Max and I came here for a working girl's lunch today. It was half personal, half business - you know, the norm for us. Though it's a franchise (started in Brussels because some crazy chef wanted to make the perfect, most simple loaf of bread), the food here is really fresh and good, if a little pricey. All the weird little biblical references are kind of neat too. Like the "communal table" - I kept thinking I was going to turn around and see Jesus and his disciples breaking some daily bread and washing each other's feet, or something kind of creepy like that.
We ordered two open-faced sandwiches, or tartines, if you will. One was proscuitto with mozzarella and roasted peppers, the other jambon frances avec three mustards. The prosciutto tartine was to die for, with melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella and a perfect drizzling of pesto. The ham tartine was fine, great only if you love ham. We mainly ordered it because I was fixated with the prospect of not one, not two, but THREE mustards. For dessert, we decided on sharing a Belgian Brownie (Max didn't think I was excited enough for the apricot tart). This brownie, bigger than one of Max's child hands, was heaven - a deliciously dense, moist, not too-sweet triumph of decadence. The kind of brownie i daydream about at my desk when i'm trying to calm my 3:00 sugar pangs. Even the older lady who sat down next to us asked us if she could eat what we didn't finish. Ofcourse, we politely replied, "Fuck no, biatch."
Everything that everyone else was eating looked damn good as well. The service, on the otherhand was shitty. I don't think we could have gotten our waiter's attention even if we had been dirty whores. Our bill came to $35, including tax and tip.
On a scale on 1-10, this is how Le Pain Quotidien rates:
Food: 9 Space: 7 Service: 5 Value: 7
*food, being the only thing that really matters, is given more weight in the calculation of the overall score