Search Results: amir\'s
Amir’s is Back in Business

amirsRejoice! Mediocre falafel purveyor Amir’s has opened back up after getting beat down last week by the Department of Health.

Bwog ventured into the newly-scrubbed feeling establishment to query the proprietor as to whether his food was, in fact, safe to eat. He assured us it was, and that the issue had been “just a refrigerator problem.”

We hope so!

BREAKING: Amir’s Shut by Health Department

Terrible, terrible news as Morningside standby Amir’s has been shuttered due to health code violations. And it only violated 11 points’ worth of your health during its last inspection in January.

Bwog tried calling the ill-fated falafel distributor for comment, but after a few rings, the phone just cut off.  Close-up of the notice and the Department of Health’s list of grievances–and the fate of Amir’s!–after the jump.


R.I.P. Off-Campus Flex: Amir’s and Samad’s Edition

Say goodbye to off-campus Flex at two of its previous locations: Samad’s Gourmet, and the dubiously sanitary Amir’s.

Oh and one other thing: It’s not them, it’s you. According to Michael Novielli of Student Auxiliary and Business Services (heretofore known as SABS), “neither establishment had the volume of Flex business it had hoped for.”

Rest of the “Best of”: Falafels

Welcome back to the Best of series in which Bwog analyzes the best in a category of chosen food product!

This week, we take a critical eye toward perhaps the only apolitical Middle East controversy on campus.  Join us as we debate the virtues and vices of three of Morningside’s falafel-purveyors: Amir’s, the Cart on 110th and Broadway, and Jerusalem Restaurant.


You don’t have to worry about staining your shirt when you eat a falafel at Amir’s.  The tidiness of the sandwich here, however, is not necessarily a good thing, as Amir’s falafels tend be on the dry side.  While the fried falafel ball itself is crispy, its crunchy exterior overpowers the moist doughiness of the interior. The veggie condiments also give the sandwich an additional crunchy fresh kick, but overall there’s no messy, sauciness that makes falafels so savory.


Falafel Wars: Not A Joke

Amir’s has adjusted to the times; it got a makeover over the weekend and became Maoz. There’s a new green sign, the mirrors are green, the walls and ceilings are green, and there are also some yellow-and-white striped booths, but nevermind those. The falafel also got a little cheaper (from $4.75 for a sandwich to a mere $3.50, now we’re talking Hooda prices) and the store was bustling around 7 PM tonight. Amir’s has survived a Health Department shuttering (eegad, roaches!) in 2008 and many years in Morningside. And the battle rages on! Thanks to John “Shawarma King” Nordin for the photos.

Free Pizza on SEAS, Cheap Falafel on Amir

SEAS Classes of 2011 and 2012, be sure to join Dean Peña-Mora in Carleton Lounge in Mudd at 8:00pm tonight for an opportunity to meet him while grubbing on free pizza and drinks. Maybe even get his take on the swim test.

And for the rest of us, Amir’s on 114th and Broadway is having a special 2 for $1 “Falafel Bite” tonight. How big is a bite? It’s $1, who cares!

Westside Tells It Like It Is

Spending your parents’ money just got a little harder.

Local greengrocer-cum-discotheque Westside Market has stopped accepting Off-Campus Flex for purchases made between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., the hours of the store’s highest traffic volume.

The announcement this weekend came in the form of a delightfully terse sign posted at Westside registers (see right). Like Amir’s and Samad’s, problems at the heart of the Flex system appear to have forced Westside to curtail its use.

The long-term impact of the new “blackout dates” for Westside Flex aren’t immediately clear, but if you’re going shopping, bring more than your CUID next time or risk having a prix-free dinner of puffed rice cake shards and tiny jiggers of soup.

Off-Campus Flex Update #1586: It’s Everywhere You Want to Be!

WestsideWhen last we left the great promises of Off Campus Flex, we were bemoaning its demise and then celebrating its resurrection.  But now, as part of a long list Housing and Dining improvements (which include a mini-Mill Korean at Carleton Lounge in Mudd, faux-vitamin water in John Jay, a taco bar in Ferris Booth, and churros and $9.99 cases of water in JJ’s), there is a new list of locations that currently and will soon accept flex.  Nussbaum, Fairway, Westside and University Hardware and Houseware currently offer the option, while Chipotle, CampusFood, Amir’s, The Heights, Samad’s and Camille’s will be up and running sometime this summer.  Once school restarts, however, the original Mill Korean and Community Food and Juice will join the flex-wielding ranks.  And if you need further excuse to discuss collegiate gourmet, Housing and Dining created a Facebook group just for you!


New Food Discounts in Morningside Heights

Bwog: Keeping Your Piggy Bank Slightly More Full Since 2006.

