I have been wanting to try Essence Bakery in Tempe for quite some time. I'm not sure how I originally stumbled across the restaurant; it may have been in one of many searches for local restaurants that use local ingredients, as this is something that Essence strives to do.
After I first learned about it, I was intrigued. Then I found this article, and I can honestly tell you that I was salivating the entire read.
That was it. I had to get there.
Of course, it's not the closest place to eat, and I knew that busy mornings (and lunchtimes) had the possibility of creating a cranky Wee One, so I've held off.
Fortunately, I was at a workshop in Tempe today, and I convinced my co-workers that this was where we needed to go to lunch.
the space special, had no nasty side effects (that would be Mel Brooks reference #3, for those of you keeping score). The soup of the day was cauliflower, and it was combined with a chicken sandwich. While not THE BEST sandwich I've ever had (that honor still lies with The Jake at my all-time favorite local restaurant, Dirty Dave's in Olympia, Washington), the fresh arugula and other ingredients did stand out. My friend Christie had a grilled cheese, which I would have gotten were it not for the pesto on it (that whole thing about basil), but she said the potato salad, which clearly had plenty of lovely grainy mustard, was extremely tasty.
In all, this is definitely a local place that will get some repeat business from me. I can see why people come here every day to have a little slice of French gustatory heaven.
I am also happy to report that I received a response from Chompie's to my email about the situation I encountered this past weekend and that the email was clearly not a "thank you for your comments; we value your feedback" form letter that really doesn't tell you whether or not your feedback was actually read (it doesn't have to be read to be "valued").
This response, posted below verbatim, with only a small portion edited out for privacy purposes, shows that not only is my feedback valued but also read and most certainly considered: