Friday, January 20, 2012

Le Pain Quotidien

Years ago I was on a holiday in Nice and had a sandwich in Le Pain Quotidien. The place looked lovely and so typically French, I thought. It's not French I later found out, but Belgian which is not much of a difference, but for the staff. At least that day.
I had sat down with my sandwich and a coffee while my then girlfriend wandered around the shop admiring the decoration, because she wasn't hungry. Until she saw the super sized croissants they were selling to take out. She got one wrapped, paid for it and sat down next to me. On the table were jars of sugar and jam and she thought it was a good idea to try some on her croissant. BIG MISTAKE!! Within seconds three people had surrounded us basically accusing us of shoplifting. C'est take away! C'est take away! It wasn't exactly like she was putting the jar to her mouth or in her pocket. So I paid for my sandwich, told them to go fuck themselves (in English, my Francais c'est tres bad) and myself never to set foot in the place again when in Nice. I haven't, nor have I been back in Nice.
In Madrid a few LPQ's have opened over the last year or two and they still have that je ne sais quoi frenchy quality which must be their corporate style, since they all look the same. The other day I needed to have a quick lunch and couldn't find anywhere fast enough so I decided to give it a shot. How boring. The menu is very limited and has a lot of goat's cheese on it (I hate goat's cheese) and is very expensive; even for the area. I had a Salad of Rucola, Buffalo Mozzarella with tomato and parmesan cheese which came with two pieces of different bread. Why not two slices of the same so you can make a sandwich out of it? The mozzarella was nothing special and probably the cheapo stuff from the supermarket as were the tomatoes. Two sundried tomatoes gave it a bit of taste but €12,65 is an insult. So is €2,85 for a Coke.
There are still jars and bottles on the table, no jam this time, maybe only for breakfast?