By Winnie Wang
Artopolis “Eh…spresso” Espresso
Location: 1090 Amsterdam Ave (between 114th and 113th St)
This is a review for a PICK UP experience.
(And no, not my attempts to pick up a guy at a café.)
Last Saturday, my friend and I decided that we should treat ourselves to a nice breakfast/brunch. It’d been a hectic month, and neither of us had a decent (if any) breakfast in a while. Though we wanted to try Friedman’s, upon browsing their menu on their website, we realized the inevitable hit our wallets were going to take.
For the next half hour, we mulled over our options before settling for Artopolis Espresso.
Maybe it’s because I’m a broke college student, but the prices still felt a little steep: Sweet crepes ranged from $6 – $9; savory crepes $8 – $11; sandwiches $11 – $14; and salads $13 – $14. At this point, we were: a) Starving and b) Remembering that this was the price we had to pay for living in Manhattan. We placed our order through Yelp at around 11:40 AM and slowly walked over to 114th St on Amsterdam Ave.
By the time we got there, it was around noon. The café was quite busy, which I took as a good sign. The interior seating area was full and there was a small line of customers waiting to be seated. Though there were tables available outside the café, not many opted to dine outside because it was a little chilly.
We went over to the cashier and mentioned we were here to pick up an order. The woman called for a man nearby, presumably a manager. He came over to us and gruffly asked, “What did you order?”
“The ham and swiss crepe and the homemade meatball sandwich, both with salt and pepper chips on the side.”
He grabbed a large bag nearby and placed it on the counter. “If you download and order through our app, you can get 10% off,” he said. “$22.75.”
The woman at the register rang up our order, and as she did so, I noticed a piece of paper taped to the cash register, advertising their discounts. Now, I can’t remember what the piece of paper said verbatim, but the general outline was this:
Download our app on Android or Apple
$5 off first order
Columbia students and teachers, 10% off
There was another line or two about who else could get 10% off, but I can’t recall.
Seeing this, I asked if I could show my ID to get the 10% off applied to this order. The man heard me and shouted, quite rudely, “NO, you get 10% IF YOU ORDER THROUGH OUR APP.”
It was an honest misunderstanding; their structuring didn’t make it clear that you could ONLY get 10% off if you were a Columbia student or teacher who ordered through their app. We quickly paid and left.
When we got back to Barnard and unpacked the bag so we could finally eat, I noticed two things:
- They didn’t give any utensils.
- The “salt and pepper chips” that came with my savory crepe was literally a bag of Deep River Rosemary and Olive Oil chips, one that I could have purchased from Diana’s Dining Center.
I was already irked by the man’s attitude, but seeing this made me fume.
To top it all off, the food itself was mediocre at best.
The sliced ham and swiss cheese crepe with honey dijon (with the bag of chips on the side, apparently) was $7.99. The crepe was drenched in honey dijon, and there was hardly any ham and swiss cheese. It felt as though I was only eating honey dijon with a thin, soggy pancake.
There was nothing spectacular about my friend’s meatball sub either. “It was fairly dry, barely any sauce, and for $12.98, pretty disappointing,” she said. She even had to spit out one of her bites because she felt like she had chewed on a piece of bone.
The actual homemade salt and pepper chips that came with her order were decent, but again, lacking in flavor and nothing amazing. As for my bag of chips… well, it managed to taste better than the homemade ones.
We finished our meal feeling pretty disappointed, but what was done was done.
While our justification for our purchase was “at least we tried someplace new,” and for the poor quality, “it got cold as we walked back to campus,” we definitely won’t be going to Artopolis Espresso again anytime soon.
TL;DR: Ordered meal for pick up, manager (?) was extremely unpleasant, didn’t give utensils, replaced my side of salt and pepper chips with a literal bag of chips; food wasn’t worth the money.
Winnie Wang is a junior at Barnard and the Social Media Specialist for Barnard Bite.
Banner image graciously provided by Google.