The work life of an up-and-coming twenty-something in New York City often falls quite short of glamorous. This is why we go out until all hours of the night on the weekend (and sometimes the weeknights) — we live in the most incredible city in the country, after all, we should enjoy some part of it. But while we’re chained to our cubicles in that 9-5 grind, there is always the bright spot in the day: lunch!
Sometimes it’s a quick run to the pantry for a cup of coffee, but if you’re lucky, if the boss is out on vacation or you’ve actually found yourself at a point in work that you’re not frantically playing catch up from that unexpected wrench thrown in the works, you might have an hour to meet a friend who works conveniently nearby, and have a leisurely lunch at Le Pain Quotidien.
Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ) is a franchise healthy, vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurant. They have almost as many locations in Manhattan (and the world, from Australia to Qatar) as Starbucks, so no matter what friend I might be meeting for brunch or lunch or whatever, it’s always an option. The atmosphere is a little crunchy — but I’d go so far as to call it chic as well. Granola chic, that sounds about right.
Health-conscious, eco-friendly, and delicious. That’s how I’d describe their attitude and their food. One of my favorites is the Turkey tartine, with slices of tomato, avocado, cucumbers, and sprouts. I remember the first time I ordered it — it looked like such little food, and I was starving. So I wolfed it down and before I could finish I was starting to feel a satisfied level of full. Amazing, right? For the vegan there are things like this seaweed salad. Lots of things that are great for you in that.
LPQ isn’t for everyone, it’s true. There are a couple of my friends who groan every time I suggest it — I think they’re of that mindset that if it’s healthy it can’t be that tasty. But, to each his own. I love it. I’m a fan for life.
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