September 3, 2012 by Emily Pergament
We do a lot of restaurant and food reviews on this Web site. Some of them good, some of them bad. Food is meant to be a shared experience, though, and sometimes more than one opinion is required to provide a comprehensive picture. That’s why I am proud to introduce a seminal moment in Fat in Manhattan’s existence – the first Point / Counterpoint. The subject: tapioca bubble tea.
Personally, I am surprised that bubble tea is our first point – counterpoint topic, because I liked it, and I can’t figure out why someone wouldn’t. Mark and Claire introduced Emily and me to bubble tea at Tapioca Story, a small bubble tea shop on 30th Avenue and 28th Street in Astoria. I got almond milk bubble tea (pictured above). It was a nice, understated flavor. I enjoyed chewing on the tapioca gummies. When prompted, I gave it a 7 out of 10.
You’re probably thinking: “Okay Rob, if you’re writing an endorsement for bubble tea, then you can be a bit more enthusiastic, right? It sounds like you don’t even care. You’re going to get killed in the counterpoint.” I say to you, I may get killed in the counterpoint, but I am not writing the pro-bubble tea post. I am writing the anti-bubble tea post. And not because I don’t like bubble tea, but because EMILY hated it so much, that she said she would be physically ill if she had to think about it with the intensity required to publish on this website. So therefore I am ghostwriting Emily’s post about bubble tea, and let me tell you, it is not pretty.
Look at that face. That is a face of many emotions – anger, confusion, denial, disgust, grief. When she first smelled the bubble tea, she drew back in revulsion. She told me later the scent alone activated her gag reflex. Despite the smell, she was brave enough to taste it, calling it both “ungodly” and “unnatural.” Apparently she wanted to cover all her religious bases, decrying bubble tea in both pagan and monotheistic terms. Her complaints did not even end with the bubble tea itself. She was horrified at the large straw, so constructed to allow for the tapioca bubbles to be retrieved. She also questioned the chemical makeup of tapioca, refusing to be comforted by Claire’s assurances that it comes from some kind of root. Finally, she admitted she does not like milk in her tea.
Even reading over my shoulder as I type, Emily’s face has turned deathly pale as she relives the moment when the bubble tea first made its way out of that uncommonly broad straw and passed into her mouth. I will quit the argument now and leave the floor to Mark and Claire before she becomes physically ill on the sofa.