In this day and age, a contactless experience is key. That's the whole point of a brand new automat in Jersey City that recently opened at the end of January.
Automat Kitchen, at 525 Washington Blvd., is a new take on an old concept. It's inspired by the automats of the mid-20th century, where you could pay and enjoy your meal without relying on any staff to help you. In fact, New York City had at least 30 of them at their peak. It was a state-of-the-art time and money saver.
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This new eatery was designed with custom hardware and patented software to make the whole experience seamless—customers can order their meal in advance on the phone or online, or by scanning a QR code or at a kiosk inside. Then, they get a code via text that opens a single cubby when the order is ready. (The status of each order is displayed on screens above the cubbies.) The craziest thing is that meals are all delivered in 10 minutes or less.
Automat Kitchen is different than the automat of the past, though. All dishes, which are of the comfort food variety, will be made to order, meaning that meals aren't sitting out all day. They're also crafted by chef Quirino Silva, who put a creative and global twist on American classics, according to reps for the eatery.
The menu includes dishes like Pastrami Reuben Flatbread; Frito Pie Burrito; The Wedge salad with iceberg lettuce, lardons, tomato and creamy blue cheese dressing; Chicken Pot Pie with vegetables, puff pastry and creamy gravy; Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with turmeric, garam masala, sweet potato and cilantro; Massaman Curry Pot Roast with sweet potato, cauliflower, carrot; Chicken Dinner with half of a rotisserie chicken, black beans, brown rice and spicy sofrito sauce; Atlantic Salmon with Miso Roasted Broccoli and Ancient Grains.
There are also breakfast items like a waffle sandwich with breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs and maple syrup and smoothies like The Hulkster with kale, avocado, green apples, spinach and spirulina.
The dishes look surprisingly amazing given that they're delivered via cubby holes.
Automat Kitchen is open 8am to 8pm, Mondays through Fridays, and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays, and it's only 35 minutes from Manhattan via the PATH train.
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