Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No No No: American Bakers' Cafe

Having volunteered to be a research participant in clinical trials regarding the effect of folate levels on certain kinds of genetic sequences (or, um, something like that) in schizophrenic people (I was part of the control group, thank you very much) at Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown, I decided to have a little foodie adventure in that as yet unexplored area.

A condition of the study was that I couldn't eat or drink anything but water that morning, so afterwards I needed food and coffee, stat.

My Google Places app informed me that the nearest option for such that was also really highly rated was a place called Style Cafe. I walked down there and went in, but I quickly decided I could already see exactly what it was: a generic, run-of-the-mill coffee shop/breakfast food place. You can pay for someone else to make you an egg sandwich or scramble and make you some coffee. It's also on the water, so you can have a beautiful little experience, eating your food on the water.

Any sane person would've eaten there.

I had passed something called American Bakers' Cafe on the way there, and I really just wanted to know what was behind that. I should have just walked in to that place on the way to Style, but, alas, I walked back to ABC (I see now that the potential for this abbreviation must be the only real reason they call it American Bakers' Cafe).

To be fair, they did have some cakes and cheesecakes that looked like they might've been good and perhaps even made on the premises, but I have to wonder how often people walk into a cafe wanting a slice of cheesecake with their breakfast or their lunch wrap.

There was one sort of interesting thing on the menu, and so I ordered that, the "Tarragon Chicken Salad: with creme fraiche, and fresh tarragon on a wheat wrap."  Creme fraiche in chicken salad?  Don't mind if I do! On a menu otherwise completely vanilla, I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued.

Sadly, it would turn out to be too good to be true. The wrap I received:


Here I've written an accurate description for what I actually received:
-"Day old chicken wrap - We've taken some grilled chicken from the chicken caesar salads that didn't sell yesterday and stuffed it into a wheat wrap with iceberg lettuce, a few dices of tomato and some feta crumbles."


It tasted.. fine. I was really sad not to have chicken salad at all, much less the creme fraiched kind I had ordered, and so I inquired from the woman who assembled my food as to whether or not I had somehow ordered wrongly or if this was supposed to actually be the tarragon chicken salad wrap.  My receipt listed it correctly, after all..

She only spoke Spanish, so the older woman who spoke a little more English tried to communicate between us. She could see that I was dissatisfied for some reason but was clearly befuddled as to what could possibly be wrong. "I had a chicken wrap in front of me, didn't I?"  (I could read the question in her eyes).

I didn't want to make a big deal of it and take it upon myself to translate the expectation of the term "chicken salad," much less the double language barrier of the "creme fraiche" situation, so I allowed her to believe she had mollified me with her offering of some crappy Greek sauce.

Crappy Greek Sauce


They also had a few shitty looking baked goods (muffins, cookies) that had clearly been ordered in (a few weeks earlier?).

After eating this wrap and then working out at the nice YMCA nearby, I stopped at the Tedeschi convenience store next door for some post-workout nutrition and realized that I could've gotten a better sandwich from this convenience store for a bit cheaper.

Bleh, if I get asked to go back for the follow up fMRI for the schizophrenic research, I'm definitely going to Style Cafe.

In case you didn't click on the ABC website link, the main page looks like this:

American Bakers' Cafe:
"Tradion" and "Fantasy" are the keyword in our store. They are infact the two main qualities we try to deliver in all of our food dishes.
"Tradion" and "Fantasy" are the keyword in our store. They are infact the two main qualities we try to deliver in all of our food dishes.

Yes, twice. Instead of getting riled up and typing up a whole long rant breaking apart that ridiculous and, honestly, quite sad, situation, I'm just going to blink twice and move on with my day.


American Bakers' Cafe on Urbanspoon

Style Cafe on Urbanspoon