HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What have you made lately?
TELL US

Le Pain Quotidien - Coming to Toronto?

Fwagra Jul 10, 2007 01:40 PM

I heard that a location of this Belgian bakery chain is going to be opened at the York Mills Plaza (York Mills and Bayview). Can anyone confirm?

  1. f
    fickle Jul 10, 2007 02:21 PM

    That would be awesome if one came here. I was at one in Brussels 3 weeks ago and they have fantastic baked goods. Please let us know if anyone hears anything. Thanks!

    1. mrbozo Jul 10, 2007 02:21 PM

      Can't confirm that but I know that Première Moisson (Montreal bakery) goods are available at the Dominion at Crawford and College. Their baguetes knock down the current crop of "Vienna " sticks that are so readily available here.

      8 Replies
      1. re: mrbozo
        Lazar Jul 10, 2007 02:30 PM

        I was wondering if I was cracked....so it was Premiere Moisson goods that I saw....neat

        1. re: Lazar
          f
          foodie_expat Aug 9, 2007 04:46 AM

          Are Première Moisson goods available anywhere else in the GTA?

          1. re: foodie_expat
            t
            tarteaucitron Jan 27, 2008 07:39 PM

            Yes, I've seen them at some other Dominion locations (Front Street/Church, Major Mackenzie/Bayview). So I assume they are at all, or most Dominion's.

            That makes them the *only* bread that I would buy from their store!

            1. re: tarteaucitron
              e
              embee Mar 8, 2008 07:07 AM

              They don't have this bread at most Dominions. They don't even have their own premium "Front St Bakery" line at most of their stores.

              I have tried these breads at the Danforth & Vic Park Dominion, where they do have a display. On one occasion, an olive loaf was one of the best breads I have ever eaten. However, they are typically less than stellar.

              The baguettes didn't live up to this bread's reputation. They were much inferior to Ace baguettes and to the "French flour" baguettes sold at Loblaw's. I'd describe them as, mainly, very hard.

              Most of the loaves (we currently have a walnut loaf) seem past their prime at the time of sale. A shame, really. I don't know whether it's just this location.

              1. re: embee
                jayt90 Mar 27, 2008 08:08 PM

                I've noticed a two day turnover, replacing half the product line each day, and the old ones are sold off at the end of the second day. Some are still OK then, such as walnut or olive.

                1. re: jayt90
                  t
                  tarteaucitron Mar 28, 2008 06:48 PM

                  And that is the best part (the selling off)!

                  I'd sooner eat good quality, stale bread than "fresh from the oven" bread that is inferior.

                  1. re: tarteaucitron
                    estufarian Apr 16, 2008 03:04 PM

                    I'm pretty sure that they are 'flash frozen'. This is the same thing most bakeries (including Ace) do now.
                    if they're stale it's because the stock hasn't moved - not the journey from Montreal.

            2. re: foodie_expat
              a
              allabouttheCHOW Oct 14, 2008 01:06 AM

              saw it at the newly converted Dominion (now Metro, also from Quebec) at bathurst & lawrence the other day.

        2. e
          edibleTO Jul 10, 2007 03:55 PM

          I can confirm that Le Pain Quotidien is definitely opening the first of many locations in Toronto in October. The location at York Mills and Bayview will open first, followed shortly thereafter by a location on Eglinton just west of Avenue Rd., in the location vacated recently by Lucie's Kids Cats & Dogs.

          www.lepainquotidien.com

          9 Replies
          1. re: edibleTO
            Fwagra Jul 10, 2007 07:14 PM

            Thanks, Edible. That's authoritative confirmation if there ever was.

            Now, my next question: is my evergrowing excitement about this justified?

            1. re: Fwagra
              t
              Toronto_Ben Jul 10, 2007 09:57 PM

              It depends - both the food and the atmosphere is great (i've been to locations in Brussels and London), particularly for weekend brunches (I used to love sitting at the communal table on a Sunday with the Sunday Times).

              However, I am a bit surprised by the choice of York Mills/Bayview for the first location in GTA - my impression of the concept would be that it would be located where there would be plenty of pedestrian traffic or an existing "cafe culture" in the neighbourhood (i suppose eglinton / avenue would fit the profile)

              Regardless - good to see them coming to town (just need one to open in my neighbourhood!)

              1. re: Toronto_Ben
                e
                edibleTO Jul 11, 2007 01:55 AM

                Ben, I don't know where you live, but I do know that the owners of Le Pain Quotidien in Canada are scouting out more locations across the GTA, and plan to branch out across Canada.

                1. re: Toronto_Ben
                  TorontoJo Jul 11, 2007 06:09 AM

                  While York Mills/Bayview doesn't have pedestrian traffic, trust me, there is a serious cafe culture of ladies who lunch in that plaza. I am always amazed at how packed that plaza is. The choice is of location is actually pretty savvy -- people with lots of money and plenty of time to spend it.

                  1. re: TorontoJo
                    e
                    erly Jul 11, 2007 07:29 PM

                    We have such poor choices in our area that this will be a very welcome addition.
                    The location will be very successful.
                    I agree with Toronto Jo very saavy.
                    I am really excited to hear this, as it a favorite light lunch place when I am in Brussels.
                    thanks for the information.

