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ABP vs ABP: A cafe smackdown

By Ashley Coto, Special to the Chronicle

Hofstra University's very own Au Bon Pain is a public hub for students and staff to sit down, relax, and have a bite to eat. Aside from Starbucks Coffee and California Pizza Kitchen, it is the only branded franchise restaurant available on campus, and by far the most nutritious.

"They have very good options; I'm a vegetarian and I like the selection they have there," said Rebecca Gianarkis '13. With a variety of salads, wraps, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, heart filling sandwiches, natural juices and fresh coffee along with a full collection of milk; it is guaranteed there is something for everyone, in addition to a fast a casual experience.

"I go there because it is convenient, and close to my classes," said David Czech '14. Located on 116 California Avenue, students and staff alike agree that the atmosphere is a positive and friendly one, "It is nice, friendly, quick, and easy with the self serve," said Simona Byk '13. "I like the sandwiches," added Czech.

"Chicken sandwich, Arizona Chicken, just…sandwiches- all of them are really bought the most," said all-around employee Ademir Hernandez. Agreeably delicious and nutritious, is the customer actually getting a good deal from the restaurant? Or is the respectful ‘Hofstra University' tag over the name simply promising to the eye?

 Hofstra's Au Bon Pain is open seventy hours a week; compared to Jericho's location, which only services fifty hours weekly and is closed on the weekends. The next location of Au Bon Pain, found within the Empire State Building in Manhattan, is only open forty-five and a half hours weekly. Try going there any day after noon, and you will get a big fat closed sign in your face. Hofstra comes in first when it comes to it's availability hours.

"Everything is always bought; soup, the coffee-all day long, tea, lemonade, sodas, the drink- I am always replacing the item," said Hofstra's employee Willie Phillips. The difference in food quality between Au Bon Pain locations is usually which foods are pre-packaged, and which ones are made at the order. At Hofstra's Au Bon Pain salads, parfaits, pastries, some wraps, all the soups, soda, home-brewed lemonade and ice tea, and all the coffee are open for self-serve. At other Au Bon Pain locations, salads, wraps, and soups are generally served at the order, but other then that there are no major differences. If the location is big enough, plates and other silverware are distributed, while everything at Hofstra's campus is disposable. The food is on strict standard, making neither one of better quality. As far as maintenance, the workers at our own have a few things to say.

"Ours is much cleaner than the one in Manhattan," said Phillips. While the menus remain consistent between locations, it appears that "because we are on a sophisticated college campus, we keep the place looking a little nicer," he added.

The food is the same, and the prices are also standard. If Au Bon Pain is the place to go to for good food and a healthy selection, continue going there as one is only being promised equal quality with more opportunity!

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