On weekend and vacation mornings, I really enjoy relaxing with a cup of coffee and the newspaper, and have a nice sweet breakfast, such as pancakes, waffles, or maybe a sweetroll or something. Unfortunately, this sort of thing can be a little difficult when you happen to be in New York City. Luckily, about 18 months ago my sister-in-law introduced me to Le Pain Quotidien (“The Daily Bread”).
The first thing that impresses you upon entering LPQ is the aesthetic. The walls are rustically colored, and the tables and trim are made from recycled wood, with a large communal table set in the middle of the room (if you have a smaller party and there is space for you, they’ll recommend you sit at the communal table with other diners). They have a lot of other quaint details, such as softly colored glass panels, pendant lights, and such, making for a very relaxing environment to enjoy coffee and perhaps a light meal. Since we had just finished our Pizza Tour (see the previous entry), this was just the sort of thing we needed.
Carol and I both opted for lattes, which were served up perfectly in small drinking bowls with just the right balance between a good coffee blend and lightly frothed milk. Carol’s breakfast order was the a parfait, which features thick layers of not-too-sweet yogurt mixed with some very fresh and flavorful fruit. I instead opted for the waffle. Since LPQ is a Belgian chain, I wasn’t disappointed, my waffle was perfectly done in Belgian style, using yeasted batter, lots of sugar, and a large waffle iron to give a nice crispy exterior around a soft and malty interior (I’d do these myself more often at home if I could remember to make a yeasted waffle batter the night before). I think for both of us, LPQ delivered, and delivered well. It’s certainly one of the few coffee chains I think I regularly enjoy when I go there.
Le Pain Quotidien
70 W 40th St
(between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY
(Plus a gazillion other locations in five states and 15 countries)