              2. re: edibleTO
                m
                magic Aug 8, 2007 08:03 PM

                Where did you hear it is to be located at the former Lucie's, edibleTO? I've searched Le Pain Quotidien's website and there does not seem to be mention of that. Looked for confirmation of it elsewhere but to no avail. Just curious where you found out this info...

                1. re: magic
                  e
                  edibleTO Aug 8, 2007 08:17 PM

                  ...from the owners of Le Pain Quotidien Canada.

                  1. re: edibleTO
                    bonnebouche Aug 28, 2007 02:26 PM

                    Yes! They are opening on Eglinton (between Spadina and Avenue). I just drove by on my way home and saw the signage was up and construction has begun! I am soooo excited as I live a couple of blocks away. When I lived in Brussels, I would go there quite often. I used to pick up a croissant on my way to work at least once a week! Awesome sandwhiches and a warm chevre, walnut and honey salad to die for!! Here's hoping the food tastes just as good as I remember...

                    1. re: bonnebouche
                      g
                      gastronom Aug 29, 2007 10:42 AM

                      don't forget their home made chocolate spread (kicks nuttela's ass...yes you heard it).

              3. g
                gallimucho Aug 29, 2007 07:04 PM

                Yes, they are coming....
                I can't wait, I've been a regular in NYC...

                and their Chocolate Brownie kicks ass... pardon my French

                I will be there every morning, since I live round the corner of their first location...Bayview/ York Mills
                I just saw the banners up today, it is the former Primrose location, stunning pictures

                1. Lazar Aug 31, 2007 09:29 AM

                  Any word on an opening date?

                  1. Lazar Oct 29, 2007 05:58 AM

                    Drove by York Mills and Bayview on the weekend and was surprized to see that the store that was supposed to house Le Pain Quotidien is now for lease.

                    Anyone know what happened? What about the other location that was supposed to go at Eglinton?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Lazar
                      m
                      magic Oct 29, 2007 06:36 AM

                      The Eglinton one is still under construction. I’m not around much but I’ll tell you I’ve never seen construction crews there. I may have missed them, I’m not around during the daytime but so far all that I’ve seen is a boarded up window with their sign saying it is coming soon.

                      1. re: Lazar
                        m
                        millygirl Oct 29, 2007 08:07 AM

                        Don't know but the October Village Post reported that the YM/Bayview location's opening had to be delayed from October to November.

                      2. Lazar Oct 30, 2007 06:50 AM

                        Sometimes curiousity doesn't kill the cat, it just tells the cat what is happening with the opening of the bakery.

                        Ok, that was a bit of a stretch, but I am on my 4th cuppa coffee this morning, so I think I can be forgiven.

                        Anyway, the reason for that enigmatic little half-joke is that I emailed Le Pain Quotidien's Canadian enquiry address this morning and got a response less than an hour later (now that my friends, is service). So for those of you in the Bayview & York Mills area that were hoping for fresh baguette, you are, as the French say, S.O.L. Apparently, they couldn't come to terms with the landlord (that seems to be happening quite a lot these days, n'est pas?)

                        But do not despair. The location at Eglinton West will open, but not until February. The reason being that the remodelling of that location appears to have been a larger undertaking than originally anticipated.

                        As for the now non-location at Bayview & York Mills, they are still looking to open a store in that area, and are currently spying out spots on Bayview south of Eglinton (could this mean that stretch of Bayview from Eglinton to Merton becomes known as rue de la boulangerie? That would be neat...and please, no one correct my French, I know that it sucks the big donkey)

                        LPQ has also assured me that other Toronto locations are in the works....let's wait and see....not sure why I am so jazzed up about this...I haven't even tried their wares yet....must be the coffee....

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Lazar
                          m
                          millygirl Oct 30, 2007 07:44 AM

                          Great sleuthing Lazar!!! Thanks for sharing and please, treat yourself to another cuppa.

                          1. re: Lazar
                            TorontoJo Oct 30, 2007 07:54 AM

                            Thank you and waaaaaah! <insert futile tantrum here> I was so looking forward to having a good little bakery in that plaza. Bayview, south of Eg does NOT need any more bread density. Bayview, north of Eg desperately needs it. Sigh. I guess the only bright side is that the ridiculous traffic in that plaza won't get any worse.

                            1. re: TorontoJo
                              e
                              erly Oct 30, 2007 09:50 AM

                              very disappointed, as I live nearby, and the parking on Bayview is always a problem.
                              York Mills and Bayview is a wasteland of plastic menu restaurants.
                              Would have been a smart move.
                              However they are not really known for their baguettes, and if I am going to drive to Eglinton, I'll head for Rahier.

                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                Fwagra Oct 30, 2007 09:52 AM

                                Thanks for the info, Lazar. Quite disappointing.

                                But... what IS going to go in that space? Something good, for once? Hopefully not another overpriced fruit market. If anyone finds out what may be moving in, let us know. Hope springs eternal.

                                1. re: TorontoJo
                                  k
                                  kevinpatrick Jan 9, 2008 09:08 AM

                                  Marche has a small bakery in that Plaza, non?
                                  The bread's good and reasonable - has it closed down?

