Saturday, July 27, 2013

Balthazar Boulangerie: Ice my life

So in step with the French theme of the week, I was in Covent Garden (more on this later). I had only 30 minutes before the show I was about to watch at the Royal Opera House would start and I was starving (growling during performance art is not a good situation). 

So I dropped in to Balthazar Boulangerie (I thought for a second about going to the Starbucks next door - bc I had this idea that it would be quicker and easier and I could for sure get a soy-ice-latte - sometimes the mind really does not know what's best for you, but luckily my senses got the better of me so at the crucial moment I went left instead of right - also this is a great allusion for many other things in my life, but more on that another day) 

The point is, I went to Balthazar Boulangerie. There was a pretty long line, that was moving painstakingly slow, for a reason, because here is an actual example of things actual people actually say once they get around to ordering at BB: I don't eat noodles, can I substitute for quinoa? (This nugget come from a 60 year old man who was with his obviously mortified son!) (also imagine going into an actual French Boulangerie and asking for quinoa?!) (also turns out there are no noodles at Balthazar - it was just slaw!) (also this is what happens when you take the best of French (bread) and best of American (customer service)!) 

So when I got around to ordering, the staff was super friendly and totally accommodating. Kind of to my surprise (but in retrospect I should not have been surprised because: This is Ameica, right!) they were still serving coffee after 7pm. So I got my soy-ice-latte to go. Woohoo!

Also while waiting, I had set my eyes on their rare roast beef and celeriac remoulded on rosemary focaccia sandwich, which I also got to go. 

Note: the place is pretty small and most of it is taken up by the line. So there isn't really an option to stay and eat in. At least not on a Friday night. 

The sandwich was good. Particularly the celeriac remoulded was a treat as it added that bite to what can otherwise be a bit gross (I mostly don't really like remoulade). The beef was tender (like only in retrospect am I thinking about how chewy roast beef can be and this totally was not; it was an effortless chewy experience). Also the focaccia was really good. 

Power dinner: Sandwich and ice-coffee to go

I think it sort of left me at that. I think generally it is awesome to have a quality Starbucks alternative for your pre performance snack. It is great to get a good brew after 7 anywhere. But I wasn't overwhelmed with delicousness. It all felt a bit overproduced (by which I do not mean that it was mass produced but more that it felt overconceptualised - like Disneyland - only Disneyland is awesome!) 

I would go back if I find myself in the same situation again, but I would also keep looking for other options, and I would probably try something else (not bc the roast sandwich was bad, but because unless its amazingly good I like trying new things.) 

Overproduced Boulangerie:

Also I would like to note that I have noted how many times I have gotten things to go and eaten standing, or at my desk or in a park - this is a theme of my life and it shall continue. 

Balthazar Boulangerie on Urbanspoon

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