Eatsa is an interesting concept for a restaurant that I heard about a while ago, but I just got the chance to try. For those of you who have not tried Eatsa, it is described as a modern take on the automat. And for those of you who don’t know what an automat is, an automat is a cafeteria or fast food restaurant where the food is served from vending machines. These type of restaurants were somewhat popular in the U.S. in the first half of the twentieth century, but have declined in popularity since.
At Eatsa you order your food with either the mounted iPads in the restaurant or via the app. After ordering, your name goes onto a digital board to indicate where you are in line. When your food is ready it almost magically appears in one of the many cubbies on the restaurant wall. Throughout this whole process, there are no human employee interactions. There was one Eatsa employee standing in the corner, almost trying not to be seen. It looked like he was there to assist any customers who had problems ordering, but no one did during my visit.
The menu at Eatsa mainly consists of vegetarian salads, soups, and bowls, which you can customize to your liking. Also on the menu is “eatsa Tea” which is described as “A crisp, unsweetened black tea.” The tea was unfortunately underwhelming. It wasn’t bad, but it had an acidic aftertaste and my initial thoughts were that it tasted like it was a tea made from a concentrate as opposed to being freshly brewed, but I have not been able to confirm this (read more below). I contacted via email their customer service about what brand their iced tea is and the response was as follows: “Our eatea Tea’s are a all in house formulas! Sincerely, The eatsa Team.” I overlooked the multiple grammatical mistakes in that email response, but I am still a bit confused about their tea. I can’t imagine they are growing their own tea leafs, but maybe they are. The price was not bad at $1.95, but you can not get refills.
July 2017 Update: Finally I got a more straightforward answer about Eatsa’s tea. Via Twitter I received a response of: “We use both Monterey Bay Spice Company and Five Mountains.” From this, it seems that they do in fact serve fresh brewed tea. Knowing this I am going to give their tea another try.