August 8, 2007

Janus Bakery [Fountain Valley]

Janus Bakery - A lesson in how to give yourself a heart attack from being underwhelmed.

You could imagine my surprise at discovering that an Asian bakery lay only steps away from my SO's house on the corner of Brookhurst and Ellis in Fountain Valley. I drive by that Ralph's plaza daily and I went to high school right around the corner. How it managed to escape my radar, I'll never know. The fact that it did should have clued me into what was coming.

Janus Bakery is an offshoot to the popular Irvine J&J and while I haven’t been to its counterpart in a long while, Janus was bad enough to keep me away.

I was quite enthralled at the prospect of not having to drive all the way to Tustin for good sandwiches and built my lunch around a Dried Pork and Green Onion Egg. The bread was dry, but the sweet pork sung added both flavor and crunch to an otherwise boring egg patty. While there weren't any winners, this sandwich could have taken the consolation prize.

The breads and buns were large to the point of unsightliness and oozed grease even from the looks of them--you could see the gleam of fat glistening as the buns pressed up against their plastic shells. I know these things aren’t healthy, but I don’t need a visual reminder of the fat curdling in my body as I’m about to eat them.

My bad for buying a Cheese Bun that looked like a cheese-covered Loch Ness monster. I was looking forward to inhaling the ooey-gooey, fat-laden, 8” comfort food, but my side of heart attack didn’t even come with an eye-opening epiphany. The cheese was hard. It wasn’t even salty. And I wasn’t comforted in the least.

The Hot Dog Bun similarly lacked gusto and I could have done better wrapping a slice of Wonder Bread around Vienna Sausage straight from the can. These types of bakeries are usually able to deliver on the bun, even if the fillings are nasty as hell. But Janus’ dry and bland dough fell flat from start to finish.

Like any trained gourmand, I went straight for the coffee swirls in the Coffee Pound Cake slice. Bad move—imagine leaving your store-bought Starbucks Frappucino in the car on a sweltering day…and then having the bad idea to drink it. I didn’t think they’d stoop so low as to sell me spoiled food, so I kept going at the thing with an open mind. In case you’re wondering, no. It’s not an acquired taste.

At this point, you may be wondering what prompted me to write such a scathing review with biting wit? It’s so atypical of my style…

Worst, and I repeat, WORST of all, is the sour-faced woman working at the counter looking like she hasn’t be f*cked in ages. Even I couldn’t stand waking up to that face—and I had to endure it for all of five minutes.

And the pros? Everything is dirt cheap with most items ringing in under $1. They do have a good variety of sandwiches and there are also cakes available for purchase. If you’re the type who’s willing to settle for mediocrity, Janus Bakery is just the right place for you.

Janus Bakery
18279 Brookhurst St Ste 3
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 965-3088

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