Resto Review: Le Pain Quotidien, Yorkville

4 May

Specials board, main dining room

You don’t go to a bakery hoping for great vegan food, but I was hoping for the best when I cracked open this Belgian chain’s menu. There are a fair number of vegetarian options on offer, but there in the Salads was the lone vegan entree. Mediterranean Tofu Salad. Ok, it comes with three sauces, and maybe they know how to season/cook tofu.

Just to give you an idea of how appetizing this salad was, here is what remained after I ate as much as I could:

You're jealous of the gorgeous tofu I got to eat, I know you are

That’s right. Big, cold slabs of tofu with a few drizzles of mystery sauces, some of which may have contained mayo (!). The tofu was not marinated, or even cooked (as far as I can tell, since it was ice-cold and dry). If I hadn’t been starving, I don’t know if I could have eaten more than one of those guys. The pesto on top of it all was good, I can say that much. I don’t have a pic of the untouched salad, but it was mostly that spring mix of lettuces that is served by basically every restaurant these days.

I hate to give a bad review to a non-veggie restaurant, in this case particularly because everything else on their menu is pretty delicious. Before going totally vegan, I had the pleasure of sampling their veggie tartines and the deadly bread pudding. So good. But certainly a good chef can come up with a meal adequately tasty vegan dish? Just one is all I ask. Maybe Belgians don’t like veggies? 🙂

NV rating: (one heart out of five)


The NerdyVegan rating system

: Vegan option(s) available, not particularly appetizing

: Vegan options are satisfying, if boring, and not numerous

: Tasty basics at fair prices, more than one vegan option

: Several vegan dishes, varied and satisfying

: Innovative, taste-bud dazzling, plentiful vegan fare


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