SO good! It had flavor, a varied texture so unlike tofu that if the label hadn't already informed me that it was, I never would have guessed. I figured, if their tofu could impress me so greatly the rest of the menu should knock me on my rear.
I was right (usually am)! The very next morning I was back, opting to try blynk's organic, fair-trade coffee instead of hitting up Starbucks or the Dunkin Donuts in my building's lobby. Golly gee! Pour me another one PLEASE! My workdays now begin with a CATS bus ride immediately followed by a large dark roast.
Lunchtime saw me back again to try another sandwich, the Caprese. This is one of their Crysp panini sandwiches, which they serve in an awesome little pop-open box/ plate. I tried out most of the original menu found some faves, and then... the menu changed. This is one of the rare instances when a menu update was exciting. Several items remained but there were a host of new wraps, sandwiches, paninis and soups to try. The new items were just as exciting and delicious as the originals and a new batch of personal faves were formed.
Even though I literally go to the same place everyday for coffee and again for lunch the diversity of the menu allows for each trip to be completely different. Somedays I'm feeling like Italian, some days Asian or Mexican, on occasion, even vegetarian. No matter my mood, the menu meets my needs.
All that said, what makes blynk so addictive for me are the people and the sense of community they are creating there. I don't just stand on line for my coffee in the morning and then hustle on to the office, I chat with Liz and Ernest about anything and everything from politics to dog parks to graphic novels. We have become friends on Facebook we share books and trade music recommendations. They also know there menu and products from ingredients to compostability of the utensils.
Even though blynk is on the first floor of one of the many office buildings in Uptown Charlotte what has been created there feels more like a small town business than urban niche restaurant. Familiar smiles greet you each day from behind the counter and next to you in line. You don't feel like a customer at blynk, but more like a good neighbor who just popped by to borrow a cup of sugar. It's that feeling that will keep me going back.