Never has plain old bread and a cup of joe tasted so good. No wonder Le Pain Quotidien is so popular — the food is simple and delicious enough to stand on its own. And usually, your Wonkette doesn’t buy the whole organic hoo-ha, but LPQ really makes it work. [This is the last review from our Malaka Gharib! Wish her luck with her new “real” job. — Ed.]

LPQ is an international bakery chain based in Belgium, and they’ve got restaurants in random places, including Turkey, Bahrain and Russia, and there’s a handful of them here in DC. But they’ve only got one motive, and that’s to bring delicious bread to the masses.

Besides tarts, croissants, pastries and the usual items you’d see at any European bakery, there’s a great selection of cafe food: tartines (which means “sandwiches” — that took us a second to figure out, too), salad, soup, omelets and dessert. LPQ also sells their top-quality condiments, too, so if you fell in love with the jam or the mustard, you can take some home with you (it’s a tad pricey, but tasty).

On to the food! The soft-boiled egg plate was such a dream: two eggssurrounded with different kinds of beautiful organic breads, with plenty of chunky apricot and raspberry jam and salty butter for spreading. The omelet was fluffy and had the perfect amount of salty, soft goat cheese and asparagus folded into it.

A lot of people seemed to be ordering the Atlantic smoked salmon tartine with dill and scallions, so if you’re in a sandwich mood when you go there, be sure to get that.

The only bad part was the service — it was atrocious. OK, so the place was busy and there was a line out the door, but it took the waitress about 10 minutes to give us a menu. And then we had to ask the busboy for a cup of coffee.

Another complaint about LPQ is that the portions are fairly small for the price you’re paying, but really, how is that different from eating out at like, Jaleo or CoCo Sala or any other restaurant in DC?

Le Pain Quotidien, 2815 M St NW, Washington DC, (202) 315-5420.

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  1. Awww. Goodbye & good luck, Malaka.

    I’ve been to the LPQ in Geneva, btw, and the brunch was so great I came back the next day for more. A tad pricey but still great.

  2. Bye Malaka, and best wishes. And be sure to give Matt Cooper a swift kick in the ass if you see him stuffing his face anywhere around town. Although he looks like a Denny’s kinda guy, so you probably won’t.

  3. All the best to you Malaka, at you new gig!

    Sotto voce: pssst! I know you are starting a new Wonkette offshoot, Undercover Wonkette, for which our Wonkette wears a smashing Ilsa Lund fedora above ER Murrow’s trench coat. First feature will check out the rumor that someone somewhere is getting a paycheck-included kinda job. Mum’s the word, wink wink (no nudges).

  4. bestest, malaka!
    ditto on the service.. i sat there waiting 45 minutes for AVOCADO on BREAD.. i eventually walked out when i realized i was about to pay 12 bucks for a 3″ sammich..

  5. [re=283828]wheelie[/re]: You were in Geneva, home to some pretty incredible food in its own right, and had brunch at a chain restaurant you can find in DC, TWICE!? How “Stereotypical American Tourist” of you

    I’m glad you only focused on the GTown one and not the other one, we don’t need anymore Virginians taking up tables on weekends.

  6. [re=284100]Rukasu[/re]: My dear Rukasu, As a European, I do not rate Geneva as an especially good city to dine out in. I’ve had better evening meals in a score of other European cities in the last 5 years. Menus were typically overpriced and dated. And for brunch, LPQ was the best I could locate. But I will defer to your wisdom – be sure to get back to me with your top 5 brunch venues in Geneva immediately.

    Fuck you, is what I’m trying to say here.

  7. Considering brunch is a largely Uk/US phenomena, and you being a European and all and knowing these things, I wouldn’t expect Geneva to have many “brunch” choices. And LPQ is not overpriced? I’d suggest waking up earlier and getting breakfast or just saying fuck it and getting lunch next time.

    So fuck you right back.

  8. Yikes, that was a poor comeback; hardly worth the endeavour. Re: expense, I said [re=283828]earlier[/re] that it is pricey. (18 euro is about 6 over the average, I reckon.) But I did like the food. Most of the produce was sourced locally.

    Your DC branch may be shitty; I can’t vouch for that. But I enjoyed the Geneva outlet. As I say, I found the food in Geneva to be rather unexceptional; but then Geneva is a provincial outpost, for all its vouched international cachet. Perhaps your intimate knowledge of that city tells you different xox

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