As stores shutter and “For Sale” becomes the city’s fastest growing chain, there seems no end to the surfacing of new Le Pain Quotidiens. They’re everywhere like crabgrass! The Belgian bakery-cafe has definitely tapped into New Yorkers’ consciousness as a sophisticated enough place to get exotic enough food for cheap enough prices, and you can even sit outside.
There are only a few problems:
*For whatever nutty reason, they don’t serve soda. I love soda! What the fuck?
*The big thing on their menu is an open-faced sandwich called a tartine. I’m always terrified that it won’t satisfy me the way a closed-faced sandwich does, though admittedly it sometimes turns out almost OK.
*Some of the seating is communal, consisting of long, wooden tables with benches. Nyuh-uh. Homey needs his ass seated separately.
But there’s no stopping the success of this place. Even in L.A., I kept seeing them around the joint. So never mind the Pain. Just give in and start ordering.