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The Pop-Tarts Café Ruined Breakfast Food for Me Forever, So That's Fun

By Rebecca Pahle | Food Porn | March 2, 2017 | Comments ()

By Rebecca Pahle | Food Porn | March 2, 2017 |


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I felt the inevitable cold chill of death last week when I read about NYC’s Pop-Tarts Café. Open for limited time in the vicinity of Times Square (strike one), the Pop-Tarts Café took over Kellogg’s NYC, an Officially (TM) Branded (TM) culinary “experience” that sells $8 bowls of cereal to clueless tourists (strikes two through ten). Yet I knew I’d have to go to it. Not for the food.

Or for the experience.

Or for the ‘gram.

No. I went to the Pop-Tarts Café for journalism. And then, right after, I went to see Rock Dog, so you pretty much know how my Sunday went. Why do I do this to myself? I don’t even like Pop-Tarts that much.

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The Pop-Tarts Café sells 17 flavors of Pop Tarts for a buck a pop, or $3 for a four-Tart “flight,” because ooh, someone’s fancy. All the standard flavors are present—cherry, blueberry, various chocolates—and can be toasted at a “station” that’s just a dude at a table with a few toasters. I cannot possibly stress how stupid it is that people spend money on this.

But the allure of the Pop-Tarts Café—inasmuch as it has an “allure,” which hey, maybe getting a root canal has an “allure” for some people—is the custom Pop-Tart confections. There’s… uh… a Tex-Mex theme? Not really sure what the reasoning is, but there are the Birthday Fiesta Nachos (“Confetti Cupcake Pop-Tarts ‘chips,’ strawberry ‘salsa,’ frosting ‘cheese,’ fresh mint, sprinkles, birthday candle”) and Tarty Tacos (“Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts ‘ground beef,’ coconut ‘lettuce,’ jelly bean ‘tomato,’ strawberry sriracha ‘salsa,’ frosting ‘sour cream,’ cinnamon-sugar-dusted corn tortilla”), plus a Pop-Tarts pizza and Pop-Tarts chili fries. I went with the Pop-Tarts Burrito, chocolate covered-strawberry variety (“Chopped Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts, fresh strawberries, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce, wrapped in sweet crepe”). This is what it looked like:

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Guys. The Pop-Tarts Café fucked up chocolate and strawberry. I didn’t know that was possible, but fuck my black, shriveled soul if they didn’t manage it. The strawberries were unripe and over-tart, leaving a sour aftertaste. The crepe (“burrito” my ass) was shoddily put together and fell apart before I even touched it, leaving me to awkwardly—and messily—eat it with the provided plastic spoon. A friend of mine went to the Pop-Tarts Café later that same day and got a pizza, because no one in my friend group has an ounce of self-preservation instinct, apparently. He said it had the same problem re: falling apart. Seems like it should be pretty easy to figure out how to make a Pop-Tarts crust that doesn’t crumble when you breathe on it, right? If you’re a chef, and that’s your job? The “taco” is a bunch of random shit tossed in two normal wheat tortillas for $9, which I honestly kind of admire for the sheer level of sociopathy it exemplifies.

I also got an espresso milkshake, because if there’s one thing a breakfast pastry cafe should be able to handle with some reasonable level of aplomb, it’s a shake, right? I picked up said shake in a locker decorated like a Pop-Tart, which is a cute enough system, if mildly pointless. And the shake looked good…

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…but it was overly sweet, to the point that I could only drink a third of it. Which is ridiculous, because A) I have a monster sweet tooth, and B) I am cheap and the shake was twelve dollars. Vincent Vega is spinning in his grave right now. The burrito was also $12, which means when you add in tax and tip I somehow spent $29 for a brunch snack at the god-damn Pop-Tarts Café. At least, despite the sizable line, I didn’t have to wait long for a table—turn-around’s pretty quick here, because the portions are so damned small you can eat your entire “meal” in approximately four minutes.

TWENTY. NINE. DOLLARS.

The Pop-Tarts Café was supposed to revert back to its normal cereal state on Monday, but enough dipshits like myself have gone to it that it’s staying open through March 12. If you’re in the neighborhood, do me a favor and moon this culinary abortion for me.


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