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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Appropriate Food : Bamn!

Automats have not been kind to me. I still remember the disappointment I felt when I learned that the food was not, in fact, prepared by robots. I later forgave the automat, and was fully prepared to dine at one when we moved to NYC in the mid 90's. But the last of the treacherous things had closed fives years earlier. My wife's gloating "Sure, I've been to one, haven't you?" didn't help. Seeing their dismembered remains in antique shops all over the city was a bittersweet reminder of things I'd never have.

Until now. The automat is back, in the form of Bamn!, an asian-influenced hole-in-the-wall on St. Mark's Place[1] in the East Village of NYC. The food is a take on traditional diner fare: grilled cheese sandwiches, teriyaki burgers, roasted pork buns (the best of the bunch) and Belgian-style fries (thankfully served fresh from the counter). And other stuff I don't remember. All yours for a heaping handful of quarters.

Being served (if not, sadly, prepared) by machines, I think you could argue that an automat is the ultimate geek dining format. And the 24/7 availability doesn't hurt, either. Chris says check it out.

[1] Think Austin's 6th Steet, only grimier. Or maybe DC's Adams Morgan, only more compact. Lots of NYU students, hipsters and panhandlers, generally indistinguishable.

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