This is another “almost shame on me” testimonial. I have made no qualms about the fact that I am a constant work in progress. My wife will attest that one of the reasons she keeps me around is the constant challenge I provide. This keeps the mind and relationships fresh, don’t’cha know?
I will pre-qualify that no opinions in the following manner were sculpted in any way by Yelp, by which I am NOT a fan. My years in the restaurant industry have given me a very transparent view of the goings on with Yelp and the heavy public hand they swing to extort small business into unnecessary marketing funds being spent on “good reviews”…but I digress. However, some how, some way, I was subjected to a review somewhere that stated that the once coveted La Boulange in Danville still had great food, but the service had slipped, possibly past the point of return. (I have no resources to cite). My fault lies with allowing this tiny crumb of opinion to influence my own beliefs. A very typical “contempt prior to investigation,” and I found myself driving by this once regular stop of mine and shaking my head in sadness. “Tsk tsk La Boulange, what a shame.”
In front of all of you now, I openly declare…I WAS A FOOL, and I am here to emphatically dispel any negativity that may have been dispensed.
My wife has remained loyal to the establishment, regardless of any press to the tune that La Boulange and their menu items are her sanctuary. This is where she goes when she is able to pry the children from her limbs. There happened to be an opportunity for me to tag along on a weekday recently, with the kids in tow, and I figured I owed it to these once hallowed grounds to give it a shot.
My wife ordered her sandwich and it came without avocado…..”Here we go,” I thought, and rolled up my sleeves for the good fight. Upon explaining this to Micheline, she was clearly taken aback and jumped at the opportunity to make it right. She quickly returned with the plate of avocado and apologized but not before we saw it was our mistake, and the sandwich didn’t come with avocado (unless specified). I realized then that this was why she was taken aback…she knew this fact, but didn’t split hairs—she just fixed what they didn’t break. I explained our mistake and praised her for her professional acumen.
This is when Marcus stepped in to deliver my wife’s Latte. Asked how everything was today and thanked us for coming in. Where was this bad service somebody had, because it certainly wasn’t here!
Enter Eric, stage left, with piece of bread pudding to enjoy after our lunch with his compliments, and again the “thank you for coming in today.” At this point the egg on my face is cooking. I have not received the level of customer service that I was receiving now in a long time, fine dining establishments included.
Here is my simple recommendation. Go there and get the best food imaginable, but please introduce yourself to the people helping you out. These are a group of professional individuals that clearly believe in the place they work and the people they work with. Unfortunately this is rare. To find the level of “ownership” at La Boulange in Danville taught me a lesson about how I pass judgment based on others peoples’ opinions. I have prided myself on a regular basis staying away from the yelp-esque culture and for a moment, I got sucked in.
The truth is that General Manager Bharat Mansukhani should be proud of the people that represent this fine eatery, and you should be proud to commune here.
Iron Horse Plaza, 405 Railroad Ave, Danville, CA 94526