Thursday, September 01, 2005

What The Jester Had For Lunch: Atlanta Bread Company, Tempe AZ

One of my co-workers recently got a free lunch for everyone in the office at Atlanta Bread Company. It was being done by a company that offers financial planning services. The lunch I had selected was a half-and-half combo consisting of half of a turkey sandwich and a bread bowl of baked potato soup, a favorite of mine. Things got off to a bad start when the guy from the financial company didn't bother to get up from the table, welcome us, or shake my hand... First impressions are everything, and theirs sucked like a Hoover. We then found out that the menu selections that we had sent to them a week prior had been left back at his office. Puh-leeze, if you can't keep track of a goddamn order slip, do you *really* think I'm going to trust you with a cent of my money? I'd rather leave it with the evil bastards at Wells Fargo, at least I know for certain they'll suck my account dry.

Speaking of dry, it's a perfect adjective to describe the turkey sandwich. I think the most flavorful element of the sandwich was the lettuce; nothing else even registered on my palate. And for being the Atlanta BREAD Company, they could put out a decent baguette. HA! This was everything a baguette shouldn't be, dense with a very soft crust. The baked potato soup was bland as hell, a marked contrast to the overpoweringly sour sourdough loaf that held the soup. Did they throw in extra acid just to make sure it was really, really tangy? The crust on said loaf looked to be crisp, but one bite told me it was closer to plastic in nature. The interior of the sourdough reminded me instantly of those cottony, dry French bread loaves one can get at supermarkets for a buck. The one noteworthy thing about the entire meal was how incredibly bland everything was (with the exception of the one-dimensionally tangy sourdough); it's almost as if they attempted to deliberately remove all flavor from the food so that nobody would complain about weird tastes in the food.

I've noticed after eating there that I have been insanely thirsty. I normally drink a lot of water, but I'm slugging it down like it's going out of style. I just did a quick check of the nutrition info at Atlanta Bread's website, and I found out that my menu selection had a whopping 3,195 milligrams of sodium! The FDA recommends no more than 2400 mg a day, meaning not only did I get my entire sodium intake in one meal, but enough for tomorrow's breakfast as well! While it's true you don't always get what you pay for, a meal of this caliber wasn't even worth what I paid for it... zero dollars, zero cents. If someone offers to take me to Atlanta Bread, I'll strongly suggest dining elsewhere. If they still want to go, I'll politely decline. It really is that awful.