Atlanta Bread Company - 1307 Main St.

Posted by The LunchMen Tuesday, September 14, 2010

As I type this, a single, giant tear is streaking down my face (or at least should be streaking down my face) as I recall the details and the frustration, shock, and disappointment of what is certainly the worst lunch I've had in recent memory.

Mrs. Tank works on the 1300 block of Main St.  From time to time, she will call and suggest that we go some place near her office to grab a quick bite for lunch.  She is a fan of Chic-Fil-A salads, but I am constantly trying to mix things up and try something new.  On this occasion, I made the colossal error of suggesting Atlanta Bread Company over Chic-Fil-A.

As we approached Atlanta Bread Company, I noticed a sign out front advertising a Peppadew Roast Beef and Brie panini.  I've said it before - if a restaurant thinks something is good enough to warrant a giant sign out front, I'm going to give it a try and allow them to either impress or disappoint me on that dish.  Mrs. Tank has a go-to order at ABC since she visits it on rare occasions; she gets the chicken salad sandwich with chips and a pickle spear.  Since the idea of chips and a pickle spear bores me, I opted for their roasted black bean and corn salad as my side.  I doubt I could have known that disaster was lurking with a meal that, conceptually, had some promise.

Things took a downturn before our food was even prepared.  As I often do, I poured a glass of 3/4 unsweet tea and 1/4 sweet tea - my only drink at lunch besides water or the occasional beer.  The first sip of tea tasted like feet, and it left a lingering, filmy taste in my mouth.  I don't know if they were using some incredibly boo tea product there or if the tea was brewed in ages past, but the drink was so bad I had to dump it out in the bathroom after Mrs. Tank confirmed it was wrong on every level.  How is it even possible to mess up tea?

When our food was prepared, ABC apparently decided that I needed potato salad instead of the roasted black bean and corn salad I ordered.  I took the food back up and swapped out my side.  Maybe I should have just kept the potato salad.  The "roasted" salad was cold, sweeter than a slice of cake, and drowning in what I believe was some type of vinegar product.  However, the real problem was my sandwich.  I paid top-ABC sandwich price for this new "special" Peppadew sandwich.  However, it had no peppers or sauce of any kind on it.  Rather, it merely had tough roast beef and a thin slice of brie cheese cut in such a manner to ensure that I had rind in every bite.  Disgusting.

I took my food back up again, and I pointed out the absence of their lauded South African peppers (ACB claims that it continues to "search the globe for new, unique flavors to bring to its local bakery cafés").  The employee actually argued with me regarding whether my terrible $7 sandwich was supposed to have some sauce or peppers on it!  After I brandished my receipt, she took my sandwich away.  A few minutes later, the same sandwich, complete with my missing bite, was returned to me with a thousand-island-style sauce and one 3/4 inch slice of pepper on it.  Talk about over-selling and under-producing!

I'm trying to contrast the actual sandwich to the ad for it
Now, I am not a food regulation expert, and I don't know whether Regulation 61-25, Chapter 2, Section E.5 of South Carolina's DHEC restaurant regulations actually prohibits re-service of food to the same customer or not.  I do know that, even as a teenage fast-food employee, I was trained not to accept, fix, and return the same food to a customer at Chic-Fil-A.  Even if it is not a technical violation, it is disturbing to think that someone was handling the food I had already began to eat and then gave it back to me.  Apparently, that is how they roll at Atlanta Bread Company.  When that same, terrible sandwich - already drenched in butter and pressed to death the first time around - was returned to me, the deal was sealed; Atlanta Bread Company bought itself a coveted place on the Boo List.


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. One of your better posts. Although I am sorry it had to come at the cost of your lunch. That Al-Amir karma hits hard sometimes.


  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. I have been to ABC once, and it certainly ranks up there as one of the worst's meals I have ever experienced.

  5. Tank Says:
  6. Spoony - You have an unholy love for Al-Amir. I'm glad that our original post on that place has not led to you permanently blacklisting the blog. For your sake, we will go try them again. If they do better, we'll let everyone know and you can then bask in the glory of being right.

  7. Anonymous Says:
  8. I am always right, just ask the Publican.

  9. John Williom Says:
  10. Thanks for the sharing. Lots of good information.


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Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.