My wife and I, vacationing in the Washington, D.C. area, strolled by Le Pain Quotidien one evening and, drawn by the array of bakery items, decided to try it for breakfast the next morning. Our experience was living testament that first impressions can be misleading.
Le Pain boasts that the chain is "passionate about quality." Well, it's certainly not passionate about quantity or customer service, at least in our instance. We were seated outside by one waiter. Another couple came after us and, with a different waiter, had its coffee before our order was taken, got its meal before our coffee arrived, and checked out soon after our meal came.
I had a pint-sized Belgian waffle with fruit, but had to ask for syrup and then waited several minutes for it to arrive. We both ordered coffee, but learned that the smallest quantity was a "pot," which had the capacity of maybe a large cup but cost $3.25. My wife had an omelet, which was at room temperature by the time it arrived. Not surprisingly, I had to flag down the waiter for our check. We were done after about 50 minutes, and our tab for the waffle, omelet and two coffees came to $25.92.
If you want European ambiance, fine, but if you are looking for value and good service, look elsewhere.
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