Duels, or “classy show-downs” as they are often called by no one, have been solving hot debates for ages. They're useful for delivering crowds a champion, through often unpredictable means (just ask Alexander Hamilton). Television loves a surprise, so what better way to measure and battle elements of TV than with a duel? Here, we will battle two characters in an imaginary contest of wills. Sometimes a winner will be crowned because of pertinent facts, and sometimes in spite of them.
This week’s duel? Friends' Central Perk v. Seinfeld's Monk’s Café in Online Reviews.
Central Perk 9/28/1995 ****
I LOVE this café! That blond waitress never gets my order right, but it’s just so charming! I hesitate to give it five stars only because their couches aren’t super-comfortable and the building only has three walls. Plus they charge for wi-fi. Also, what’s wi-fi?
Monk’s Café 11/10/1994 **
I tried this place out because my regular place was full. I usually go to this other diner down the street, but this one is okay too. I wasn’t blown away and the booths are a little small — you can barely fit four people in them. Reggie’s definitely has bigger booths, but at least I can get an egg-white omelette here. Also, I could’ve sworn that the waitress flipped me off.
Central Perk 11/7/1995*
I came here for the open mic night and it sucked. First off, they didn’t even HAVE a buffet, so false advertising. Second, the open mic only featured one singer. I think her song was about a diseased cat. I’m not sure though, I couldn’t really hear anything over this guy whining about his divorces.
Monk’s Café 5/20/1994 ****
The food was decent. I had a salad but honestly it wasn’t that big. They should call it a medium and charge a dollar less for it. Anyways, this is kind of weird, but I think they’re only hiring waitresses with ample bosoms. Is that even legal? Whatever, that earns it an extra star from me.
Central Perk 1/13/2000 ***
This place is just okay. The name is pretty stupid; I mean Central Park is miles from here. I guess they finally fired that blond waitress—she was horrible. I keep coming here because the muffins are really good I don’t know what they put in them! The new handsome dark-haired waiter is kind of an idiot; he kept smiling goofily at us and asking how everyone is doing. Then he kicked us out and said he had to go to an audition. What the?!?! The manager that looks kind of like he was struck by lightning came back then and fired him. That guy does not seem used to consequences. Also, it seems like they keep moving the bathroom around, and I can never find it.
Monk’s Café 2/17/1998 *
This café is not a café at all but a diner, and a constant disappointment at that. A few months ago they switched cashiers and I almost didn’t notice because that woman behind the register barely spoke to anyone. In fact the only people I could hear were two neurotics shouting about salsa. The place is always packed, though. I have to wonder, what’s it about? Probably nothing.
Central Perk 2/3/2000 **
I came here because it looked warm and inviting from the outside. I was really cold after spending all day in the West Village apartment hunting. I’m looking for an enormous two-bedroom apartment with an eat in kitchen, sunken living room, wall of windows, and lots of French pop art that I can afford as a twenty-something with only one other roommate while seldom working steady jobs. I ordered a latte and the waiter never brought it. Instead, he bizarrely sang “happy birthday” to five different women and gave them all free muffins. If I end up moving to this neighborhood, then I am definitely not becoming a regular here.
Decision: It came down to the wire, but Central Perk squeaked it out 8 stars to 7 stars. Monk’s came in second, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Actually, it’s a duel so by definition there is something wrong with that. Winner: Central Perk