Ok, maybe I was a little harsh.

I’m re-reading my vicious post about Au Bon pain and now I’m thinking I was a little harsh. I mean, what if the president of Au Bon Pain reads my blog and tomorrow morning he sees that post and kills himself? How bad would I feel?

The truth is I haven’t been in a long time. And maybe I’m remembering it wrongly; maybe I’m mushing together my memory of bad airport Au Bon Pain with semi-decent non-airport Au Bon Pain? Did I once have a semi-decent sandwich there? It’s possible right?


20 thoughts on “Ok, maybe I was a little harsh.”

  1. you sounded like you are in a bad mood. anything else other than au bon pain causing you irritated?

    I am usually that way, if i am mad at something but for some reason I couldn’t act mad about it. I will take it out somewhere else… not sure if you are on the same boat, but stay cool~


  3. i think au bon pain, in its inception, was actually kind of original and good. i used to love the turkey and havarti sandwiches. however, since then it’s gone steadily downhill, becoming generic and pedestrian, and now i never eat there.

    too bad, really.

  4. http://randallpmcmurphy.blogspot.com

    I believe it falls into the same hatred of Pret-A-Manger too…If you REALLY think about it, why even have employees? Just put the boxed crap in a machine, because that is what it tastes like.

    I’d rather gorge on Wendy’s and feel a little bad about it immediately afterwards, than pick up a slimy ham or turkey sandwich from Au Bon Pan and regret it for days….

  5. Thought I’d mix things up a bit last month and grab my salad at Au Bon Pain instead of at the deli across the street.

    I was so looking forward to lunch that day and to say that I was extremely disappointed is an understatement. It was a salad bar suckfest and though I should have just walked away I tried to have some faith and give it a go….

    I have not been back. I don’t think you’re out of line at all! Maybe it started out as a decent concept and then they got lazy?

    Let au bon pain be a warning to us all: This is what happens when people and companies get comfortable and stagnant instead of striving to re-imagine, reinvent and grow!

  6. harrison powers

    you should really give their soups a try. italian wedding, split pea, and clam chowder are really good with a little salt.

    somehow abp has gained the interest of new hospitals, replacing their cafeterias. i don’t think this is a bad thing, rather i was very happy to be able to get decent food 24/7 at the hospital while visiting my brother recently. soup. good for the soul. definitely cheered my up a little.

  7. The first time I ate Au Bon Pain was in an airport. It was one of the best sandwiches ever. I don’t mean just in an airport, I mean EVER. I can still remember the crunchy-sweet bread, the spicy dijon and the crisp cold veggies. Perfect.

    And since then, it’s never been the same. Not even close. Who knows why? I sure don’t.

  8. I actually have fond memories of Au Bon Pain from way back when – I was living in Boston and would swing through the place on my way to work, to grab a chilled cup of fresh-squeezed OJ. That being said, I haven’t stepped foot in an Au Bon Pain in probably close to 10 years. It wouldn’t surprise me if I was disappointed upon my return – why is it that good things seem to suffer over time – is it simply a case of cosmic entropy?

  9. I just read your Au Bon pain post and I did think it was oddly harsh. It really sounded like there was some underlining thing happening, like you were cheated out of bread when in line or someone konked you on the head and forced you to eat Au Bon pain and you were bitter about the experience. ;-)

    There are a lot of food places out there that are bad. I generally avoid them, and I avoid blogging about them. The only time I would subject myself to something bad is if it’s a place that for some reason everyone loves to go and are raving about it and I have to be the voice of reason and say it ain’t so.

    But when a place is bad, and has a reputation for being bad, I think blogging about hating it is kind of like beating a dead horse. What really is the point?

  10. I’m pretty sure the president of Au Bon Pain has enough grit to withstand the faux criticism of a whiny food blogger.

  11. No, you weren’t too harsh. Au Bon Pain is bad. More offensive, it’s over-priced. You can’t be too harsh on bad, over-priced food.

  12. Kinda harsh. It is overpriced, but at their regular locations you can get a sandwich made to order. No the ingredients do not match the price tag, but better that then crap like “Potbelly”. I was usually disappointed when I ate there, but no need for hate.

  13. I wouldn’t worry about it. Au Bon Pain will survive, I’m sure. I’ve never eaten there for lunch, but during a recent conference in Boston, I ate breakfast at an Au Bon Pain nearly every morning. Fresh(ish) fruit, a whole grain bagel, and coffee with just a hint of hazelnut and chicory.

    Obviously, they do just fine if they don’t have to cook anything :)

  14. oops, i commented that i once liked au bon pain but i was ACTUALLY remembering BOUDIN.

    my bad — and yeah, au bon pain? BAD JUJU.

  15. Adam,

    I don’t think you were being too harsh. ABP is bad. Way back when (in the late 90s), it was good and I recall enjoying the sandwiches and soups (although my palate has improved since then so maybe it sucked backed then too). I disagree with R.P. about Prêt-A-Manager. I was initially skeptical, however, I’ve had good experiences with their sandwiches (I had a pretty good chicken, avocado and arugula sandwich last week). I always prefer to make my own food, but in a crunch I think Pret-A-Manager is a decent choice and better than ABP.

  16. Adam

    Not too worry. At work we now call it au bon rat. When it opened next to Radio City in NYC it was a great place for lunch. They had fresh food, creative and helpful service. They reorgainized a year later and opened a quick self service place and cut 3/4 of the staff. Then we saw started seeing the Rats enjoying lunch with us.

    Le Bonn Soup suddenly looked so much better…

    Sometimes harsh means honest in your friendly voice.

    Down with all bad airport food stands!

  17. Not too harsh. Perhaps you have some unrecalled, far off memories of Au Bon Pain when, as some readers have commented, it used to be kindof good. I have one of these far off memories. From where I’m not sure. But every time I see (and do not patronize) one in an airport I think to myself, “Didn’t ABP used to be kindof good? And now they’re really airport food? Which is as bad as airplane food is now?”

  18. I like APB’s sandwiches, but their soups are bland. Overall, the food is good, just overpriced. At least include a petite bag of chips with the price of the sandwich!!

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