                              2. a
                                aweber Nov 12, 2007 07:04 PM

                                Unfortunately the opening of the first “Le pain Quotidien” in Canada has been delayed one more time. Rumor has it that the first store slated to open at the Bayview North York mall at York Mills has been dropped, but the good news is that the one to open at the Eglinton/ Avenue is on track. Canada will have a chance to start enjoying the quality “Le Pain Quotidien” has brought to many parts of the world.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: aweber
                                  y
                                  Yongeman Nov 13, 2007 03:22 AM

                                  This is pretty much the same information that Lazar posted on Oct. 30. Also, I have to agree with an earlier post by magic on Oct. 29 that there is no evident sign of construction at the Eglinton W. location. I drive by twice a day and have never seen a sign of any work there.

                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                    m
                                    magic Nov 13, 2007 10:23 AM

                                    Yup, don't think I've ever seen any sort of construction crew about there. If they are on track with construction, they must be doing everything via a back entrance! Who knows....

                                    1. re: magic
                                      d
                                      diggler Nov 15, 2007 09:56 AM

                                      I live right near there and have never seen anything going on... I hope they eventually open!

                                      1. re: diggler
                                        y
                                        Yongeman Nov 22, 2007 01:02 PM

                                        I drive past the site twice a day. Today, I'm almost sure that the front had been framed off with plywood (I had my eyes on the road more than usual, due to the snow, so I'm not 100% sure that's what I saw)--maybe the work has begun.

                                2. e
                                  embee Nov 22, 2007 06:54 PM

                                  I have been advised that there is construction going on at the Eglinton site (but from the back alley -- not from the sidewalk), and that the restaurant is scheduled to open
                                  just after New Year's. The next location will be in Thornhill.

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: embee
                                    e
                                    EPIcureanTO Jan 7, 2008 07:51 AM

                                    Here's a pic

                                     
                                    1. re: embee
                                      Lazar Jan 7, 2008 01:44 PM

                                      Quick update, 508 Eglinton will be open by early March at the latest (which means it could open sooner, but let's not give ourselves false hope just now). The one in Thornhill should be open by June of this year at Bathurst & Centre. A downtown "flagship" store is also in the works to be opened in the PATH closer to Union Station.

                                      1. re: Lazar
                                        e
                                        EPIcureanTO Jan 27, 2008 11:38 AM

                                        Eglinton update- construction now expanded to the front facade, and I witnessed large grey stones being hauled in, fire brigade style ( by hand, from one person to the next..)

                                        !

                                        1. re: EPIcureanTO
                                          k
                                          kmoore Mar 8, 2008 05:37 AM

                                          any updates? I'm in South Carolina right now...hoping it will be done when I get back!

                                          1. re: kmoore
                                            SherylKirby Mar 8, 2008 12:17 PM

                                            The date announced to the press is March 26th. Possibly a soft opening before that, but official opening is late March.

                                            1. re: SherylKirby
                                              y
                                              Yongeman Mar 26, 2008 03:54 PM

                                              It wasn't open when I drove by yesterday, but haven't checked today.

                                              1. re: Yongeman
                                                f
                                                fickle Mar 26, 2008 05:56 PM

                                                It looked like their opening was tonight, there was 5 spiffy dressed valets in front helping folks out of their cars. Did anyone go and sample their goodies? Can't wait to see if it's comparable to the one I went to in Brussels...

                                                1. re: fickle
                                                  d
                                                  dragonflygrl Mar 27, 2008 11:18 AM

                                                  I attended the opening last night. There weren't as many samples to try as I would have liked. They offered open faced sandwiches, soups, and a few of their tarts. Everything was good, but nothing really blew me away. I especially enjoyed the coffee ganache tarts.
                                                  The public opening is tonight, and after that they will be open regular hours starting April 9.

                                                  1. re: dragonflygrl
                                                    Ediblethoughts Mar 27, 2008 05:56 PM

                                                    Just to confirm--this is 508 Eglinton Ave. W. (i.e. a bit east of the Shopper's Drug Mart)?

                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                      d
                                                      dragonflygrl Mar 27, 2008 06:04 PM

                                                      Yes. It's on the north side of the street, just west of Ferraro.

                                                      1. re: dragonflygrl
                                                        Ediblethoughts Mar 27, 2008 06:05 PM

                                                        Excellent--thanks!

                                            2. re: kmoore
                                              m
                                              mac n cheeze Mar 27, 2008 12:47 PM

                                              I has one right around the corner from me when I lived in NYC
                                              I really enjoyed their open face sandwiches, coffee and apple muffins. Some of the preserves were pretty good as well.

                                              I really missed my Saturday morning newspaper and coffee at LPQ when I moved back to Toronto

                                              1. re: mac n cheeze
                                                w
                                                wontonfm Mar 27, 2008 05:37 PM

                                                I'm in the same boat. I moved back to Toronto from New York about 7 months ago and was used to having 2 LPQs within a 10 minute walk from my work. I was a big fan of their $1 coconut macaroons!

                                                WON
                                                http://whatsonmyplate.wordpress.com

                                      2. JamieK Mar 27, 2008 06:07 PM

                                        +

                                        -----
                                        Le Pain Quotidien
                                        508 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N1A5, CA

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JamieK
                                          e
                                          EPIcureanTO Mar 27, 2008 06:11 PM

                                          Good to know it's ready to open soon- I got excited when I walked by today and saw the new store front...

