Le Pain Quotidien - Alexandria
701 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Neighborhood: Alexandria, Alexandria, Old Town
Cuisines: French, Belgian, Breakfast, Deli/Quick Bites
Open Sunday through Thursday 8 AM to 8 PM, Friday and Saturday 8 AM to 9 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: King Street-Old Town
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Accepted
Tartines with honeyed ricotta or curried chicken; quiche Lorraine; almond meringue; sugared waffle; cheese muffin; madeleine.
Pastries, $1.95 to $4; tartines, $8.95 to $12.95; soups and salads, $4.95 to $14.50.
(2815 M St., NW, 202-315-5420; 701 King St., Alexandria, 703-683-2273; 7140 Bethesda La., Bethesda, 301-913-2902). These chic Belgian-style boulangerie/cafes are all over Manhattan, London, and now Washington. Although the tableau of customers unwinding over cappuccinos and hunks of baguette at the communal tables is inviting, many of the best offerings are primed to take home. Tartines—delicate open-faced sandwiches—make a nice meal for one; we like the chicken-curry salad with cranberry chutney ($10.25) and the Paris ham with three mustards ($9.95) best. From the bakery case, there are peppery cheese muffins, oversize coconut macaroons, and super-chocolaty brownies. Baguettes and boules pair nicely with the praline butter and marmalade offered free at the communal table, and the spreads come in jars to go.