Day 2 at the BA Pop Up Cafe is a Madhouse

Photo courtesy of @twanderingeater via Twitter

Reports are pouring in that Bon Appetit’s Pop Up Cafe (on 57th and 6th) is a madhouse today.  From Lunch’er Korovka in the comments:

“Got there at 12:05pm and there was a line of about 10 ppl. then they didn’t let anyone in for 20+ minutes, so the line stretched halfway down the block. not sure what the hold up was…”

Things weren’t much better at 1:40 when Tina (aka the Wandering Eater) twittered the photo above.

The lines might have been due to reports of credit card machines being down, which apparently lead some to dine and dash…

From Lunch’er “Liv” in the comments:

Had the JLT yesterday and it was delish. Salmon sandwich today was pretty good too. Too bad I didn’t get to try the corn soup. I had it while on line but the credit card machines broke down today and we were on line for over 20 minutes. Soup was lukewarm but then so I left with the cashier. We weren’t told we could pay by cash until 15 minutes into waiting so we just waited and waited, and watched some people start to eat, or finish their food. One man in a nice suit ate his meatballs while on line — i only realized he ate it when he held up the plate to drink the sauce, and then REMOVE the plate from his tray to place by the window so he didn’t have to pay for it. Another man ate his muffin (?) and his sandwich and left the tray by the window. I hope those on the line outside know why they were waiting — it wasn’t because it was crowded. It was because of the chaos they couldn’t control.

Your First Look at the Bon Appetit Supper Club and Pop Up Cafe


  • Why can’t they have this for a month..not for a week.

  • I got there at 12:20, I got in by 12:45 and was out by 12:52ish. I know because I had a 1pm meeting.

    I got the meatballs, which wound up leaking on the trip back to work, so I have to wash out the free recyclable tote bag.

    I tell you this though, Jose Andres could teach Ikea a thing or two about meatballs.

  • Funny I saw the soup left by the cashier :)

    Also, the lines were a combination of crowd control and technical difficulties. They had a hard time keeping their credit card systems going. I was on a credit only line, and saw that the cash line was moving more quickly, so I moved there. Afterwards, the credit lines became cash only because the credit systems broke. Midway through waiting, the credit card system on my line started working, so my line became credit only… It’s hard to fault them, it’s hard to keep this kind of tech working for an impromptu store.

  • Wow, that’s sad when suits gotta dine ‘N’ dash. They need to tell people a lot quicker if no credit cards allowed.

    Def. not worth the long-arse wait for a puny $9+ sandwich. Snore.

  • I think it was worth it to eat Jose Andres food for only $9 bucks. I did try the Terrine, though I never had terrine before. I think the concept is wasted on me. Meat? Good. Jelly? Good. Meat Jelly? Meh.

  • adamprato-hahahahaha

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    I got there before when it opened at 11, so it was easy to get in and pay via credit card (though this took a few mins to get through).
    Want to see what all the fuss was about? Here are my pics:

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    I wasn’t pleased when I saw the line yesterday, but it moved pretty quickly. When I got on around 12:45 it was around the corner to Jekyll & Hyde, but I was out the door with my delicious meatballs in about 20 minutes. Cash line was definitely shorter than credit, so hit an ATM before you go.

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    I can’t believe everyone is talking up the meatballs.

    They were “alright.” Andres was there and super friendly, but I thought the meatballs were surprisingly dry for how nicely cooked they were (still a little pink!). Too beefy I think, and I didn’t really taste the peaches in mine or my co-workers. The jus was way better than the actual ‘balls (sopped it up with bread.. very good).

    The tomato soup tasted like it was from a box. It was good, but nothing to write home about. The grilled cheese croutons made it something special, but it should have been able to stand on its own.

    The JLT was very very good, albeit small, but yes.. very very good.

    My big problem was this: the thing is SPONSORED BY VISA. There are visa ads -everywhere-. How could they not have more than one person checking people out in the CC lane, and how could they blow it so hard?

    I mean, I was cash anyway, and they forgot to charge me for my meatballs ($9 off!) so no harm no foul really, but cmon guys.

  • ru486 – thats what I want in meatballs. The taste of meat. Not light balls of half binder / half meat. They were beefy, and a bit dense. The sauce was awesome, and combined with the peaches, it was remarkable IMO.

    Today I had the JLT (*very very good*, and buttery), the crab louie (the sum was greater than the parts for sure), and the corn soup (very good as well, the poblano gave a nice bite). Yeah sure, $28 for lunch ($1 donation, and…. free recycling bag, so that’s more like a $25 lunch!)

    That aside, today I realized the real reason for today’s slowness.


    Seriously, look at the people serving food. They don’t look like they’ve ever served food before. The klutz making my sandwich could hardly wrap the pickle (convoluted in it’s own right), and his knife skills scared me. It probably took 40 seconds to take a sandwich, cut it, wrap it (isn’t that backwards?), take a pickle (he picked it out of the jar like he was handling nuclear waste, he looked afraid of the tongs), wrap that, and hand it to me. This guy looked like he should be standing outside of Abercrombie & Fitch without a shirt or something (I never understood how you market clothes while not wearing any….)

    I noticed the person pouring the soups had a similar issue. For starters, the containers were above her head, so she was lading everything at that height, so she had to keep the cup under the center of the ladel and tip over, and let gravity eventually do the rest.

    I mean, really. All the best chefs in the world, and this is the best you could come up with for service? No wonder the lines were out the door.

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    And to further Adam’s above complaint (who I believe was next to me on line today) – Visa is a sponsor of this event. Meanwhile each Visa transaction takes about 1 1/2 minutes to run your card through – which is why the check-out lines are so ridiculously long. I asked why it took so long and got some ridiculous exuse about it just being a pop-up and thus the transaction time was delayed. Again Visa is the damn sponsor – ya think they’d be able to speed up their own transactions!!!
    BTW-had the JLT (tiny but good), and the brisket wrap (decent). That pickle oragami wrapping thing is a joke.

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