I've always tried to avoid chain restaurants I love the little Mom and Pop shops and hate when I see tourists flocking to Olive Garden and Outback. However I've been spending an extraordinary amount of morning time at one and I must confess...I love Le Pain Quotidien.
I love the long rustic wooden tables, the delicious smell of bread and the fact they let me sit for hours doing work:) My usual order is a double macchiato and some kind of mini pastry. The first time I tried out their seasonal cannele.
Unfortunately this was so chock full of apple I couldn't even decipher the cannele shape or flavor. Luckily I've continued to sample the goods for you and found the croissants, mini pistachio muffins and mini madeleines to be the best.
I like to peel off the crunchy sugar top (save the best for last) and dunk the fluffy bottom into my coffee while I work. It just makes me happy:) Unfortunately as with every chain, the quality of pastry and coffee differs greatly depending on location. Of the four I frequent most Gramercy, Meatpacking, Brooklyn Heights and Upper East Side, the UES location on 68th is easily the best. So next time you find yourself needing a little quite time, don't be afraid of the chain.