                                        2. bonnebouche Apr 9, 2008 08:46 AM

                                          Well, LPQ opened to the public today! I was there at 7:45 this morning and the place looks awesome! Spoke with the owner a bit and we talked about the store, my living in Brussels and how excited I was to have a LPQ in my TO neighbourhood! Bought croissant and some rye bread. Bread tastes exactly the same as I remember and I love that they are offering all the same goodies from my stint in Europe (have never been to a LPQ in USA). Apparently the criossants are supposed to be better, per the owner, but frankly I found them to be heavier and not as fantastic. Since criossants are so finicky and change according to the climate, I am going to hope that they weren't at their peak due to the rain and dampness in the air today. I recall their criossants to be light, very flaky and melt in your mouth...but sadly not today! Hours are M-F 7am - 7:30 pm and weekends, 8am - 7:30 pm. Can't wait to eat my way through the menu! R

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: bonnebouche
                                            s
                                            Suresh Apr 9, 2008 08:54 AM

                                            We went for breakfast this morning. Got there just after 8am. It was busy at first with walkins and guests but then died out very quickly (people were coming and going) the owners were very friendly.

                                            We were the only ones to sit for breakfast, had a pain au chocolate (very tasty but a little heavy like you said), the ricotta and fig tartine, and a horde of pastries for the office. Belgian brownie-excellent, savoury cheese muffin-excellent, madeleines-great,slightly sweet, cookies-crunchy and sweet.

                                            The place looks fantastic, it is truly LPQ in every facet. The food is great so far, everyone was friendly. Will visit back soon for a proper sitdown a the long communal table.

                                            1. re: Suresh
                                              d
                                              dragonflygrl Apr 9, 2008 09:26 AM

                                              The criossants are not made on the premisses. They are pre-made, frozen, and shipped in from Europe. They then get finished in the oven at LPQ. I was quite dissapointed when the owner told me this. At least they are all butter.

                                            2. re: bonnebouche
                                              Teep Apr 9, 2008 11:28 AM

                                              Read somewhere that there will be one at Yorkville. Hope it's true and soon!

                                              1. re: Teep
                                                f
                                                fleisch Apr 9, 2008 11:49 AM

                                                The Thornhill location looks like more of a May/June thing.

                                                There was supposed to be a Bagel World in the same plaza (and the "coming soon" sign is still there) but rumour has it they've bailed. I thought What A Bagel opening their resto first, around the cornern, might have been the dealbreaker but it sounds like they quit when they found out LPQ would be a second bakery right next door. I guess they failed to get an exclusivity clause in their lease.

                                                Anyone know anything?

                                                1. re: fleisch
                                                  mrsleny Apr 12, 2008 10:32 PM

                                                  Whereabouts in Thornhill is this?

                                                  Thanks kindly :)

                                                  1. re: mrsleny
                                                    jonnybee Apr 15, 2008 04:03 PM

                                                    In the (soon to be) new plaza on the periphery of the new Walmart at Centre & Bathurst.

                                                  2. re: fleisch
                                                    e
                                                    EB_TO Apr 19, 2008 06:03 PM

                                                    Not sure where you got this info about Bagel World, but they had an ad in the Canadian Jewish News this week wishing their customers a Happy Passover and announcing that they have 2 new locations opening soon: One on Bloor in May, and one at Bathurst and Centre in August. So the Thornhill location is still on.

                                              2. g
                                                GT1 Apr 10, 2008 07:51 AM

                                                There was an article in the Toronto Star the other day about the opening of Le Pain Quotidien: http://www.thestar.com/living/article...

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: GT1
                                                  e
                                                  EPIcureanTO Apr 12, 2008 09:05 AM

                                                  Dropped by for a brioche, coffee and a bagette.

                                                  The only thing that maybe impressed me was the brioche, though I imagine it may taste better warm. The coffee was ok. Had a sampling of some other dessert, which was also just ok..the bread was nothing to write home about, in my mind.

                                                  After reading dragonfly's comments, I can't help but wonder if all the items are also "finished".

                                                  I feel like I'm missing something ..but I was reminded by my other have that it' *is* a chain, after all..

                                                  1. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                    a
                                                    acd123 Apr 12, 2008 10:25 AM

                                                    Went in for a croissant this morning. If the croissants from Pain Perdu are a 9/10 (in my estimation), the croissant at Le Pain Quotiden was a 4/10. Good flavour, but the texture was all wrong. I don't know the first thing about baking, but I've read here before that it may have had something to do with the humidity. Anyway, LPQ may be great for some things, but if the one I had today was any indication, croissants are not their strong point.

                                                    1. re: acd123
                                                      e
                                                      Eveonthego Apr 13, 2008 06:24 AM

                                                      I have to agree with acd123. Tried a croissant this morning. Tastes great but the texture is simply awful. Hopefully, they'll adjust. For now, it's certainly not worth $3 a piece.
                                                      We did try a couple of the tartelettes this week, and they were quite good. Still, it's nice to have a breakfast option in the neighbourhood.

