Open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. MC, V.
Prices: About $5 to $6.
The bakery origins of Avignone Freres are revealed in its packaging, its platters in flimsy white bakery boxes tied with string and discreetly labeled with Avignone Freres stickers.The shop asks a day's notice, but with the gentlest persuasion will whip up a picnic on the spot. The combination of caterer-restaurant-bakery works to your advantage. Take, for instance, the No. 6 Box Lunch. Open the white box to find a vivid cranberry-colored paper napkin cloaking a plastic platter of three ham rolls stuffed with liver pate. The ham is good, the pate smooth and rich, an imaginative break from ham-on-rye. With it comes a plastic dish of surprisingly piquant vegetables salad - corn, peas and beans in a mayonnaise given character with mustard and capers. And for nibbling, the plate is decked with halved eggs, carrots, celery, tomato, olives and a gherkin. Two dinner rolls are stuffed with pats of butter. A Delicious apple for color. A leaden almond tart for show. Plastic utensils and a bill of $6.60. An alternative at $4.70 is chicken salad, the chicken cubes large and plentiful but sadly mushy. An alternative to the almond tart a rum-moistened butter cake or anything from the bakery counter.
It is a picnic to eat at the Tidal Basin, having set up a table and gilded chairs.