Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quick Hits: Reports On Bean & Burgundy, Le Comptoir, Cafe Au Lait's Bahn Mi And More

I always love that the local food scene has become robust enough that I can't possibly link to every post.  The HoCo Blogs food page remains the best source because that captures lots of voices, including some profiled in last year's Sun article.  But I like to highlight a few hits along the way:

  • Bean & Burgundy Bread got a favorable report from Elizabeth on The Bare Midriff.  She reported on a hybrid menu that mixes American and Korean dishes, and she liked her lunch.
  • Le Comptoir got a pass from The Two Dudes Who Love Food.  Since I think I'm the "hype" that they mention about the place, I have to note that they didn't have such a great visit.  Their family had a $47 breakfast that they definitely didn't love.  If you want the hype, check out my posts.  We love the joint for sweets and coffee.
  • Kitchen Scribble wrote up meals at two different places -- Cha Ya Asian Asian Bistro in Columbia and Cafe Au Lait in Ellicott City.  The cafe is the local outpost for bahn mi sandwiches.  I wrote about Cafe Au Lait's sandwiches in 2012, and kat ordered a huge selection for a group of people to share.
  • And the folks at Cha Ya keep posting videos on YouTube.  They're pretty interesting -- although I laughed at the video where the chef talked about the wok that he uses.  I'm actually infatuated by the jet engine gas burner that he uses.  How do I get one of those?

On top of those, check out a new food blog with local authors.  Three Beans On A String mostly does recipes -- lots of inspiration of fresh vegetables.  But they're local folks.  Elizabeth talked up a mushroom stroganoff that she had at Great Sage, and the Twitter feed is good to follow for other local food links and ideas.


Anonymous said...

The comments on Le Comptoir are not at all surprising based on my experience. The pastries were tasty, but not worth being made to feel invisible by the staff. When we arrived it was not busy, there were 2 people behind the counter and a customer ahead of us was being helped by one of them (a gal) while the other (a dude) just stood there staring into space.... We stood there waiting of either of them to acknowledge us, even to say they'd be right with us, but nothing. We stood there feeling like we were invisible for about 10 minutes while the kid behind the counter stood pretty much directly in front of us and ignored our existence. Eventually the gal took a moment away from the customer she was helping and told him to help us, which he did. Not sure why he needed to be told, but the whole experience was so far from anything even resembling customer service I find it hard to want to go back. I can only hope that it was the first week and they have since fired that particular person, if I did go back there and saw him behind the counter I'd probably turn around and walk out. If management keeps people like that on staff it says a lot about their attitude toward their customers in general. I loved the grapefruit macarons in particular, but not enough to be made to feel so insignificant in the day of someone standing behind the counter with no interest in working.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment from anonymous. We had the exact same experience a week ago. They've had plenty of time to work out the kinks. Again, we arrived and were completely ignored. The guy behind the counter was clueless. He didn't know how to do anything. The woman started to help us (finally) and then in the middle of getting our order, stopped, and said she had to make coffee. The guy couldn't even ring up the order or correctly put it in the bag. The people working seemed annoyed by having to deal with customers. There were dirty dishes on one of the few tables there, so they hadn't even taken the time to clean those up.

We got a sandwich, quiche and some macarons. The food was just OK. The quiche is served cold which makes it taste like leftovers. The chicken sandwich was ok but nothing to write home about. After spending $39 for 2 people for lunch with mediocre food and poor service, we won't be back.

The macarons were delicious but at $2.00 each, enjoy every bite! I so wanted to love this place, but they need to make some changes.

Steve Fine said...

I too was disappointed with my two visits there.

Anonymous said...

I agree with these comments. I was underwhelmed with the customer service, the prices were high ($5.50 for latte?) and the food was just OK. Not eager to go back.

Steve Fine said...

French Twist, a new place in downtown Sykesville is what Le Comptoir otta be.