Our latest installment of Quick Bites brings us to the UWS for frozen food.

THE VIBE
Three years ago a specialty food store named Babeth's Feast opened on the Upper East Side, and the food it specialized in was frozen. Like the kind of prepared meals you'd find in your grocery store's frozen food aisle but, presumably, made with more love and higher quality ingredients than whatever's in your average, say, Libbyland Safari Supper. Also, a lot more French.

The concept has apparently been well-received, so much so that a new Babeth's Feast recently landed across town on the Upper West Side, though here on Amsterdam Avenue there's a bit of a twist: in addition to selling a wide variety of packaged frozen food to go, at the new location you can also dine in, choosing from a short menu of heated-up dishes.

Not that the general ambiance differs much from an actual supermarket aisle. Most of the small shop is taken up by banks of brightly-lit freezers, with a pair of short unadorned marble counters up front at which about a half dozen people can eat at a time. It's not exactly a warm environment, and you won't feel compelled to linger (there's also no booze available), but it's a comfortable enough spot for wolfing down a hot meal.

THE BITES
Ignore the posted menu—it was incomplete and inaccurate both nights I went last week—and ask one of the many workers hovering around what they have simmering in those big Le Creuset pots by the register. You get a casserole-type entree and a side for about $11, served in a heavy-duty china bowl or plate. The portions are fairly substantial.

It's been many years since I've eaten a frozen meal, and the memories are pretty grim, so I was pleasantly surprised by how good everything was here. I tried three combos, the best of which was the Beef Bourguignon (stunningly tender meat, vaguely smoky wine sauce) with a ladle-full of thick, slightly sweet Creamed Spinach on the side.

The Fish Curry also surpassed expectations, with fat fillets of flaky swai swimming in a lively, coconut-infused sea. This went down just fine poured all over a mound of hearty mashed potatoes. Veal Stew was the final entree on offer, and though I enjoyed eating the, again, extremely tender meat, something about the creamy sauce didn't sit well with it. The Farro side dish that came with was pleasantly nutty and chewy, however, and was studded with tart apples.

Based on samples laid out in trays at the bar, I would suggest avoiding the Margherita Pizza, though the Chicken Potstickers weren't bad. The Cheesecake is not worth the calories.

THE VERDICT
The heated-up frozen food at Babeth's Feast makes for a counterintuitively homey meal, even in such sterile surroundings. Locals will probably want to just bring the stuff home to try it out, but my companion and I definitely liked the change of pace as a quick meal before a movie at the AMC a few blocks down.

Babeth's Feast is located at 309 Amsterdam Avenue between 74th and 75th Street, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (347-482-0369; babethsfeast.com)