No, I’m not talking about my third favorite satellite. (For those keeping score, Titan and our own moon Luna are 1 and 2 respectively) I’m talking about the over-priced NYC “deli” chain, Europa Cafe. There is one in the lobby of my building. Across from Penn Station on 7th avenue. This place has got to be the worst thing to happen to the food service industry since Krispy Kreme went national. Avoid!
People go in because it looks safe. It’s got the trendy sign and the trendy name. It’s clean. Seems less suspect than the bodega around the corner. Can’t go wrong with that. But there’s one problem. It’s food and service are appalling.The grub is “freshly” made, which in this case means its about a day or two old. It’s bland. No TLC has been put into it. Just regimented creation. Sandwiches are delivered to the front of the store from a mysterious back room as if brought off an assembly line. Pre-made. Like something you’d find in the sneeze-proof case at Starbucks. And the baked goods are so disgusting you can actually see the preservatives perspiring off them. Muffins harder than 50 Cent.
The other day I bought a fruit cup. When I opened that plastic container I nearly vomited from the smell. There was obviously something rotten in there. Once my stomach regained composure, I walked it back. The women took one smell and said, “There’s something wrong here. I can get you another or refund your money.” Just keep the cash lady. How did this “freshly cut” fruit go rotten so quickly? Disgusting. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put the fruit cup back into rotation. Like coleslaw at a diner.
Maybe I’m a naive dude from Jersey, but I can not stand it when people are screaming at me from across the counter at a deli. As if they’re helping you. “WHAT CAN I GET YOU?!?!” “ANYBODY A NEED A ANYTHING?!?!” You know what pal. I’m not ready to order. I’m thinking. Stop yelling in my ear. I’ll let YOU know when I’m ready. If I’m not fast enough for you, you should cut back on your own bitter coffee.
Perhaps it’s the guy yelling, but no matter how slowly and articulate I speak, they hear the order wrong. I wanted a medium tea with honey. I got a large coffee with sugar and milk. Sometimes it’s comical. “Hi. I’d like a cup of tomato florentine soup please.” “I’m sorry sir, we don’t sell the Dodge Durango here.” Huh? There is such chaos at the register… Each cashier is assigned their very own assistant to help speed things along during a rush. All this helper succeeds in doing is causing confusion. Nine out of ten times, she mixes up the orders. On top of that, every time I get back to my desk something has leaked in my bag. The tops of fruit or tea are never put on securely. Thanks for the help!
Why Greg, do you go? Good question. The kicker is that you’re getting Manhattan prices. So I’m paying extra for this garbage. As I said, it is in the lobby of my building. When you’re at work you can be very lazy. And this place is really close. You can’t really fuck up coffee or tea. Somehow they manage that. Sometimes it’s raining. I don’t want to go out in that. Maybe its time to bring a parka to work. I have officially sworn off Europa Cafe.
One more thing edging me towards bitterness.