First Impressions: Olive’s

Olives roasted shiitake sandwichThe latest in a series of flash reviews of the restaurants at Hudson Eats in Brookfield Place. Previously: Black Seed Bagels, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque, Little Muenster, Umami Burger.

I first went to Olive’s for breakfast, planning to get a scone or muffin or whatever. Perhaps I’m spoiled by Arcade Bakery, but I just can’t buy mediocre-looking baked goods anymore. (Although Olive’s does have non-Montreal bagels, if you’re among those fed up with Black Seed.) So I ordered oatmeal ($4) with raisins and brown sugar ($1 more). It’s real steel-cut oatmeal, if a bit watery, and possibly the highest-margin item in all of Hudson Eats. I was annoyed with all the waste, yet again, and I had decided I’d just consider it all recyclable until I took a swig of Stumptown coffee and got a big mouthful of grounds, which I had to spit into the oatmeal cup. (Adam, later: “They just opened. Cut ’em some slack.” Me: “I don’t care if it’s Day One. You should be able to get coffee right.”)

Lunch was much better: The roasted shiitake mushroom sandwich with watercress, oven-dried tomatoes, and herb ricotta had terrific flavor, despite a rubbery baguette. (There goes Arcade Bakery again, ruining everywhere else.)

I’ve never been to the Olive’s in Soho, so I don’t know if the service at the Hudson Eats location should come as a surprise. You order, if you can get someone’s attention, at which point you’re handed a receipt so you can move on to the register. Fine. But at lunch, the cashier was on the phone the whole time, so I had to pantomime that I wanted the receipt back. At breakfast, I had to repeat everything I said—even after I started overenunciating—and it got so ridiculous the worker and I laughed about it.

When I was handed the bag with my oatmeal in it, I could tell by touch that there was no spoon. I peeked inside to make sure. “Could I have a spoon?”


“I need a spoon.”

“It’s in the bag.”

I looked in again. “There’s no spoon.”

“It’s in the bag.”

“I don’t know what to tell you besides there’s no spoon.”

Another worker: “Everything is inside the bag, sir.”


How has Olive’s been for you?

P.S. A general thought regarding Hudson Eats: The restrooms are rather nice (or at least the men’s one is), but the hallway to get there is crazy narrow.

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Recent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
• Hudson Eats: Black Seed Bagels, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque, Little Muenster, Umami Burger
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  1. My entire experience with Hudson Eats so far has been mediocre at best. The food is OK but it’s the staff that really ticks me off. They all seem like a result of bad hiring decisions. I saw many of them on their phones while standing behind their respective counters and, supposedly, working. They seemed generally careless and at times they were plain rude. Get your s**t together Hudson Eats!

    p.s I can almost guarantee that Blue Ribbon sushi, when it finally comes to H.E., will not hire their staff from the similar pool.

  2. Tribeca should find something better to do than complain about the businesses that open. Should you not be in the hamptons already?

    • What’s better than complaining about businesses that open that don’t get the basics of opening or running a business or providing a good customer service and experience? Blind faith is only for the little brains. All the big brains are in the Hamptons. Oh, and the Hamptons have both internet and helicopter service. Living it up as my piggy toes soak in the Atlantic at Sagg Main Beach. OMG, is that a shark fin?!!! GET OUT OF THE WATER!!!!

  3. I actually had a really positive experience at Olives – even if it did only revolve around their coffee… Their iced coffee is pretty awesome, you almost don’t need sweetener – but be warned, it is pretty strong (I appreciate that). Another customer ordered a different iced coffee that came from a keg that was frothy like a Guinness. The man behind the counter offered me a taste – totally unlike any other iced coffee I’ve had before. I was almost ok having it black – it was that good.

  4. Although I love their caesar salad I probably will not go back to Olive’s again.
    I made a purchase and paid by credit card. The clerk and later the manager refused to give me a receipt !. I insisted telling them that I absolutely need it in order to balance my records when the credit card bill arrives. They suggested that I write the amount somewhere so I could keep track !!! What is more ridiculous is that I had to sign for the purchase and the slip was probably easily available.