In Defense Of: Uni Café

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"U" should eat here... now

“U” should eat here… now

It’s time to bring back our somewhat regular In Defense Of feature, where we uphold the hated, disgusted, and all-around avoided Columbia establishments. This week, food eater Josh Dillon leaves the Ferris omelet line to grab some yogurt and support Uni Café.

I don’t consider myself a foodie, food connoisseur, or even healthy. I’m a sophomore with 14 meals/week and my claim to fame is that I once ate a bowl of shredded Parmesan cheese for dinner. I regularly buy cookie dough to eat as a snack, and my latest cooking endeavor resulted in mixing barbecue sauce into instant mashed potatoes (which I made in the microwave). My inability to provide food for myself has made me well acquainted with fast food restaurants and cafés in Morningside Heights, and my favorite by far is Uni Café.

Uni Café might only have 2 stars on Yelp and it might have been shut down earlier this year for health violations, but goddammit I can’t help but love the place. It has none of the pretentiousness of Starbucks, it’s cheaper than any other cafe on campus, and its line moves faster than a humanities major trying to grab a seat in 209.

I’ll be the first to admit that Uni doesn’t have the best tasting food. Sometimes their pizza tastes like wheat bread covered in pasta sauce. But when did we become such food snobs that we are afraid of a little cardboard pizza? Living in New York City we have access to some of the most well crafted food in the world, but there is art even in a Domino’s breadstick. What really keeps me running back to this absurdly large café is their customer service. Every worker greets me with a smile and is willing to ask how my day is going (the Latina woman working on weekday mornings is one of the nicest you will ever meet, even after dealing with rude customers). They know my order, and usually start to make it before I even get to the counter. Go to Nussbaum for a bagel and you’ll be lucky if the cashier doesn’t break your credit card in half with her slamming it about.

Of course, the prices are another incentive to take the walk across Broadway. Uni bagels have the same price as the overrated Nussbaum and Absolute bagels, but their prices really shine with their cheap breakfast sandwiches. Hangover cures have never been more affordable or delicious.

Let’s leave the snobbery to secret societies and Harvard. If you’re after a friendly atmosphere and good, cheap food, Uni is the place for you.

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  1. well  

    people defended hitler, too

  2. Anonymous

    Someone told me they keep their cupcakes out for days, so I took a picture of a devil's food cake cupcake, and FIVE (5) DAYS LATER, I came back and compared. The pattern was identical. It was the same damn cupcake.

  3. Not convinced  

    Your self-description does not recommend you as a food critic. Obviously that's your point, but still doesn't make me want to eat there. Now, if you had mentioned their Korean food specials, you might have had something.

  4. Anonymous  

    Comparing Uni Cafe pizza to cardboard pizza is like comparing Disaster Movie to The Big Lebowski

    • Anonymous  

      I didn't get this reference

      • Anonymous  

        Disaster Movie is a horrifying Lovecraftian abomination of a film that was made by God to punish humanity for its sins, while The Big Lebowski, while not being anywhere near the sort of top-level movie as Citizen Kane or Seven Samurai, is still a fun, chill movie that anyone can appreciate, especially if you don't take yourself or the movie too seriously.

  5. Sad Alum

    that ziti pizza... nevermore, nevermore..

  6. defending uni

    people hate uni for stupid reasons like bad calzones and bad food. You are not going there for gourmet food... There are HUNDREDS of good calzone places taht you can go to in order to get good calzones

  7. Blah

    Assuming that this is Pinnacle under a different name, I always considered this place the equivalent, sanitation-wise, to a streetcart.

  8. Also  

    Uni Cafe is open 24 hours, and really convenient to get to from Schapiro.
    And those egg sandwiches really are great and definitely the best for the money around.

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