Rude Service at Num Pang
Decided to check out Num Pang yesterday after hearing relatively positive things about the food.
Because they are newly opened, I was willing to cut them some slack on service (which they definitely needed...) However, I was shocked by how rude the guys (co-owners?) were to the customers.
Service was slow, as expected. It took ~15 minutes for the 10 people in front of me to order and then another ~20 minutes for them to call my number for me to pick up my two sandwiches.
While I waited, they called the number of a man who ordered before me. After they called the number a couple times, the customer asked if they were calling the number for a vegetarian sandwich (a rather innocent question...). The cashier responded, "I don't f-ing know man."
Food itself was decent, way salty, and too small for a really satisfying lunch.
I went today and they weren't very friendly either. I think they were pissed, overheard them talking about fire code violations. They didn't even give me a napkin with my sandwich to go. Very different than the service on the 1st day when they were friendly. Anyway I was a bit disappointed with the sandwich too, I got the tiger shrimp one and besides a little spice, there was no flavor, i wish the carrots were pickled longer. I felt like I was eating bread only.
I went late last week and overhead people referring to the place as "like the soup Nazi," which I can kind of see, as we were all waiting in line and waiting to approach the counter to order.
I had the pulled pork sandwich, which was okay but I thought overpriced for the portion size. I also had the grilled corn, and that was amazing at any price. I'm not sure I'll go backfor lunch, although I will pick up an ear of corn whenever I can.
The first problem is that the menu (while short) isn't visible from the line outside, so people get to the front and take 90 seconds to order even though it's just 1. which sandwich?, 2. soda?, 3. corn? So people asking "which sandwich do you think I would like?" and "are they cut in half? (no) ok but can you cut mine in half? (no) do you have a knife? (yes) then why can't you cut mine in half?" (I really overheard these) aren't being handled well.
Then, the assembly station starts each roll (over)toasting when they get to the ticket, which takes 90 seconds, instead of keeping the toaster busy and keeping the toast hot on top, or batch-toasting the rolls lightly and then browning them fast.
And, they grill the shrimp to order and that station gets out of sync with the assembly station, slowing them down.
But the sandwiches are fantastic...
I have to add: people, CHECK the numbers on your tickets. All the times I've been there so far during peak hours, the guys there will be yelling out the ticket stub numbers a good seven or eight times, and some poor shmuck won't realize it's his ("Oh... wait, is that the catfish?").
Totally agree. Went just today and service is as appalling as first month they opened. I'm not out to make friends with the people that serve sandwiches at Num Pang but it's grating to consistently be treated with such disdain by people that you are giving your hard-earned money to.
Food is good (not great), portions are small, and staff...well. I occasionally still go there if I'm going to Cinema Village, otherwise they're just not worth going out one's way for.
Num Pang Sandwich Shop
21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003
While it could be that I started being a regular there when my office used to be a couple blocks away, I've never found the service to be particularly bad. Yes, some of them are worse than others, especially the new ones. My favorite, the blonde girl, left a while back.
Then again, what kind of service are you actually looking for? They don't work for your tips like a restaurant server does. If it's a situation where they won't customize your sandwich, that's management's choice. If it's about the wait, it's because certain items are grilled to order. Sandwiches are great and the steak and mackerel ones are especially good value.