In the beginning there was Tenka, the no-fee app that lets students use social media to redeem first come, first served coupons at local eateries. Oh, and how could we forget the ultra-hip CampusFood? Thanks to the latter, we’ve been holed up in our rooms since last September with a continuous stream of flex-funded Kitchenette pancakes.

And then there were three.

UniEats, a food discount service founded last Fall at UPenn as PennEats, has just launched a Columbia branch. The deal is simple: buy a $15 card ($12 during pre-sale) online or through campus representatives at any time during the school year and use it through next May to get between 10 and 20 percent off your bill at participating local markets, coffee shops, and restaurants. Highlights include P&W, Amir’s, and Maoz. Check out the full list (and restrictions) here. According to their site, UniEats will give a portion of all proceeds to local charities.

Image of the thing you hide from your roommate but secretly think is cute via Wikimedia Commons.

Bwoglines: Historical Matters Edition

Lincoln, contemplating history

History Professor Eric Foner strikes gold—for the second time! Yesterday, Columbia University awarded the Bancroft Prize to Foner for his book “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” Thanks to CU, Foner will also receive $10,000 (!) in prize money. Damn, it must feel good to be a Tweedster. (ABC News)

There’s good food in Morningside Heights—who would’ve guessed? Apparently, certain foodies find Veggie Sandwich at Amir’s particularly scrumptious. (Serious Eats)

Columbia University Press, along with its peers at Harvard and Cornell, plans to make its scholarly books available on JSTOR through its Books at JSTOR initiative. Writing research papers just got 34508 times easier. Win! (INFOdocket)

FYI, the Oxford English Dictionary plans to add certain internet initialisms to its lexicon. LOL! (engadget)

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a disaster in Lower Manhattan that took the lives of 146 mostly female garment workers. Though tragic, this fire is a landmark in the history of the city of New York, for it led to important reform in the realms of workers’ rights and factory safety. (City Room, NYT)

Inspired by the memory of the Triangle Fire, the Sweatshop Free Upper West Side Campaign has planned a news conference and rally to protest Saigon Grill Restaurant’s labor law violations. Protesters will meet outside Saigon Grill on 90th Street and Amsterdam Avenue at 1 pm to call attention to the restaurant’s continued unethical policies.

Thinkin’ Lincoln via Wikimedia Commons

They’re Hiring!

It’s helpful to have a job when you’re a broke college student – preferably one that doesn’t require you to take the subway. To help you out on your quest for employment, we did a little legwork and found out who’s hiring in Morningside.

  • Ricky’s (114th & Bway) is looking for all positions, including stylists.
  • American Apparel (109th & Bway) wants you. Don your golden onesie!
  • Vine (116th & Bway) is looking for full- and part-time hostesses and servers with experience.
  • Pinkberry (112th & Bway) is also hiring. If you make a good first impression, the manager might hire you on the spot.
  • Campo (114th & Bway) isn’t actively hiring right now, but we’re told that they will be within the next couple of weeks.
  • Amsterdam Restaurant (119th & Amsterdam) will be hiring within the next two months.
  • Book Culture (112th b/w Bway and Amsterdam) is apparently pretty full, but send your resume to and you could get lucky.
  • Community (113th & Bway) isn’t hiring right this second, but they tell us that the restaurant business changes from moment to moment, so you should probably drop off your resume and application anyway.
  • Amir’s (113th & Broadway) is hiring cashiers. It rhymes!
  • Kitchenette (123rd & Amsterdam), Deluxe (113th & Bway), Le Monde (112th & Bway) and Vareli (112th & Bway) aren’t actively hiring, but applications are welcome.
After the Storm: What’s Open?

After surviving last night’s storm/Facebook being down, you’re probably ready to venture outside to assess the damage.  While we were lucky in Morningside Heights, some locations remain closed.  Check back for further updates!

Closed: Amir’s, Starbucks, Uni Cafe, Liz’s Place, Crumbs, Havana Central, Brad’s, Cafe 212, Cafe East, Butler Cafe, Camille’s, Community, Mill, Le Monde, Pinkberry, Nussbaum & Wu, Chipotle, Five Guys, 1020, Bistro 1018

“SEVERE WEATHER UPDATE: Please disregard the “What’s Open Now” sidebar.  John Jay Dining Hall will be the only dining unit open Wednesday, October 31st and Thursday, November 1st from 8am to 8pm, and Friday, November 2nd from 8am to 2pm.  All meal plan and non-meal plan students/staff (pay cash or credit card) are accepted.” – Columbia Dining

Luckily, most places are open!