                                                    2. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                      e
                                                      embee Apr 12, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                      If the starter they use is different from that in Europe, the bread would not be the same.

                                                  2. s
                                                    Suresh Apr 14, 2008 12:01 PM

                                                    So I went back to Le Pain on saturday with a friend for a quick coffee and some pastries.
                                                    The place was extremely busy in the afternoon - as suspected since it is the first weekend. The coffee was meh, but I can't help but remember how disappointed i was with the pastries, and I had quite a few.

                                                    pain au chocolat - too tough
                                                    savoury cheese muffin - anything but savoury, the cupcake wrapper was stuck to the muffin, most of it was inedible, tasted old and the top was almost rock hard.
                                                    choco chip cookie - a very hard cookie that tasted like you were biting into sugar cubes

                                                    belgian brownie - just as good as it was the first time and the last time before that when i had it in LA.

                                                    meringue - good

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Suresh
                                                      p
                                                      peppermint pate Apr 14, 2008 03:39 PM

                                                      Thanks for reporting back suresh - I'm bummed to hear about the meh coffee but even more surprised/disappointed to hear all the mediocre reviews on the pastries.

                                                    2. e
                                                      embee Apr 16, 2008 06:48 AM

                                                      This isn't what I was expecting, given all the hype. The consensus seems to be mediocre, expensive pastries and bad coffee. I'm losing my desire to try the place. Clearly, Rahier and other Toronto shops beat them hands down on pastry.

                                                      Can anyone out there comment on the traditional "Poilane" style breads that are the basis of their reputation?

                                                      1. jfranklin Apr 16, 2008 07:07 AM

                                                        This is a real shame to hear... though I will try it for myself.

                                                        Thank you for the heads-up.

                                                        1. t
                                                          torontofoodiegirl Apr 19, 2008 07:16 AM

                                                          I was really hoping that, upon trying PQ, I would disagree with previous posters but, alas, I don't. Went there this morning and tried the pain au chocolat and a low fat vegan banana date muffin.

                                                          The pain au chocolat was a let-down. As other posters have noted, the texture is off. Rather than being light and flaky, as it should be (especially first thing in the morning), it was too dense/heavy/tough. The buttery, chocolatey flavour was nice, however, and it was still an improvement over something you'd get a Starbucks or a similar chain. Not worth a special trip, or $3 though.

                                                          On the other hand, the muffin was quite yummy. The texture of it was also different from your average muffin (more dense and moist) but not in a bad way; perhaps it's the lack of eggs? The flavour was great, and the added bonus was that it was low fat. I don't know if they always have vegan items to offer but, if they do, this might make PQ a good vegan destination.

                                                          Overall, I won't be rushing back. I'm curious about the bread, but I'm not sure I want to spend $12 to find out...

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                                                            e
                                                            embee Apr 19, 2008 11:17 AM

                                                            How small are their loaves? How do they compare in size with, for example, a loaf of something from Epi or Fred's (which cost, on average, around $5)? Unless they are tiny, $12 for a loaf of bread doesn't seem disproportionate to a $3 pain au chocolat.

                                                            1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                                                              t
                                                              torontofoodiegirl May 4, 2008 03:44 PM

                                                              Tried LPQ again yesterday morning. The organic blueberry muffin was nothing to write home about. The blueberries were quite dry and dessicated (not plump and moist at all, as they should be) and the muffin was too dense and dry (though not stale), IMO. Also tried the brioche. It had a pleasant, buttery flavour, but lacked a certain je ne sais quoi (I must concede, however, that I'm no brioche expert so perhaps I'm not a good judge).

                                                              The $12 bread, by the way, is fairly big but not extraordinarily big - I can't imagine it being good enough to warrant that kind of cash outlay.

                                                              1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                                                                y
                                                                Yongeman May 4, 2008 04:00 PM

                                                                This whole thread sounds like an example of too much hype. People who had tried it previously had been immersed in the whole feel of the country in which they discovered LPQ. I'm sure that had a good deal to do with their positive impressions.

                                                            2. t
                                                              tarteaucitron Apr 19, 2008 10:02 AM

                                                              Thanks everyone for reporting!

                                                              Disappointed to hear about the "finishing" concept of their products and I guess I'll wait out a bit 'til the dust settles before paying a visit.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: tarteaucitron
                                                                k
                                                                kasey j miller Apr 21, 2008 08:41 AM

                                                                Has anyone tried any of their lunch items? Salads, sandwiches, etc?

                                                                1. re: kasey j miller
                                                                  sgogo Apr 21, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                                  I had the fig and ricotta tartine, decent enough I guess, but eveything's just a little pricier than it really needs to be. Also the service was kind of brutal, but that was just my server, the others I noticed seemed fairly competent and friendly.

                                                              2. Googs May 4, 2008 07:47 AM

                                                                This may be a first. The Hounds and Joanne Kates agree.
                                                                http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servle...

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: Googs
                                                                  mrbozo May 4, 2008 07:55 AM

                                                                  "If you want it, here it is, come and get it
                                                                  But you better hurry because it's going fast"

                                                                  There are better, cheaper options available in town, perhaps lacking the cachet ...

