The Slow and Savory Review
Alain Coumont with over 200 locations world wide, which are just now testing the waters in Chicago with their newest location in the West Loop. Le Pain (for short) may be a chain in theory, but their ways of doing things are vastly different than any other chain you might come across. Their breads, the corner stone of their business, are baked fresh from scratch every single day on site, and all of their food is sourced as locally as possible for each location. An emphasis is made on using seasonal produce as well as creating traditional French Provincial dishes in a clean, healthy, and organic way. This, to be sure, is no ordinary chain restaurant, which is why Brandy enlisted her dear friend Bailey Blue (Brandy considers Bailey her resident expert in all things organic, as Bailey grew up on a farm) to accompany her to Le Pain for a little brunch.
The extensive menu proved to be a bit daunting for Brandy and Bailey, so they decided to start off with some drinks while they whittled down their options; for Brandy, a lovely Iced Latte with almond milk, and for Bailey, a fresh Strawberry Lemonade. They both especially loved how the lemonade was served; presented with a glass of ice topped with a sprig of mint and a small carafe of the lemonade to pour at the drinker's whim.
"Seeing as how all those beautiful loaves of bread are staring us in the face (as is the baker who's making them), perhaps we should start with the Baker's Basket," Brandy suggested, to which Bailey wholeheartedly agreed. The basket came jam packed with slices of all different sorts of breads as well a variety of Le Pain's own spreads and jams. The standout amongst the breads was something called The Flute, which was a long, narrow bread filled with raisins and hazelnuts. "It's like trail mix in a bread!" Bailey exclaimed, "And it could fit in my pocket, so I could actually take it hiking a trail with me!" The Strawberry Rhubarb Jam was another hit with its gentle tartness, but the one that had Brandy and Bailey's eyes rolling back in their heads from bliss was the Speculoos, a spread not unlike peanut butter in consistency, which is made with cinnamon and ginger spiced cookies. Glancing over at the pantry section of the store, Brandy could just make out a few jars of the heavenly stuff on the shelf. "Keep your eyes on those," she told Bailey in a whisper, "If anyone makes a move towards them before we're done, tackle them like a linebacker." Bailey nodded solemnly.
The writers of this blog were invited to dine at Le Pain Quotidein at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
The Short and Sweet Review