Le Pain Quotidien or LPQ as it is sometimes known as is a bakery-restaurant franchise which is often mistaken for being French. It’s actually Belgian. Or at least it originally was. God only knows these days. In my family it is popular with the girls who love its quintessential Franco café-bistro looks, relaxed, laid-back ambiance and its health-conscious menu. This branch much be its prettiest with a terrace and view to die for (or die on depending on which season you sit outside).
This is not a restaurant I relate to, yet I keep ending up here (this must have been my third time). I actually don’t mind it as a coffeeshop, it certainly beats Starbuck’s, but as a restaurant – nah, it’s too foo-foo for me. So, it took me a while to find something on the menu which I felt comfortable having instead of the burger I craved but they didn’t have. How can you not have a burger on your menu? Anyway, I settled for what they call The Angler. It’s the furthest thing from a burger and includes a croissant, soft-boiled egg, smoked salmon, and a very manly mini granola parfait – really? My companion ordered a wild mushroom tartine – OMG!
The two best things about this LPQ branch have to be the amazing view and ambience, and our cheerful, hospitable Ugandan hostess (see picture).
She made it a point of visiting our table every 15 minutes or so just to make sure we were okay. And when we were leaving, she surprised us by validating our parking token thus saving us AED60 in parking fees. AED20 per hour for parking is day light robbery, if you ask me. So, where I am concerned LPQ is a great coffeeshop, meh restaurant. My wife and daughter strike out the meh making it a great all-rounder. You go and decide yourself, it’s certainly worth a visit, especially this La Mer branch.
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