Le Pain Quotidien

My first encounter with Le Pain Quotidien was in Bryant Park, New York, a couple years ago. I loved it! Even the pesto sauce in my sandwich, which was unusual for me, since I had an inexplicable aversion to pesto. I was pretty excited when the chain finally made its way to the D.C. area, and I believe the first of their local branches was the Bethesda store. I’ve popped over there several times since it opened, but this would be my first time blogging them. (^__^)v This post combines a couple visits that I made there in the last few weeks.

The decor: I like the interior quite a bit. There are high ceilings throughout and a shiny counter filled with delicious looking pastries in the front. And of course, there has to be the signature communal table, a colossal slab of reclaimed wood that dominates the center of the room. The Bethesda store has two dining areas, each one with its own communal table. I like sitting at the communal table, as it’s more spacious and comfortable.

And now for the food: Pictured above is the grilled chicken and smoked mozzarella tartine “with arugula and basil pesto.” I’m not sure that I got any arugula, and I would know because I love arugula. There was definitely some kind of green leaf, but it might have been something else. Very tasty indeed, even the pesto. XD Although, I do feel like it’s a bit pricey for what you get.

More after the jump:

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The Secret Garden

I know the Olympics are over, but I still wanted to finish out the last of my Vancouver posts! My friend and I really wanted to do an afternoon tea, so after hunting around for a suitable place, we finally settled on The Secret Garden Tea Company, a quaint and lovely little tea shop and cafe. I really loved this place. A tea doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive to be enjoyable, and this was certainly an affordable yet high quality option that I would go back for in a heartbeat.

They offer a number of different kinds of tea courses: high tea, sharing high tea, demi high tea, and mini high tea. I believe the full-on high tea was only served during certain hours, and since we came after those hours, we opted for the “demi” high tea. This course was like a scaled down version of the high tea, featuring all three of the traditional tea courses: scones, sandwiches, and dessert, in addition to a pot of tea per person.

Pictured above is one of the desserts, a flaky pastry of some kind. It’s been a while, so I don’t recall the specifics, but it was very good, whatever it was. XD;

A few more pics:

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