Monday, February 9, 2009

Has This Happened to You?

So I went to lunch today at Le Pain Quotidien in Westwood, a bakery I had previously posted on (click here). As I was eating the quinoa salad, tiny stones kept getting caught in my teeth. They were the kind of stones that you usually have to pick out by hand when washing grains. When I mentioned to this to the waiter, he informed me that all of their food comes precooked from a factory so they couldn't do anything about it. He said that all they do in the kitchen is assemble the foods together -- nothing gets cooked. When I asked him how it was that my friend's vegetable quiche was warm, he said it was done in the microwave.

I was surprised by this. As I've mentioned before, Le Pain indicates vegan items on their menu with a carrot symbol, and now they even list the calories in every meal alongside each menu item. I had this impression that Le Pain was this healthy bakery where chefs are in the back cooking and baking, and this disappointed me.

HOWEVER, before I posted this, I called the Westwood Le Pain to confirm if what the waiter had told me was true. To my surprise again, the gentleman who answered the phone said they do not even own a microwave and that the majority of their food is made by them or their factory down the street daily. The quiche, he stated would have been made them and would have been warmed up in the oven. The baguettes and croissants are made by them but the rest of the bread comes from the factory daily.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever heard 2 completely different things from staff at a restaurant? The place isn't even that big! Like I've mentioned before, this is why I try to get answers from corporate offices instead of local restaurants on what is truly vegetarian, but it is unfortunate to receive this type of misinformation on something as basic as this.

My mouth still hurts from those stones, I think one of them must have cut my gum or something....

click here for more on Le Pain Quotidien


miss v said...

definitely... especially when you ask about 'vegan' items. sometimes people think they are vegan, only because they don't think about the eggs or milk to bake certain things.

if i eat at chain type place, i always check your blog or online to see what is certified vegan. :)

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear from you Miss V! I was wondering where you had gone!