On Saturday, the girls and I lunched at Mon Ami Gabi, in the bustling area known as Bethesda Row. Calling themselves a “Classic French Bistro,” Mon Ami Gabi is a national chain of restaurants with only 5 locations. It puts up a nice imitation of a French brasserie, if you ignore the literal (and incorrect) translations on the menus, the Edith Piaf background music, and the Bloody Mary bar. Not to be a snob, but it goes for what most Americans might think of as stereotypically Parisian, with no authenticity. Sort of a Disney-Paris, if you will.
There were 4 of us, 3 of whom ordered the steak sandwich, and I ordered the open-faced shrimp salad sandwich. Everything looked delicious when it came, but presentation only goes so far. The steak was flavorless and difficult to chew, given that it was cut into big chunks as opposed to thin slices. My shrimp salad was too mayonnaise-y and not particularly interesting.
We were hoping that the dessert would rescue the meal. On a previous visit, AC had a delicious strawberry crepe and so we hoped to order the same. It wasn’t on the menu this time, but our waitress assured us that the chef could make us a custom-ordered crepe. When it arrived, we oohed and ahhed at the presentation of strawberries, bananas, and nutella over a crepe, with vanilla ice cream on the side. Biting into something that looked so delicious, we all expected it to taste wonderful. However, it turned out to be a very disappointing experience, as the crepe was cold and rubbery. No wonder the ice cream was on the side; there wasn’t a warm crepe to counter the cold ice cream!