Now, I know this is a problem that could be solved by “buying my own groceries ahead of time and cooking for myself like a fiscally responsible adult.” Or also, by “recognizing that in the scope of our planet in 2013, this is a miniscule problem, and anyway, there are tons of other brunch places, even in the Myrtle-Broadway region of Bushwick.” Whatever. This has all gone on long enough.
There were the several weekends I showed up at around noon, only to find out they were — totally unashamedly — out of both eggs and bagels. There was the day I even called ahead to make sure this food service business was still actually serving food, was told yes, showed up, and found out that they had apparently run out of said food in the intervening half hour. There was the time I was halfway through my order when the owner Jerome shouted up from the kitchen, “NO MORE OMELETTES.” There was the other time when I asked, “so, do you stop serving eggs and bagels at a certain time,” and Jerome explained, “WE STOP SERVING EGGS WHEN I DECIDE. IT IS MY CHOICE.” Oh. There were also the times when he threw people out of the (mostly empty) seating area for unclear reasons, but those times I actually sort of liked. They were not happening to me, and anyway, I already had my food.
There have been a lot of weird times at the Athom Cafe, is the point. And the fucked up thing is, I still show up there at least once a week. I even feel sort of guilty for complaining, though I’m pretty sure it is completely insane and not normal for a brunch place in New York, whose tiny menu is 50% omelette, to run out of eggs (and usually bagels), almost every single weekend. Regardless of how incredible their croissants are (very). This is insane and not normal, right? Especially for a place that’s been open for several years now?
I don’t know, maybe my perspective has been skewed by proximity to the situation. Maybe these are the rantings of an ugly American with too much ease of lifestyle, spoiled by corporate food-delivery systems like the electronic menu at Sheetz or even better, the Domino’s Pizza Tracker. Or maybe an omelette is a totally reasonable thing to expect at even the smallest, most local of brunch places, and Athom Cafe could think about re-evaluating their business model when it comes to, say, serving food to customers in exchange for money. I’ve heard it works for some people.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.