Need a quick in-and-out place with quality food on your lunch break? Or a spot to kill time when the bus delivers you downtown an hour before your appointment? Or a location with cozy tables for a meeting with a client or loved one?
The Courtyard Restaurant at 127 Franklin St. downtown is all these and more. Nestled on the ground floor of the Fernbach Parking Ramp adjacent to the Family Court Building, the Courtyard offers Greek and American cuisine weekdays to the crowds that flood the city.
My fiancé, Patrick, and I both work downtown, so we met at the Courtyard around noon on a recent Friday, hoping we could get in and out and back to work during our hour lunch breaks. Upon walking in, patrons are welcomed by a miniature flea market on the window sill in the entryway. Books, small toys and other trinkets line the shelf. It’s a charming idea, but the box of Oxy Spot Treatment struck me as unappetizing.
Large cookies, specialty cards and stuffed animals are sold behind the register. Visitors are invited to seat themselves, so we found a booth along a wall that housed two mock windows with shutters, which provided a warm, homey atmosphere. The large dining room is separated into two sections. A diner-style counter with five stools adorns the front of the restaurant, allowing patrons to enjoy a meal while watching the hustle and bustle of the cooks and wait staff.
About 25 customers were scattered about the dining room as four waitresses tag-teamed tables, ensuring everyone was fed and coffee cups were full. Greetings of “Hi, honey” and “The usual?” were heard often as the waitresses served the regulars. Customers’ attire ranged from business suits to jeans.
The menu featured pita wraps from $6.29 to $6.89, omelets for $6.99, a third-pound burger for $3.89 and steak for $8.29. I opted for the chicken Caesar pita wrap ($6.29), and while the dressing was creamy and tangy and the greens were crisp, the chicken was a bit overcooked and dry. Patrick chose the bleu bacon burger ($6.99), which featured the classic burger topped with bleu cheese and bacon, with a side of fries (included). He orders his meat well-done wherever we go, and he was impressed that the burger remained moist.
“It’s well-done right,” he said.
From the time we ordered to the moment our plates were set on the table, seven minutes had elapsed, and we were seated and fed in less than 40 minutes, leaving enough time to enjoy coffee and conversation before heading back to work. The Courtyard is a convenient, friendly place to enjoy a meal downtown.
Where: 127 Franklin St. (847-9888)
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes.