In Defense Of: M2M
Written by Finn Klauber
As many of us are aware, M2M recently pulled its health rating up from a C to a B. So, does that make it worth visiting? Or have its cheap Asian snack foods and underutilized seating area held allure all along? Internal editor Finn Klauber defends this hidden gem.
Look, I get it. M2M is just that weird Asian store tucked into an alcove on Broadway with a C (now a B!) health rating. And you’re probably just another middle class, non-Asian kid whose experiences with blue collar grime consist of leaving Bel Air on the freeway or standing in line behind some scary New Yorker when trying to buy beer at the NSOP Yankees game excursion. Why would you go to M2M? Sweetgreen is just twenty feet away, after all. Nothing screams out “new experiences” like spending more than 10 dollars on the luxury of an artisanal salad.
But, honestly, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. M2M is the hidden gem of the Morningside food and snack community, and it’s a shame that so few Columbia students see that C or B and decide to keep walking on. I was that Columbia student once, I know what it’s like. But M2M has a way of worming itself into your heart.
See, in the varying states of consciousness in which I’ve perused row after row of strangely detailed products packed with color, I have never been disappointed in my choices. Without engaging in a fetishization of East Asian culture, it is entirely appropriate to wonder at the vastly different trajectory on which Asian junk food developed opposed to that of our Western dominated culture. And M2M has managed to assemble the greatest collection of such delectable treats in the near Upper West Side. All you have to do is look inside.
And, you know, M2M is more than just some delicatessen for strange Asian snack foods. Did you know there’s an entire seating area, criminally underutilized, above the store itself? During finals and midterms season, why scrounge for ref room seat in Butler next to some unwashed and panicked sorority girls when can lounge about above your favorite snack place. Their coffee is about the same quality and price as that of Butler Cafe, but literally everything else is noticeably cheaper. Their hot food may be the source of their depreciated health rating, but I have never regretted purchasing a cheeseburger from M2M over a slice of pizza from Koronets. M2M is truly a terrific place.
In the early hours of the morning over the summer, while I was living on 114th and spending my days studying Latin, I would find myself waking up at 8 AM to get to class on time. By the time I was showered and dressed, I had less than 30 minutes to get a breakfast of some sort, maybe some coffee, and look over my notes. It’s at this point that I noticed a magical thing occur at M2M. Every day, before the likes of you or I are mentally prepared to face the novel horrors of a new day at Columbia, M2M is filled to the brim with construction workers, police officers, schoolteachers, teamsters, and every other worker we Columbia students usually pass over in our sophomoric haze.
I wondered, why doesn’t M2M’s health rating frighten or turn away this regular flood of patrons? Don’t they know? Seeing these same people day after day ordering eggs, sandwiches, soups, and dumplings, I realized that a letter grade stuck to the M2M window wouldn’t scare off these regulars. They had found something in M2M that doesn’t exist behind the sterile facades of Sweetgreen or Milano, something very real and very appreciable. And it is only now that I am able to truly see how amazing that is.
What are M2M’s actual hours though via the Spec