Oh Bun Pain!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: MB
Date: May 19, 2006 3:09 PM
Subject: lunchtime ick!
To: feedback@aubonpain.com

Washington, DC
May 19, 2006

Dear ABP,

I’m a frequent lunchtime patron to your caf

s here in the nation’s capital, eating there 2-3 times per week. I’m just back from one such visit, which can only be described in one word: yuck!

MB’s disgusting email continues, after the jump…


    “Here’s what $9.97 just bought me at your 19th & M Street location in Washington, DC:

    1 medium cup (only 2/3 filled) of lukewarm chicken noodle soup. The bits of chicken were actually cold (icy, even — do you guys freeze it?). Had three spoon-fulls and tossed it in the garbage.

    1 Southwest Tuna Wrap, overflowing — literally — with chili-dijon spread. Thinking about it makes me want to gag. The “lahvash wrap” tasted like cardboard and was beyond stale. The whole sandwich fell apart on my plate, leaving just a disgusting mess that was quickly tossed in the garbage (luckily, it was close by since that’s where all
    my food was heading.)

    1 Diet Coke medium fountain soda. Hoping to wash this disaster of a meal down, or at least get the taste out of my mouth, this drink was much needed. Unfortunately, it was flat and didn’t taste anything like Coke should. Couldn’t believe this got screwed up also.

    When all was said and done, my $10 meal was tossed in the trash. I’d thought about handing it off to the bum begging for change at the door, but decided I’d spare him the same fate.

    After this experience, which is being related to my office co-workers, I’m not sure I’ll be stopping by an au bon pain any time soon. There are just far too much lunch options here for me — which is a shame, because usually I’m a big fan of yours …

    MB “


Edit Your Comment

  1. Better ABP story –

    My friend was once waiting in line for some breakfast at an ABP and the girl behind the counter spilt a guy’s coffee all over him. He started shrieking and jumping around, pointing at the kiosk and shouting “Au Bon PAIN! Au Bon PAIN!” (pronounced like pain from getting coffee spilt on you, not the French word for bread.)

  2. kamian smells says:

    did you give the shop a chance to rectify the situation or at least bring this to a manager’s attention? i doubt an email like this, sent to their generic feedback address will do anything. in my experiences, it is better to tell a manager, ususally they will give you your money back… or at least freshly prepare a new meal (especially when you present the bad food as evidence, they cant ignore that).

  3. Andrew W says:

    Yeah, hopefully they talked to the manager. Maybe they were short-staffed for the morning and couldn’t get prep done fast enough?

    My question about ABP is, why do they hire from certain regions of the world for a given period of time? A year ago, every ABP I went to was staffed with women from the Middle East. This year, the Middler Easterners are gone and everyone is Eastern European. Is this a quirk? Or an unspoken policy? I guess the former, since the latter is illegal. Still, it’s curious.

  4. Dr. Eirik says:

    I used to pass two of these places when I walked to grad school in Boston years ago. I’d occationally stop there to grab a quick breakfest and eventually decided that “Au Bon Pain” must have been French for “underbaked muffin”.

    Definitly don’t miss them after moving west.