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Time for a City Bakery rant

b
Blumie Dec 22, 2010 06:06 AM

So I'm a reasonable fan of City Bakery. Their bakery items are pretty good, their buffet items are decent, and it's a great place to sit and chat or read the Sunday Times. (My girlfriend spends so much time reading and working and meeting with students at City Bakery that we refer to it as her office.) but I find myself getting angry every time I need to use one of the flimsy plastic forks or knives they use. It's bad enough that they don't use reusable dishes and flatware for those eating in house, but they exacerbate the situation by using the cheapest, flimsiest plasticware they can find. Have you ever tried eating their delicious caramelized french toast with their plasticware? It's pretty near impossible without breaking several knives while trying to cut it. And it's not like the place is inexpensive. At the prices they charge, they can step up for some decent plasticware.

That is all.

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City Bakery
3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

  1. coasts Oct 17, 2011 08:18 PM

    i just can't get on board with City Bakery. i've never had more than a coffee and a cookie there, but both the food presentation and seating area keeps me from ever wanting to. the place is filthy and totally disorganized. what am i missing? it seems to have this amazing reputation, but for what?

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    City Bakery
    3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

    4 Replies
    1. re: coasts
      k
      kathryn Oct 17, 2011 09:04 PM

      I don't find it that gross but I often go on weekdays. The hits are the hot chocolate, pretzel croissant, and their insanely delicious French toast at brunch. The salad bar and offerings at lunch are quite tasty, too. Oh, and hot chocolate.

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      City Bakery
      3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

      1. re: kathryn
        Motosport Oct 18, 2011 07:21 AM

        Hot chocolate to die for. Get the small size. It is VERY rich. They also have home made marshmallows. Yummy!!
        I second kathryn's mention of the Carmelized Fench Toast. It is pricey but unique and delicious. Once again, don't get too much. It is very rich and filling.

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        City Bakery
        3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

        1. re: Motosport
          u
          uwsister Oct 18, 2011 06:32 PM

          BTW they only have those homemade marshmallows in winter. Not sure if they've started serving it yet - but they didn't have it in the summer, to my severe disappointment.

        2. re: kathryn
          pizzajunkie Oct 18, 2011 10:15 AM

          I wondered if CB was less busy on weekdays - thanks for the tip!

      2. t
        t19103 Oct 2, 2011 07:56 AM

        I was just there. They have silverware in addition to the plasticware.

        The prices, however, are still out of control.

        Food is good. Chocolate is very good but not as good as stuff I have had in Los Angeles, Montreal or Paris.

        1 Reply
        1. re: t19103
          b
          Blumie Oct 2, 2011 09:28 AM

          Thanks for this update. My gf texted a picture to me last week. It's about friggin' time!

        2. Motosport Dec 22, 2010 08:42 AM

          YIKES!! I have the same complaint!! I just don't get it. I love that French Toast but sawing thru it with the flexible noodle knife is a pain.
          Have you spoken to the manager? I plan on doing that the next time I am there.
          A friend who supplies plastic cuttlery, napkins etc. to food establishments says that the cost to upgrade is minimal. Then again, it's about the bottom line. Then again, it's not $1.99 French Toast!!!

          7 Replies
          1. re: Motosport
            b
            Brigita Dec 23, 2010 06:40 AM

            Agreed. I had the same experience recently and decided I probably won't be returning there for anything besides a tea or cocoa. I also paused for probably 4 seconds as I was paying to grab a tray and the person ringing me up pushed my stuff aside and rang up someone else. I did not walk away. I just needed a tray that was right next to the register. Then I got stand there awkwardly waiting. So, no thanks. I'd rather give my cash to a good food truck freezing their behinds off to make the rent this winter. City Bakery probably won't miss my business but that's fine. I don't need that in a city this diverse with good service and food.

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            City Bakery
            3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

            1. re: Brigita
              Motosport Dec 23, 2010 09:18 AM

              Personally, I would not take them off my list. I love the French toast and hot chocolate too much.
              I will make a mention of the flimsy plasticware to the manager.
              Maybe they are Chowhound fans??

              1. re: Brigita
                b
                Blumie Dec 23, 2010 10:03 AM

                I have found the service to be very friendly; my gripe is just with the plasticware. My gf and I ate lunch there yesterday, and even eating salad and salmon was annoying wih the flimsy plastic fork and knife.

                1. re: Blumie
                  squid kun Dec 23, 2010 11:12 AM

                  Wonder if they're using some kind of biodegradable plastic ware (the Birdbath bakeries are all about green practices). Just speculating, not defending flimsy forks - there must be sturdier eco-friendly products out there.

                  1. re: squid kun
                    Motosport Dec 23, 2010 11:26 AM

                    Chopsticks!!! Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

                    1. re: squid kun
                      b
                      Blumie Dec 23, 2010 04:18 PM

                      If they want to be eco-friendly, they should switch to flatware that they can wash and reuse.

                      1. re: squid kun
                        s
                        sugartoof Dec 23, 2010 05:13 PM

                        Pretty sure they were one of the first to jump on the biodegradable plastic bandwagon that are far too bendy and brittle for practical use.

                        My biggest problem with the place are the prices, which keep creeping up and up with every new venture they open. They've put themselves in or at least dangerously close to the splurge category on many of my favorite items. The cheaper goods usually sell out the quickest. They need to figure it out, and learn how volume sales works now that they're in a museum lobby, and SOHO.

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