Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kneaders Shmeaders (My first-ever Google review)

This place was so horrific, I actually spent a half hour of my time telling everyone in Google-land about "their newest store in Ahwatukee." And here I am, sharing it with you all, in hopes of sparing my readers the same experience. 

I have been to this "Kneaders Bakery and Cafe" twice, and both experiences were terrible.

The first time I went was not too long after they opened, during a more busy time of day (about 11 am). Since I had never been there before, I parked and walked in so as to be able to look at the food rather than ordering off their drive-through menu. However, since the line went all the way to the entrance, and didn't seem to be moving, I changed my mind and decided to do the drive-through, after all. Sure enough, it moved much faster.

Ordering off their complicated menu, however, proved to be nothing but a major source of frustration. I will not include all the boring details of why sandwich X cannot be combined with combo Y, until your server is trying to sell you anything but the sandwich you originally wanted, but the interaction ended in me becoming so frustrated that I told the girl taking my order to just cancel it altogether, and that I'd be back after I had a chance to study their menu and earn my PhD in ordering off of it.

Normally, one such negative experience would have been enough for me never to go back to a restaurant a second time, but I figured the place is new and these were growing pains, plus there was that long line out the door so maybe the food was worth the trouble.

My second time around, I chose a more off time (very late morning, but not too close to lunch) and headed straight for the drive-through, after having already completely familiarized myself with the breakfast options and making my selection ahead of time. Such careful preparation paid off, and I was able to get my order in without my head spinning.

The moment I looked at the food, I regretted coming back a second time. I had ordered the "American omelet" (eggs, broccoli, ham, cheese), but without trying to be graphic or offensive,  I must say it looked and smelled like something that had been previously eaten and then regurgitated. Clearly, the "eggs" were egg product of the lowest quality, the omelet was a big sloppy mess with discolored cheese product oozing fat puddles all over it. Even the broccoli tasted awful (really? how do you do that??). On the side, the "omelet" was served with toast, which was basically bread that was toasted on one side only, and overly soggy with some fake "buttery" spread on the other. It must be an art form to create overdone toast on one side, and soggy, greasy bread on the other - but the taste was disgusting. As the visual enhancement, the meal was further accompanied by 2 slices of orange, one of which was only orange peel, with zero actual orange in it. I guess they figured to freshen your palate after such an array of fake and distasteful foods, chewing on an orange rind would be the only thing to freshen your palate.

In addition to the omelet, I had also ordered a hot chocolate, as well as a half dozen chocolate croissants for the kids. The croissants were so stale and dry that I am almost certain they were day-old. The hot chocolate was simply disgusting (again, how can you mess up chocolate milk???). I tried to choke it down, remembering how much I'd just paid for it, but just couldn't.

If this had been IHOP, Denny's, or Waffle House, I wouldn't have been surprised. Heck, if it had been McDonald's, the food would have been just as fake, but at least it would have tasted better (not that I eat there). But for a place that passes itself off as a European style bakery, something more along the lines of Panera Bread or Wildflower Bread Company, and charges prices accordingly, this was simply ridiculous.

 "We love great European bread!" - Too bad you don't serve it, not by a very long shot!
Image source

Just to emphasize how terrible I think this place is, let me add that as far as I can remember, this is the first review I have ever left on Google. I want to spare others the experience. If I could give it zero stars, I would.

Thank you for listening. I do feel so much better now that I have this off my chest. For my go-to recipe for true, classic, fail-safe croissants that taste just like the ones I had on an early morning stroll in Paris during a vacation many years ago, follow this link


  1. I hate Kneaders, too. One to-go order was a hot sandwich, which they put in a plastic container with no paper wrapping, which meant that the poor thing basically boiled in it's own steam and was completely soggy when I opened it. Yuck. I gave it one more try (because I'm a glass-half-full kinda girl), but gave up on Kneaders forever when they had trouble with the concept of giving me the turkey avocado something or other with no turkey. I'm a vegetarian. It didn't seem that complicated. Make the sandwich as is listed in your crazy menu, but leave off the turkey. There were three people working on this difficult case, and they could not figure out how to make a sandwich with one ingredient left off. After several attempts at explaining, I gave up and went to the grocery store to buy my own darn avocado. Overpriced, mediocre food, horrible service. Never again!

  2. A couple of years ago, we had our roof repaired by a company we found at a home show. For a variety of reasons, the work was very shoddy and poorly done. It was finally finished but not without a lot of hassle (including the fact that my husband, a civil engineer, had to do his own water flow tests and take pictures to send to the owner of the company to prove that the leak the work crew was supposed to fix was still there).

    I was angry, and I think justifiably so. The repair had cost a couple thousand dollars and I thought we'd been treated very badly by this company -- so I wrote a review. I don't remember where I put it. Yelp, maybe? Or Yahoo? Anyway, I wrote it and posted it because I thought I could keep someone else from going through the same hassle with this company that we'd been through. And in fact, after the review was posted, the owner of the roofing company finally made sure our problem was fixed.

    TO THIS DAY, the owner of the company calls my husband about every other month and asks him to tell me to take that review down because "We fixed the problem and that review is hurting our business." Well, yeah, you fixed the problem--but one of the REASONS you fixed the problem was that you started hearing about that review. Plus, the fact that you fixed the problem has no bearing on how we were treated by the company while the repair was happening. So no, I am not taking down the review.

    People read these reviews. And sometimes they really make a difference. Keep it up. :o)

  3. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. It must be that location and the management. I absolutely love the Kneaders out here, in Utah. I've been to several and their food is always wonderful. Kneaders is my favorite restaurant. It's a shame that location is giving the company a bad reputation. :(

  4. I think your clue that it wasn't going to be a delicious European style bakery was the drive-through.

  5. Sounds terrible! I'll have to remember to never eat at a Kneaders. If I spend money to eat out, I want to be sure it will be something I enjoy.

  6. Maybe the problem was going through the drive through? I've always loved Kneaders, but I've never gone through the drive through.

  7. >Even the broccoli tasted awful (really? how do you do that??)
    Cook it, freeze it, nuke it in the microwave seems to do the trick.


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.