Thursday, September 29, 2011

Would you like bears with that?


I have a tricky relationship with the Union Square location of pasta/pizza chain Vapiano.  I've gotten pasta there a handful of times.  It feels too big for the neighborhood and kind of has a strange vibe -- sort of faux Tuscan lounge (for faux Tuscan lounge lizards?). Still, the pasta dishes I've tried are pretty tasty.  The noodles are made on-site each day and the sauces are prepared right in front of the customers, to order.   A couple of slices of nice chewy bread may or may not be included -- bread only seems to come with the pasta if you luck into the right line cook's queue, but this is a minor quarrel.

The fact that the food is a bit overpriced, but worth it for a splurge, is complicated by their tendency to overcharge me by about $2 (the second time, I was on the lookout and got it corrected).  That they use a convoluted "swipe card" ordering and payment system seems to be part of the problem.  Be alert as you're paying, friends!

The first couple of times I went there, they included an adorable and tiny cup of gummy bears with my take-out order. I considered this a definite plus. Lately, however, they've just had a self-serve bowl of gummy bears (with scoop and cups) next to the registers.  And I thought I caught a glance between two of the employees when another customer took and ate one as she exited while I was paying this last time.

Don't make me admit I want the bears and dig for them myself, Vapiano.  Don't call me a gummy bear glutton behind my back.  See what you've done now? You've made me paranoid. Just give them to me. 

Seriously.  Give me the bears.


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