I was forced by time and location to patronize an Au Ban Pain facility (I do not dare demean the word "restaurant" by calling this place one) today. I got screwed. I have a feeling I'm not the only one. Here's my story and a picture of a shitty sandwich.
I'll admit it straight out - I'm a size queen... Get your mind out of the gutter, assholes - I'm talking about sandwiches here. Bigger is better. If you have two sandwiches that are $5 - I'll choose the bigger one every single time. Hence the reason I'm a huge fan of Jimmy John's. So, I was more than a little miffed when I saw the selection at Au Ban Pain and the corresponding prices.
I settled on their "Black Angus Roast Beef & Herb Cheese" sandwich. I told the little lady behind the counter what I wanted and she told the guy standing next to her and he then told the guy standing next to him who was staring at the ceiling like it was telling him the story of Jesus' ninth birthday party where he turned a mud hut into a bouncy house.
The daydreamer quickly shot into action by asking for a clarification on what I had ordered. First he asked the guy next to him and then that guy asked the lady and then the lady asked me. Apparently there are choices when ordering the sandwich even though the menu clearly states exactly what's on a "Black Angus Roast Beef & Herb Cheese." To keep things as uncomplicated as possible I told the Mensa trio to make it exactly as it appears on the menu... they all had to look at the menu that was above and behind them.
At this point I realized that I had a better grasp of the most important detail of their job than they did. I had actually read the menu when deciding what I wanted - they didn't appear to be able to read.
A little conference ensued and they came out with a plan. The daydreamer grabbed a square piece of bread about the size of a child's palm and sliced it more or less in half... actually it was 25/75 with the bottom being the thicker part. He then rushed the pieces over to the toaster thingy while the other two started laying out the meager ingredients that were to make up my $7 sandwich.
Here's what's supposed to be on the sandwich:
2. mustard and mayo
3. roast beef
Here's what was on my sandwich:
2. a hint of mustard
3. three see-through slices of roast beef
5. one lettuce leaf
The tomatoes didn't make it at all and the mayo was forgotten as well. The meat, lettuce and cheese were all stacked together before the bread came out and all the lettuce left the scene as the transfer to the bun was made save for one leaf you can see below. I was left with a mustard roast beef and cheese sandwich about the size of a McDonald's Egg McMuffin - and about as appetizing.
There you have it... My crappy sandwich that I paid $7 for because I was pressed for time and nothing else was close. At Pot Belly I could have had one of their "big" sandwiches for a dollar less and it would have easily been twice the size if this poor excuse for food. Don't even get me started on what Jimmy John's would have hauled out for me for $7.
What's worse is that I had to do the walk of shame over to the register carrying the edible rip-off of the century to a guy who only asks "do you need a receipt?" Clearly I don't want a receipt - who the hell wants to remember getting screwed like that? It's bad enough I'm going to get yelled at by my wife for spending money on lunch, I don't need the receipt hanging around so she can rub my nose in it or post pictures of it to Facebook with the caption "look what my stupid husband did today."
The whole thing was disaster and I'm still hungry and that means I have to go foraging in the refrigerators on other floors hoping to find abandoned food. And that sucks because if you get caught it's always a very awkward conversation with HR that ends with me doing my earnest impression of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers (I eat because I'm unhappy...) in hopes of generating either pity, laughter or both. However, it always seem to come down to what their definition of "abandoned food" is and mine is. They don't gel. You don't want to know more... trust me.