Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The real "Metropolitan Diary"

For a taste of New York, look no further than the "user ratings and reviews" of bagel places on the website "MenuPages." The consensus seems to be that bagel places have good bagels but lousy service. For a food item that rarely reaches the dollar mark, this seems fair. If the kvetching about NYC bagels is any indication, then "Diaspora Judaism," "Woody Allen Judaism" or whatever we're calling it these days is alive and well and, most likely, no longer specific to actual Jews.

A sampling of the results:

Midtown Ess-a-bagel

Their bagels are awesome but their bad service make it not worth it to eat there. There is a guy with mustache and glasses who never takes the right order. If you go back and ask him to give me the right one, he gets angry. I used to eat there every Sunday before he started working there. After three bad service in a role, I never go there anymore. It's just not worth it to ruin your Sunday brunch experience by having to deal with a service person who needs anger management.

UES Pick-a-bagel

While the bagels here are pretty good, the service is subpar. The counter worker asked me to repeat my order about 6 times (all I ordered were 2 bagels) and the cashier was worse. She also made me repeat my order more than twice and then gave me an attitude. She was rude and incompetent and to top it all off the bagels were very overpriced.

72nd St. Bagel (UWS)

I've been a customer for many months, and have always tolerated subpar service, as the bagels are great. However, last weekend, after my order was messed up twice (not a big deal on a lazy Saturday morning...), the gentleman serving me began to basically throw a fit after I pointed out his error the second time. Sorry, but the bagels are not good enough to compensate for this level of customer mistreatment!

Nussbaum and Wu (Morningside Heights)

The food isn't bad and not too pricey, but the service is not good. One time I waited at the counter over 15 minutes to get a pre-made sandwich when there were 3 workers standing around and there were no other customers in line in front of me. When I asked the guys "Where's my sandwich," they started to trash-talk about me to each other in a different language...they didn't realize I understood their language. Big mistake.

"Big mistake," eh? One wonders what happened next. (One can't help but imagine when Frank Costanza enters the Korean-run nail salon to defend Elaine from remarks she herself cannot understand, only to reunite with a long-lost love.) Can the multilingual bagel slicers in question still walk, or has this been taken care of?


Saheli said...

Hey! No beating up on the Nussbaum and Wu guys. That's my bagel shop. They were always super nice to me.

When I was there, anyway, the language was not so exotic. It was actually just, you know, Spanish.

Phoebe said...

I'm not the one beating up on the place--blame anonymous menupage reviewers.

Spanish would make sense in the context if for whatever reason the customer looked like someone who would not know the language. Which is sort of silly, as plenty of Americans of all races know Spanish, but it's possible.