                                                                  1. re: Googs
                                                                    Ediblethoughts May 4, 2008 12:12 PM

                                                                    The only things I tried when I was there were the espresso tart and the chocolate brownie---and my opinion on them exactly echoes JK's.

                                                                    1. re: Googs
                                                                      y
                                                                      Yongeman May 4, 2008 04:04 PM

                                                                      That was scathing--thanks for posting it Googs. I enjoyed JK's final closure: "Le Pain Quotidien is McDonald's with a French accent." Drole.

                                                                      1. re: Googs
                                                                        e
                                                                        EPIcureanTO May 5, 2008 07:26 AM

                                                                        and so does village post -! (Bruce Geddes)

                                                                        "...yes maybe the the majority of the people that live and work around this location those planned aren't the kind to second-guess an overpriced sandwich or salad. That doesn't mean they want to be taken for suckers."

                                                                        ouch.

                                                                        1. re: Googs
                                                                          e
                                                                          Eveonthego May 5, 2008 07:27 AM

                                                                          Perhaps people go back because there are few other options on Eglinton that can pass for breakfast or casual lunch.

                                                                          When I was there a waitress told me they were hoping to open soon in Montreal. If not in Toronto, maybe they'll crash and burn there.

                                                                          It's unfortunate that the only thing not lacking at LPQ is ambition!

                                                                        2. s
                                                                          snoobie May 4, 2008 02:44 PM

                                                                          I went to Le Pain Quotidien for lunch. The waitress recommended the curry chicken sandwich. What a disappointment. Could not find the chicken. The curry powder tasted raw like it had never been roasted. Won't go back.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: snoobie
                                                                            s
                                                                            Suresh May 5, 2008 06:39 AM

                                                                            Yeah I think I've had the last of LPQ as well.

                                                                            Saturday, I went for some pastries. We tried a variety of items again, and everything we tried was disappointing. From brioche, to muffins, to tarts and brownies.

                                                                            I don't *want* to go back again, it has ruined my previous memories of LPQ.

                                                                          2. f
                                                                            fooderette May 5, 2008 02:56 PM

                                                                            I actually happened to go in last weekend to grab something quickly and quick is not in their vocabulary. I was drawn in by the smell of coffee and pastries and ordered a coffee and croissant to go. Coffee took forever and they asked me about 3 times what I wanted again. I'm a patient person but I was ready to go behind the counter and get the croissant myself. The coffee though was really good, odd aftertaste but I got used to it and it wasn't unpleasant, just not used to it. Anyhow if you are in a rush don't go there. But can't comment on anything else, looked really nice.

                                                                            1. dangoodbaum May 8, 2008 03:58 PM

                                                                              went to pain with my mom and grandmother - everything sounds really good in practice, but the food shows a lack of attention to flavor balance and ingredients.
                                                                              all the sandwiches are served open-faced, we got the ricotta with honey, fig and black pepper, and the tuna with olive tapenade and sundried tomato.
                                                                              ricotta - flavorless cream cheese texture, with a decent honey, but tiny pieces of dry fig.
                                                                              tuna - low quality unseasoned canned tuna served with tiny squirts of mild tapenade.

                                                                              the cobb salad was decent, though it looked like the chicken breast was some kind of cheap prebought kind.

                                                                              1. s
                                                                                Snarf May 9, 2008 12:17 PM

                                                                                It has all the elements of success. Very pretty room, very presentable products, very healthy margins, and a good reputation. If I had a spare half mill lying around, I'd want to open one.

                                                                                But I wouldn't be a customer. The desserts don't astound, and are far below the standards of other patisseries in the area (Rahier, Jules, La Cicogne). The breads are decent, but again, don't match the local artisans.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Snarf
                                                                                  s
                                                                                  Sweetee May 18, 2008 10:40 AM

                                                                                  Agree with you snarf, the desserts are good but not astounding even if it claims to be organic!!!, much prefer Rahier and La Cicogne. Coffee!? Nah, forget it. Nice place though, but a little noisy.

                                                                                  1. re: Sweetee
                                                                                    c
                                                                                    czthemmnt Jul 4, 2008 12:53 PM

                                                                                    Well it appears that Le Pain is coming to the corner of Yonge & Scollard (south of Davenport), next door to the crepe cafe. The signs are all over the windows.

                                                                                    1. re: czthemmnt
                                                                                      c
                                                                                      CIRCLES_SQ Jul 4, 2008 08:17 PM

                                                                                      Yonge & Yorkville.

                                                                                      1. re: CIRCLES_SQ
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        czthemmnt Jul 5, 2008 04:39 PM

                                                                                        Thanks, Circles- on the way home last night I realized I got the name of the street wrong. It is Yonge & Yorkville.

                                                                                2. e
                                                                                  eatereater123 Oct 9, 2008 08:46 AM

                                                                                  Has anyone tried the Royal York Plaza locations yet? Apparently they opened last week?

