Brunch at Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien is a chain that touts organic products and a homey vibe. The tables are rustic and many of them communal. All this comes at a premium. DMR and I ate at the one on Madison Avenue, on the Upper East Side, a section of town we are hardly ever in. Dan actually worked in this neighborhood for a few years when he first moved to New York. I don't know how he remained sane riding an overcrowded 4/5 train and dodging the uppity masses on a daily basis. Sorry if you live on the UES, but damn if it isn't one of the ickiest parts of New York.
Sometimes on my way to work, I'll pop into the Le Pain Quotidien near Bryant Park that recently opened up and grab a cheese danish or organic blueberry muffin to go. Prior to this meal, I had eaten at an LPQ just once. It wasn't a meal, but breakfast, actually a breakfast meeting/interview that went pretty terribly for me. In retrospect, I'm glad I wasn't hired and got a nice laugh a few months later when I found out they were trying to get me back in for another interview.
I ordered a single soft boiled egg and Dan got the grilled chicken and smoked mozzarella tartine. We both got individual pots of coffee as well, into which we stirred in organic sugar and drank out of latte bowls. My lone egg was served with rectangles of house breads and expensive as hell - $4, I think. Dan's sandwich came as a surprise to both of us. Neither of us expected it to be cold or open-faced, much less both.
The tartine was good, but not really the type of sandwich you'd want to eat cold. It came with some cucumber and radish slices, and cornichons, all three of which are excellent sandwich accompaniments. A big plus for them there. We shared a large order of fruit salad, which in the photo looks pretty handsome. Unfortunately, two-thirds of the bowl was mostly melon.
Dan got an underwhelming chocolate croissant for dessert. For $3.50 we expected more than a nib of chocolate. We also didn't expect our request to have it heated up be met with a reply of, "We can't do that here."