Well I've been out of commission here for a while because I've been working my butt off on an article that I may actually be paid for. But yesterday I went out to lunch at Francesca's -- it was the rainiest dreariest day we've had so far this spring. It felt more like autumn than summer. And Francesca's made it all better with warm, nourishing soups: I had a mixed-bean soup with vegetables-- it was vegan based, although I had mine with a lovely sprinkle of parmesan on top-- and my lunch compadre had a chickpea soup that she also said hit the spot. Along with our soups we shared a toasted buttered ciabatta roll, which was excellent: fresh and full of that great sourdough flavor. Francesca is accomodating, and they keep a regular group of customers coming back for more at this family operated cafe. They also have sandwiches like turkey, veggie, and roast beef wraps that you can order on different breads, salads (chicken caesar, chef salad), and "gourmet sandwiches" with things like "The Approach" (named after the nicely restored stairway from downtown to RPI) with artichoke hearts and roasted peppers on focaccia.
Desserts are also on tap: we tried chocolate chip cookies and a lemon bar. Both were adequate although the lemon bar crust was bland and mushy, and the lemon part didn't have the tang I usually like. The chocolate chip cookies were of the dry, smaller kind.
Drinks are the usual but they do have an espresso machine where you can get cafe au laits or lattes and steamers.
I definitely want to come back here.