                                                                                  1. a
                                                                                    A flock of seagulls Oct 13, 2008 02:07 PM

                                                                                    I tried the Royal Bank Plaza location last week. Had the Ham/Gruyere sandwich and had trouble finding either on the sandwich. I love crusty bread but the razor sharp edges cut the inside of my cheek to ribbons. The order taker behind the counter was one of the top 5 WORST "service" person I have encountered in Toronto. I told him I was trying to decide between two different sandwiches and he just stood there with his mouth hanging open. I picked up a menu and said "Oh you have soup here?" He looked at me for a few seconds before coming up with "yeah". I just rolled my eyes and then another server jumped in with some actual information. This exchange would be acceptable if I just paid $3 for an egg salad at coffee time but my coffee and sandwich were $11. Two words for le Pain - Buh and Bye.

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: A flock of seagulls
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      Sweetee Feb 25, 2009 08:02 AM

                                                                                      Le Pain Quotidien walked out of their Royal Bank Plaza location. The landlords (Oxford Properties) put up a notice saying they are in breach of their tenant contract. Sign of things to come? That spells "FAILURE" !!!???

                                                                                      1. re: Sweetee
                                                                                        MiniMom Feb 27, 2009 09:24 AM

                                                                                        I noticed earlier this week the upstairs location at 430pm seemed kind of abandonded. Discovered both gone.. and the new renos at RBC plaza seemed based around that anchor tenant... but for the prices im not surprised. Like the little gourmet sandwich shop that was where TD Starbucks is in their new food court. Just could not sustain the prices vs the rent. Too bad i loved their coffee and pastries. But that upstairs location nothing has ever survived there, donught shop, chocolate shop and now the sandwich shop.

                                                                                        1. re: MiniMom
                                                                                          Squeakycheese Apr 12, 2009 08:46 AM

                                                                                          Have the other LPQ's in Toronto closed too?

                                                                                          1. re: Squeakycheese
                                                                                            t
                                                                                            Tatai Apr 12, 2009 10:50 AM

                                                                                            The Eglinton/Avenue Rd. location and Yonge/Yorkville Ave. locations are still open.

                                                                                            1. re: Tatai
                                                                                              flying101 Apr 12, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                                                              I believe there is one location opening up in the plaza next to the Wal-Mart @ Bathurst and Center in Thornhill...
                                                                                              Can confirm this later in the week.

                                                                                              1. re: flying101
                                                                                                p
                                                                                                Pizza Lover Apr 12, 2009 01:05 PM

                                                                                                All signs of the LPQ have been gone from the Centre/bathurst st. location for quite some time now - it sure looks like it is no more.

                                                                                                1. re: flying101
                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                  Tatai Apr 12, 2009 03:56 PM

                                                                                                  This location of LPQ will definitely not be opening.

                                                                                                  1. re: Tatai
                                                                                                    e
                                                                                                    EB_TO Jul 20, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                                                                    I did notice that all the signs of LPQ in that Bathurst/Centre SmartCentre were totally gone. I wonder what went wrong there.

                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                        pomelo Apr 12, 2009 12:25 PM

                                                                                        Perhaps I am easily amused, but I had a great experience at LPQ in Yorkville. A friend and I walked in close to closing time (unintentionally) but staff was accomodating and gracious. Service was quick. A warm, relaxing atmosphere. The Belgian brownie was fabulous, as was the hot chocolate that came in a bowl.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: pomelo
                                                                                          Squeakycheese Apr 12, 2009 04:45 PM

                                                                                          Yes, I went to the Royal Bank Plaza one a couple of times, they were really nice but they were charging $10+ for a ham and swiss cheese baguette (which was awesome, by the way, the best sandwich I've had in TO) and a can of pop. So I guess their economics didn't make it. Pity, but I'm glad they are still around elsewhere.

                                                                                          1. re: Squeakycheese
                                                                                            e
                                                                                            eatereater123 Apr 15, 2009 12:10 PM

                                                                                            I never saw the RB location full except once a few weeks after opening. Why? I think that the size of space, and location (basement, no windows) given the prices of the food is hard to justify in this economy. If you head to any of the nearby competitors (including Sandwich Box), you'll see that you get twice the food at half the PQ price.
                                                                                            Had they been located on the street like Mercatto or with a patio like Duke of whatever, it would have been a homerun.
                                                                                            Too bad. The food and service were both excellent for a nice lunch.

                                                                                        2. t
                                                                                          teffubs wife Jun 1, 2009 05:24 PM

                                                                                          I was super excited to try Le Pain Quotidien when it opened (Eglinton location)..I was surprised at the pricing, I thought it was extremely expensive, but I thought it would be worth the money. Unfortunately not, I was so dissappointed - my tuna sandwich was dry, tasteless and to top it off, the bread was stale.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: teffubs wife
                                                                                            Ginsugirl Jun 1, 2009 05:36 PM

                                                                                            If you want an over-priced sandwich on stale bread, you may as well go to the cafe at Holt Renfrew

                                                                                            1. re: Ginsugirl
                                                                                              estufarian Jun 1, 2009 06:28 PM

                                                                                              I've NEVER had stale bread at Holt's cafe. Indeed they have a bread pudding on the menu - which is where the stale bread is used.
                                                                                              Now, whether the UNSTALE sandwiches are worth it is another matter. It's not cheap, but the accompanying salad is also one of my faves.

                                                                                              1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                a
                                                                                                artificialard Jun 1, 2009 10:55 PM

                                                                                                Agreed with estufarian. Have had to go there many a business lunches and *still* don't understand the big deal about the vaunted bread. It tastes completely unremarkable but not at all stale, just like any standard loaf from Loblaws.

