Though he couldn’t pack Chris Lombardi’s lunch when it comes to gourmet journalism, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo (above) did a fine job yesterday of imposing a death sentence on Bamn!, St. Marks Place’s attempt at recalling the Automats of yesteryear.
If its mostly vile $1-$2 delicacies – from chicken nuggets to peanut-butter-and-jelly empanadas – were sold in a deli, they wouldn’t draw a fruit fly. They are possibly the worst foodstuffs ever offered for human consumption outside a famine zone.
But automats have a Freudian hold on New Yorkers’ imaginations, even among those too young to have ever seen one. Bamn!’s clever owners saw how popular automats are in Japan and some European cities. Let’s launch a 24/7 operation serving instant junk food to boozers from the ‘burbs! Let’s put the stuff behind a wavy pink wall of plastic windows! Let’s use an exclamation point!
Chicken “teriburgers,” devoid of teriyaki flavor, come slathered in pink, mayo-like goo; roast pork buns conceal ghastly pools of pig matter.
Beware above all peanut-butter-and-jelly empanadas. Bite into the leaden dough with utmost care, lest a tide of purple-brown matter spew forth like a backed-up toilet.
Bamn! has a “consulting chef” – poor Kevin Reilly, who once did a good job at SoHo’s Zoe, but whose most recent local gig was comically bad Silverleaf Tavern, which gave up and converted itself into a lounge.
Bamn! should convert, too – perhaps to a phone booth, which could take your quarters but not pay you back with acid reflux.