Babo and Revive + Replenish
provide working stiffs and the new urban elite alike with solutions for quick lunch and dinner.
Babo, on the ground floor of Sterling 411 Lofts at the corner of Washington and Division, brings a world of panache to the "need me a little something" model. The slightly sweet and highly satisfyingly buttery mashed purple sweet potatoes exemplify the trendy comfort food Babo prepares so well; for an amazing meal add BBQ ribs, country-fried steak skewers, grilled veggies, or any of a dozen other dishes in the hot case. The mac-and-cheese "turnover" (it looks like a mini-pasty) adds bacon and turkey to a rich cheesy elbow macaroni, then wraps the whole thing in crusty dough for a junk-food fix you can almost justify. Less successful is the mac-and-cheese croquette, which meanders off on a fried-dry detour with the same core ingredients. Babo's cold case holds lovely earthy salads, including fresh-even-in-February tomato-and-pesto caprese.
A carless prof who lives a block away calls Babo her lifeline for chicken dinners with French wine and so much more. "The grocery part even has dog food!" another colleague exclaimed on her first visit, before indulging in a quick lunch of tender baked whitefish, edamame salad, and lemon tea.