Aroma espresso bar midtown.... oh boy...
I was a fan of aroma restaurant in the east village, so I have patiently tried their midtown cafe outpost several times over the past week to try and really give it a chance. Well, is it just me or anyone else mortified over what these guys are serving?
First try: breakfast. Eggs scrambled with toast on the side. For midtown breakfast, they charged top dollar for this. I was handed a plastic container with maybe 1 1/2 scrambled eggs burned brown and dry. They forgot the butter and the toast was soggy. The iced tea I got to accompany it was warm.
Second try: lunch. Turkey BLT. Oh my goodness. This was the traffic accident that you just cant help staring at. The bread was decent, but the turkey was literally oscar meyer store bought packaged turkey. The bacon was cooked at least 3-6 hours before (maybe even day before) and then stuck in the regrigerator and put into the sandwich straight from there. In fact, I would have believed that the entire sandwich was made the day before. Keep in mind, this is not a cheap midtown Korean deli or anything. They are charging top dollar for this sandwich!
Third try: espresso and a cookie. Espresso was burned and there was no crema. Cookie was decent, nothing special. For $4+, I can do better elsewhere.
Fourth (and last) try: breakfast take II. I ordered their mueseli yogurt cup. It is supposed to be mueseli, honey, yogurt and fruit. The fruit was bizarre for this yogurt cup - pineapple and canteloupe. Pineapple? Pineapple? Cmon!!!! With yogurt and mueseli??? Where is the bananna, berries, etc...?? Not only that, but they dont add the honey in. They give you a 1/2 oz packet of honey. You know, the kind that they put out in hotel breakfast bars. What a joke. For this, they charge $6. I ordered an iced tea with it. Small iced tea for $3 and once again it was warm, despite my request for plenty of ice. By the way, for a yogurt cup and iced tea, I spent $10. Give me a break.
All-in-all, this place is just terrible. I dont know how the owners can have such a great place in the east village and then open up this midtown outpost with so many glaring problems.
I feel bad that Aroma Espresso has obtained such a bad rep in NYC. I have visited Israel many times, and can say it is NOTHING like the outposts in Manhattan.
In Israel, Aroma is as abundant as our Starbucks, with one at most gas stations or malls. Among tourists who visit, they are famous for their ice coffee, which is more like a blended drink than a cup of diluted coffee with ice cubes. It is sinfully delicious, and incredibly addicting. As for their food, Aroma delivers very large portions of delicious salads, sandwiches and baked goods. My favorite is their tuna salad, which comes in a bowl big enough to bathe in- and for cheap too! Israeli salads are very different from those in America because they go easy on the lettuce. They prefer a salad heavy on the veggies, so they never skimp on the good stuff. The Aromas I have eaten at use fresh produce and their coffee is consistently good, every time.
I could go on and on, but the real point is: it's sad how the Aroma here doesn't measure up to the real thing. Chains that travel across the world usually don't deliver like they do in their homelands.