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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A break from US history at Le Pain Quotidien, Philadelphia, PA

Fil took me to visit historical sites in Philadelphia one afternoon. She said I’d be full of culture by the time the day was done. I don’t know if that aim was achieved, but I did learn a lot about US history at the very least. We went to visit the famous Liberty Bell as well as Independence Hall, where the first US Constitution was drafted.

After a lot of walking, listening to lectures and much photo-taking, I was ready for a snack. Fil suggested we walk around and see what was in the area. After checking out the menus of various other places, we settled on Le Pain Quotidien, a bakery chain. Their name translates to "the daily bread".

They had calorie counts of items on the menu, and that was helpful because I am desperately trying not to gain hundreds of pounds during my visit. (I was also saving some space for a big dinner.)

Le Pain Quotidien sells organic breads handmade daily at their own bakery, and also uses organic ingredients. It all sounded very healthy to me, so I was sold on the place.

The place was airy and sunny and perfect for a midafternoon snack. We sat by the window so we could watch the people walk briskly by.

I saw on their menu that they had a specialty dish- Tartines, which are their signature Belgian open-faced sandwiches on organic wheat bread. I chose to have their Ricotta Tartine, which had mission figs, organic acacia honey and black pepper. According to the menu, it had only 390 calories. This was much less than the other dish I was considering, a Vegetarian Quiche, but that one was around 600 calories.

Ricotta Tartine

I liked what I had, except that the bread was a bit hard at one edge. The tartine combined sweetness and saltiness, both tastes I was craving for at the time. I also liked the arugula salad that Fil had. She also ordered Butternut Squash Soup, which I normally like. Their version though was a bit too bland for me.

I'm glad we chose to eat there, mostly because I liked the cozy bakery/cafe ambience. Apparently, most of the Le Pain Quotidien branches in the US are in the east coast, so it was good that I got to try it while I was in Philly.

Le Pain Quotidien
801 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Corner of Walnut and 8th Street
Tel. No. 215.253.3114

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