  • Campo
  • Mel’s
  • The Heights
  • Tap A Keg
  • Abbey (opens at 4)
  • Lion’s Head
  • Cannons
  • Pourhouse
Restaurants and Cafes: 
  • Hungarian Pastry Shop
  • Deluxe
  • Tom’s
  • Koronet’s
  • Roti-Roll
  • Taquiera
  • Thai Market
  • Silver Moon
  • Oren’s
  • Vine
  • Tea Magic
  • Ollie’s
Cafe Fresh Closed?

A Siberian location and even chillier service appears to have put yet another Morningside Heights business on ice.

Café Fresh seems to be the latest victim of These Economic Times. With its windows covered over with butcher paper and all signs removed for the exterior, the brusque coffeeshop looks vacant from the sidewalk. Some patrons also report the café closing unusually early Saturday at noon, which may have been a very last last call. 

Strangely enough, a Craigslist ad was spotted last October offering for sale a coffeeshop that matched Café Fresh’s description. Though managers denied the ad was their doing, a little Internet wheelin’-and-dealin’ may not have been such a bad idea in retrospect.

Let the calls for a Five Guys or Chick-Fil-A begin.

UPDATE (10:30 a.m., Monday): Did sanitation violations kill Café Fresh?


Bwog Housing Review: Broadway

Location: 2900 Broadway (actual entrance on 114th, shared with Hogan)

  • Nearby dorms: Hogan, Ruggles, Carman. Worth noting that Broadway shares an entrance with Hogan.
  • Stores and restaurants: Close to Lerner and Butler, across the street from Amir’s, Havana, International. Morton’s is only a block away across Broadway.


  • $6,718 (same as Furnald, McBain, Schapiro, Wien)


  • Bathrooms: Corridor-style, so shared M/F bathrooms… but there are two of each per floor!
  • AC/Heating: AC and heat.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Each floor has a decently-sized kitchen/lounge combo that has two separate stoves, a dishwasher, a microwave, and a large flatscreen TV. Broadway’s skylounge is easily the best around. There’s also a large first-floor lounge with ample space for group studying.
  • Laundry: In basement. Didn’t accept Flex last semester, but now it does.
  • Computers/Printers: Computer lab with printer on the third floor. Printer prone to be fussy.
  • Gym: No gym.
  • Intra-transportation: Three blazing-fast elevators. They have a tendency to malfunction at odd hours of the day… but still, there’s three elevators.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Hardwood/laminate.
  • Bike storage: You might be able to squeeze one in the larger singles or doubles.

Room variety:

  • Most floors have three doubles, one of which is pretty spacious (200 sq. ft.)
  • Rest of the rooms are singles: exterior (more desirable) and interior (shaft, less desirable). Sizes range from 95 sq. ft. to 120 sq. ft.


  • Seniors can get the large singles, with juniors and lucky sophomores snagging up the less desirable ones.
  • Doubles generally go to sophomores.

Bwog recommendation:

If you’re a senior and in General Selection, Broadway pretty much guarantees you decent housing. Juniors in General Selection should look at Broadway before Schapiro or Wien, given the amenities, room sizes, and proximity to campus and shops/restaurants. For sophomores, large doubles in Broadway are a good alternative to Furnald or McBain. (more…)

Senior Wisdom: Todd Nelson

Todd NelsonName, Hometown, School, Major: Todd Nelson, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Double Major in Environmental Science and American History

Claim to Fame? Worked with some great friends building the Columbia environmental community (<3<3<3), CUE leader

Where are you going? I’m part of the inaugural Venture for America class (holla at CU fellows Derek Turner and Jim Kahmann!!) so for the next 2 years I’ll be working in renewable energy entrepreneurship.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. I learned how to respect others and receive criticism- One of the great things about coming to Columbia is that your big head gets deflated after kicking everybody’s ass in high school with how great you are at everything (amirite?).
  2. I learned what I like to do: Turns out it’s what I had already been doing on campus- start and build organizations to solve environmental problems- in the real world, that’s called green start-ups.
  3. I’ve learned what loyalty looks like and what betrayal looks like, how good friends treat you when you need it, and how people like to be treated. Advice from me to you- learn what these look like for you, it’s different for everyone.

“Back in my day…” NoNoCo – and Pinnacle baked ziti. Uni Caf*ck that.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I think big, therefore I am.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? The theory on the War on Fun, by my suitemate John Ox, crushes all theories on the War on Fun. Read it and free yourselves.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I haven’t eaten meat in 4 years. Cheese is no biggie. My loyalty remains firmly with oral sex.

Advice for the class of 2016: Build something or work with others to build something – whether it is a community on campus, a student organization, a project, or a cause – is the most useful thing you can ever do for yourself and your future.

Also, Mondel’s chocolate, GO THERE. Bring your mom there. Bring your girl/boy/person-friend there. — 114th right next to Amir’s!

Any regrets: I didn’t go to the Varsity Show until my junior year, and then I did. And I regretted not going the first two years.