Over Packaging at La Madeleine

Overpackaging at La Madeleine
Large packages with coffee cup
for size reference

Tiny sandwich, huge box

I don’t typically go to La Madeleine. In fact, I have been to the location in Bethesda probably five times, each time stepping inside, getting the sense that my type didn’t belong there, and then leaving. I could never put my finger on what it was, but I never felt like I was welcome there. Too many stuffed shirts, maybe? Delicious-looking fancy desserts? An air of wealth and contempt? Sure, all these are reasons to stay away from such a place but having actually been a customer, I now have a new reason on top of these.

Normally I am not one to be so intimidated so I decided today that I would stick it out and get a bite for breakfast. $8.38 later and I had a croissant with egg and cheese and a cup of coffee. Apparently they only have one size cup. It was giant – about 20 ounces.

The nice young lady who took my order handed me a bag that looked like it could have been filled with a week’s worth of groceries. I looked inside and found a large plastic container that looked like it might hold enough food to gorge myself on until I purged. I opened the plastic box and found that only about a quarter of the space contained actual food.

A comment on the food – it was good but not $8 worth of good. It was more of a $4 meal. The sandwich was tasty and had sliced tomatoes, which were nice although I had not requested them. Overall, the food met my expectations for a breakfast on the way to work.

In the end, I am still pretty sure that my type doesn’t belong at La Madeleine. Not because of the obvious difference in wealth and self-perceived importance but because of the obvious difference in beliefs about conservation and being a good environmental steward. La Madeleine is a hotbed of waste and over packaging. Thanks, but I will not be back. Not even for an overpriced tasty pastry.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Carl Weaver is a writer and brewer for RealHomebrew.com and has been making beer and wine for more than 20 years. He is also an avid photographer and writer and just finished his first book, about a trip he took to Thailand to live in Buddhist monasteries. He considers himself the last of the Renaissance men and the luckiest darned guy in the world. Follow him on Twitter.

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