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  1. #1
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    Is it time for the automat to return?



    n the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s Automats were a New York City dining staple for a hard-working lunch crowd, a modernist icon for a boundless machine-age future. At their height there were over three dozen in the city, serving 800,000 people a day. And nearly everyone who actually experienced Automats in their heyday says the same thing: They never forgot the thrill of being a kid at the Automat.

    Created by Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart in Philadelphia in 1902, coin-operated Automats were lovingly-designed Art Deco temples to modern efficiency. Sleek steel and glass vending machine grids displayed sandwiches and main dishes as well as desserts and sides, each in their own little boxes, square and even, clean and well-lit. You put a coin in the slot, opened the door and removed your food—which was reportedly quite good, as the founders took terrific pride in their craft.
    Source: https://www.6sqft.com/horn-and-harda...ing-on-a-dime/

    Some of you may recall, I have a mild fascination with automats. I ate in them a couple of times as a young kid and I'm one of those who still remember them. It wasn't quite a meal with the Jetsons, but that was a cartoon and this was real life. It seemed like the sort of thing that was science fiction made real.

    Now, with social distancing and such, I wonder if they could be brought back. Sure, today we can throw something in the microwave or have something delivered to us, but sometimes one is out and about and just wants to have a place to grab coffee and a snack (perhaps without the Starbucks setting).

    What do you guys think? If the food was good, as it was in the original automats, and it were convenient to someplace where you might be walking or biking around (these were big city conveniences), would you go to one? I'm sure with modern automation the process could be improved so you weren't handling cash or having to open little doors with your hands.
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  2. #2
    Epic! Hansworst's Avatar
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    We still have those over here. Most famous place using them is FEBO.
    Last edited by Hansworst; 2020-08-01 at 10:49 AM.
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  3. #3
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    @Hansworst Thanks! I knew they had held on in some form in various countries. What do you think of FEBO? Decent food? OK for grabbing a bite? Do you ever go there?
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  4. #4
    The Insane Acidbaron's Avatar
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    Was about to say, that they are still fairly common in The Netherlands, don't think they ever really made it here. At best we have automat's where you can buy bread and such but nothing actually warm. Although we Belgians do like our "frituurs" so we generally never needed these for hot snacks.

  5. #5
    im always fascinated with lack of self control that so many people have when it comes to food.

    i mean if you eat nice breakfest around 7-8 there is not much reason to eat till at least around 16-17 .

    its laziness and gluttony that least to what we have nowadays.

  6. #6
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    @kamuimac Nor can I understand those who shove bananas in their ear! (Random utterances are good, right?)

    Thank you for voicing your opinion on when to eat, the question, however, was about a place to eat.
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmouse View Post
    @Hansworst Thanks! I knew they had held on in some form in various countries. What do you think of FEBO? Decent food? OK for grabbing a bite? Do you ever go there?
    It's rarely used during the day.

    I often grabbed a burger there when it was around 4 or later at night after a night out, and you wanted a quick bite so the hangover wouldn't be that bad the following day. Terrible food though. It lost popularity to the doner kebab in the last few years though. ( City of Groningen, Netherlands )

  8. #8
    I believe Japan has a lot of things like this. They have canned food restaurants as well. Why America went away from it is beyond me.
    Quote Originally Posted by scorpious1109 View Post
    Why the hell would you wait till after you did this to confirm the mortality rate of such action?

  9. #9
    Void Lord Doctor Amadeus's Avatar
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    Mmm Pies maybe scones? Ahhh Carbs!!!!!!!!!!
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  10. #10
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    I feel like so many places could reduce their food waste if they could had an easy grab and go option. There was a grocery that basically put their hot deli/cafeteria outside during renovations. They made a killing because people could just roll up and grab something and be out without having to go inside and maybe get stuck at a slow cash register just for a quick bite.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Zantos View Post
    I believe Japan has a lot of things like this. They have canned food restaurants as well. Why America went away from it is beyond me.
    because processed food is extremly unhealthy

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    because processed food is extremly unhealthy
    Most food is processed unless you want to eat only raw foods, but fuck that.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    because processed food is extremly unhealthy
    American food is extremely unhealthy. Large sizes, full of grease and fats and very processed. Heck, fast food is down right horrible in terms of nutritional value. That is why I am shocked this went away. We have never cared about the health aspect of food before, just the convince and speed. These would be perfect, and probably a heck of a lot healthier since the food would be made fresh each day
    Quote Originally Posted by scorpious1109 View Post
    Why the hell would you wait till after you did this to confirm the mortality rate of such action?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Hansworst View Post
    We still have those over here. Most famous place using them is FEBO.
    And it's so disgusting. FEBO is absolute garbage that I wouldn't even eat when I'm drunk.

    And that's my experience with all automats. I don't want them, because it removes agency from the operator. If I received something like FEBOs food elsewhere, I'd throw it back at the face of whomever served it to me.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Zantos View Post
    American food is extremely unhealthy. Large sizes, full of grease and fats and very processed. Heck, fast food is down right horrible in terms of nutritional value. That is why I am shocked this went away. We have never cared about the health aspect of food before, just the convince and speed. These would be perfect, and probably a heck of a lot healthier since the food would be made fresh each day
    Wow nation bashing
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  16. #16
    Wut i want pieh

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Sorensen View Post
    Wow nation bashing
    Not even in the slightest. Our fast food is very unhealthy and we have a lifestyle where we care about convince over nutritional value. Its how we are. Its why I am surprised we don't have this still.
    Quote Originally Posted by scorpious1109 View Post
    Why the hell would you wait till after you did this to confirm the mortality rate of such action?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    i mean if you eat nice breakfest around 7-8 there is not much reason to eat till at least around 16-17 .
    Depends on the job. Be a construction worker or some other physical and watch how you do without

  19. #19
    The Insane Acidbaron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorensen View Post
    Wow nation bashing
    It's not nation bashing when you're the only nation that has extra large sizes for food, also for clothing.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmouse View Post



    Source: https://www.6sqft.com/horn-and-harda...ing-on-a-dime/

    Some of you may recall, I have a mild fascination with automats. I ate in them a couple of times as a young kid and I'm one of those who still remember them. It wasn't quite a meal with the Jetsons, but that was a cartoon and this was real life. It seemed like the sort of thing that was science fiction made real.

    Now, with social distancing and such, I wonder if they could be brought back. Sure, today we can throw something in the microwave or have something delivered to us, but sometimes one is out and about and just wants to have a place to grab coffee and a snack (perhaps without the Starbucks setting).

    What do you guys think? If the food was good, as it was in the original automats, and it were convenient to someplace where you might be walking or biking around (these were big city conveniences), would you go to one? I'm sure with modern automation the process could be improved so you weren't handling cash or having to open little doors with your hands.
    The USA is one of the few places this type of stuff ISNT being utilized like it should. You go to Japan and you can get a 4 course meal from a damn vending machine.

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