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A Review of Empire Bagels

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For students at John Jay High School, the alternatives to the cafeteria lunchroom are La Familia, Salsa Fresca, and Empire Bagels. If your stressing over your upcoming exam, lunch at one of these restaurants is sure to brighten your day. Going to empire bagels, however, would be a mistake. Although it is a step up from the JJHS lunchroom, Empire Bagels flops on its service and pricing.

Empire Bagel’s most popular menu items are the bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel and the Russian Cutlet. Admittedly, these items, along with much of the menu, are very tasty and miles ahead of whatever you can get at the lunchroom. The Russian Cutlet, in particular, takes advantage of the great combo of the crispy chicken cutlet and savory Russian dressing. However, the superior taste comes at a cost. The Russian Cutlet, and most other sandwiches, price in at around $7.00. This might not seem like a lot, but what if I told you that you can get two slices of pizza from La Familia or two cafeteria meals for the same price? However, it is still better than a meal from Salsa Fresca, which costs around $8.00 to $9.00. But Salsa Fresca tends to give much bigger portions and have fresher and healthier ingredients. An egg and cheese on a bagel, or some variety of that, usually costs around $3.50. Sure, that’s not bad. In fact, I would call that a good deal. Although the menu pricing for Empire Bagels needs some work, where it really suffers is in service.

Most sandwiches or bagels you order from Empire Bagels will take six to seven minutes to be prepared. Ordering from La Familia and/or Salsa Fresca, you are walking out the door in half the time. This is crucial considering most students walk off during a single free period. If you walk at a normal pace and leave just after the bell rings, you will have roughly ten minutes to eat. Sure that is enough time for some people, but if you combine this with the less than friendly attitude of the employees, it is obvious that their service needs improvement. 

Empire Bagels has food that is just as tasty, costs more, and takes much longer to prepare than La Familia. If you or a friend wants to get a bite to eat before your math quiz, I strongly recommend Empire Bagel’s neighbor: La Familia.

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