Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'll Scoop You: Le Pain Quotidien on Walnut Street opening January 17 [or is it?]

Normally we're not newshounds here at I'll Eat You, but today I stumbled into a scoop. So, Item! The Philadelphia outpost of Le Pain Quotidien, the Belgian chain of ritzy bakeries, is slated to open next Monday, January 17. Pictured above is a pain au raisin that was scored by popping in during the training sessions that are currently happening in the spot on Walnut between Broad and 15th. We found it nice and flaky, with great flavor, though a slightly wetter texture than we would expect out of the iconic pastry. Still, this should be a fine addition to the neighborhood and I look forward to trying out the rest of their menu. Between this and the recently-opened Chipotle down the block, hey, if we're going to have chains in Center City, we might as well have some quality ones.

UPDATE [1/17 8:25 AM]: Looks like we might have gotten punked by the lady we talked to! Walked by just now and the "training in progress" sign is still up. There's still a chance it will open today, but according to Foobooz it could also be later this week.

UPDATE 2 [9:45 AM]: They are indeed open ... and everything is free! Just stopped in to check it out. The space is rustic and inviting, with lots of exposed brick behind the counters, a large main dining area, and a more secluded area off to the side with one large table and a few smaller ones. Scored a pain au chocolat, which had a dynamite texture and structure, even if it was a little sparse on the chocolate. Strangely, no straight almond croissants! Here are some pix:

UPDATE 3 [12:20 PM]: Show's over, Shakespeare ... LPQ has closed its doors for now and it looks like the big giveaway is over.

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