                                                                                                I do enjoy the fennel in that house salad.

                                                                                          2. Ediblethoughts Jun 4, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                                                            We tried out LPQ today for breakfast. I intended to go to Green Eggplant but the posted hours were wrong (it said 9am but it really opens at 11am) so we went to the closest place. I was not feeling optimistic given the CH comments I've read but overall I'll say not bad with some good points and some bad but overall, too expensive.

                                                                                            The pain chocolate was OK---definitely had many that were much better but it was found acceptable by the person who ate it (who really isn't into comparing different pains). Scrambled eggs (not on menu but available when we asked) were found to be quite good. The toast wasn't toasted but the bread was fine (certainly not worth those huge prices of their baked breads but then I wasn't expecting they would be). The side of chorizo was found to be good by one of our party and not good at all by the other two. And way overpriced with about 6 of 7 little links of it for $6. The raspberry ricotta coffee cake was dreadfully dry and mindlessly sweet. The French toast was found to be good (I didn't try it so can't comment). And I personally loved the apricot jam at the table---nice touch having a hazelnut spread and two jams at the table. The mochachino was actually not that bad; two of the three diners found the coffee good but I wasn't as impressed. And the smoked salmon and green onion omelet was OK I guess. Smoked salmon in it was good but it wasn't cohesive the way I like an egg dish to be---the salmon was sitting on top of the eggs. I will say though the service was very friendly and helpful. Will I go again? Probably not. But an OK brunch experience.

                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                                                              e
                                                                                              EPIcureanTO Jan 5, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                                                              Eglinton W location now closed.

                                                                                              1. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                                                                w
                                                                                                wontonfm Jan 5, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                                                As is the Yonge/Bloor location. Looks like the chain is dunzo here.

                                                                                                WON
                                                                                                http://whatsonmyplate.net

                                                                                                1. re: wontonfm
                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                  TexSquared Jan 5, 2011 07:46 PM

                                                                                                  In this town, kind of hard to compete against 1-Tim Horton's 2-Starbucks, too many die-hard loyalists who won't go anywhere else. Doesn't matter if your concept is successful everywhere else in the world, you'll be leaving this country with your tail between your legs. Krispy Kreme is another example.

                                                                                                  1. re: wontonfm
                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                    peppermint pate Jan 6, 2011 06:18 AM

                                                                                                    Really - the one at Yonge and Yorkville? That location was always quite busy. The food was never stellar (pastries were awful) but it was decent and actually a very pretty space for a relaxing, kid-friendly brekkie.

                                                                                                    1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                                      GoodGravy Jan 6, 2011 06:23 AM

                                                                                                      That's too bad. LPQ in NYC is actually pretty good if a bit expensive.

                                                                                                      1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                        peppermint pate Jan 6, 2011 06:36 AM

                                                                                                        Yeah, it never took hold here like it did in New York. It was generally - and not incorrectly - seen to be an exercise in overpriced mediocrity here but as I said in my earlier post, the Yorkville outpost certainly provided a number of enjoyable breakfasts for our family.

                                                                                                        1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                                          GoodGravy Jan 6, 2011 06:59 AM

                                                                                                          Yeah, if the quality's not there, I wouldn't support it either based solely on their reputation somewhere else. But there is a lack of good local bakeries nowadays so I was hoping LPQ would do well. But if the product's not worth buying, then it would seem they don't understand the fundamentals of business.

                                                                                                  2. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                                                                    Ediblethoughts Jan 5, 2011 06:39 PM

                                                                                                    Hadn't been back since my post in June 2009; I am overall not surprised it couldn't compete; any idea what's going to take over that space?

                                                                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                      acd123 Jan 6, 2011 04:20 AM

                                                                                                      Southern BBQ?

                                                                                                      1. re: acd123
                                                                                                        Ediblethoughts Jan 6, 2011 05:55 PM

                                                                                                        Oh, I see. Thanks.

                                                                                                      2. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                                                                        n
                                                                                                        NegativeSleep Jan 7, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                                                                        I spoke to the owner of Crepes A Go Go next door, and she mentioned that there were plans to expand into the former LPQ space. I neglected to ask if they'll be incorporating that corner into the current restaurant or simply moving over.

                                                                                                        1. re: NegativeSleep
                                                                                                          o
                                                                                                          ospreycove Jan 7, 2011 12:02 PM

                                                                                                          I went to the Le Pain Quotidien in Bethesda, (D.C. area), and was UNDERWHELMED at best. Without going into detail, nothing was outstanding or even good.

                                                                                                          1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                            hal2010 Jan 7, 2011 01:12 PM

                                                                                                            Funny that. I went to the one on Capitol Hill over Christmas. The baguette was waaaay overbaked and the hazelnut sticks were tough.

                                                                                                            1. re: hal2010
                                                                                                              o
                                                                                                              ospreycove Jan 7, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                                                              hal, and what's with the extra hot Cappuccino, (the way I like it) in the mini soup bowls with no handles? Never see that in Italia. I think this is a case of trying way to hard to be cutting edge.

                                                                                                  Show Hidden Posts