I had recently been to Bar Tartine in Mar Mikhael Gemmayze for a girl’s night out dinner. I wish I had clear photos to share with you, but this review isn’t about that visit. Anyhow, on my way out I noticed a little enticing bakery owned by the restaurant, I promised myself I would return to have my fix of bread some other time. Soon later I was delightfully surprised when I stumbled upon the bakery open in ABC Ashrafieh. The display counter was full of bread, pastries, desserts and sandwiches. My hubby and I sat down and the waiter handed out the menus; it was the same menu from the Gemmayze branch with salads, main courses etc, so I asked if I could order from the displayed selection since they weren’t mentioned in the menu. He told me sure but I had to go order and come back and pay at my table. I figured he said so for the tip, so I agreed. I went and chose 3 items, the man at the counter handed them to me in a paper bag so I mentioned I was dining in and the waiter told me so and so. He then placed each of the pastries in a plate and sent them our way. Unfortunately, it looked as if they were randomly thrown on the plate especially in the first picture below.
This is the Croissant Au Chocolat. The chocolate was yummy, but the dough could have been a little more tender and a little less crispy.
This is the Escargot Aux Raisins. It had a slight burnt taste and was too hard, rather than being moist and chewy especially the raisins.
This is the Croissant Peche. I must say its one of the better tasting peach croissants I have tried, the cream filling covered most of the inside of the pastry, the fruit was generous, and the sugar on top gave it an extra something.
After a mediocre snacking experience, I was surprised when the waiter handed me the bill, each of the items was marked up 1,000 L.L. That might seem like peanuts, but when you are dealing with an item that costs 3,000 L.L. and two that cost 3,500 L.L. each, that is a 25% extra charge. I paid, tipped and left unsatisfied. Why the dishonesty? You lure customers in with low prices and then surprise them with hidden charges? Let alone the presentation that was less than ideal. I wish they could take a hint from other bakeries and invest some time in the way they present their food, a little goes a long way, and each item no matter how small or inexpensive, should be valued.
Final verdict: Looks better than it tastes. Give it a try but beware of the hidden charges. 25% extra for pastries (13,000 L.L. plus tip instead of 10,000 L.L.), who knows how much more for sandwiches.