December 1, 2010


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Students from the School of Human Ecology love the place, but Martha’s just isn’t my favorite.  I’m sorry. I know I’ll get some negative feedback for this, but the tremendous lines and lack of places to sit really isn’t worth it.  Plus, unless you are on your way to North Campus, or you are in Human Ecology, there is no reason to be at that part of campus.  So, while many people are regulars, who swear by the food, for me … ehh not so much. I spent my first visit there trying to stay healthy.  I decided to get the naked burrito … big mistake.  Nothing was mixed, and the rice had even less flavor than the meat did.  The salsa was pretty lackluster as well, and there was way too much flavorless lettuce.  I didn’t go back for a little while; I was disappointed by the place, and I felt no real need to pass up Trillium or Manndibles for it. And yet I still kept hearing good things about Martha’s, so I returned to give it a second chance.  This time, I stayed far away from the naked burrito, and instead, chose a flatbread sandwich.  It was good.  It was coated in cheese, garlic and oil, and it had a little bit of chicken with some great dressing.  But what is coated with cheese, garlic and oil and not good?  Probably nothing. So, while I actually enjoyed my lunch that day, it was pretty expected.  By my usual style, I came back the next day, and this time tried a tuna salad wrap.  It was tasty enough, but for the third straight visit, I found myself without a table and eating on the ground with a friend.  The wrap itself took me about three bites to finish, and honestly, it was mediocre.  I think it might have been a better experience if I hadn’t been collecting dirt on my butt while sitting in the middle of a hall, but at the very least, it wasn’t as bad as that naked burrito.And finally, on my last day before Thanksgiving break, I knew I had to go with The Spinner.  The Spinner is supposed to be the Martha’s specialty. It is a quesidilla-like mixture of meat, cheese and other ingredients that make up the arsenal of the tex-mex station.  Surprisingly, by the end of it, I did not have a stomach ache. But unsurprisingly, I was still not impressed.  It was good, but for how unhealthy it probably was, I could think of a million things I would have rather eaten.  And I can’t even attribute my lukewarm appeal for Martha’s to the size of its portions.  I am a huge fan of the Atrium in the Johnson Business School, and their portions might even be smaller.  I think the biggest reasons I will not return to Martha’s are: A) There are too many other, better places on campus.  B) While an olive fan, I don’t want to taste olive in every tex-mex item I get there. C)  I would really love to sit at a table every once in a while.  Kudos to Martha’s for drawing such a crowd, but I won’t be part of it next time. D) It takes forever for them to prepare the food.  The delay is not due to a lack of hard work by their employees though; in fact, their employees are really nice — I just think they are under staffed.  And E) (wow, there are a lot of reasons … ) Overall, I don’t think I’ll ever leave that place completely happy.  So while Martha’s does serve its purpose on campus, it is not a purpose that involves me.  Like I said, some people love the place, and maybe it’s just me against the world, but with so many better options at Cornell, I don’t find its appeal.  I’ve heard they have good coffee, and their flatbread is pretty good, but that is for you to decide.  I am sorry to end the semester on a negative note, but I have really enjoyed spending the last few months making myself fat  … and then writing about it.  To all the places I have not mentioned, I hope to find you and write about you soon.  To all the places I have mentioned, thank you for ruining my abs (or lack there of). Have a safe break, and make sure to eat as much as you can.  Hopefully, over your six weeks off, you will try something new, and explore your culinary senses! I can’t wait ’til Spring when I can start all over again!


(Stars Out of Five)

Food: **

Service: ****

Decor: *

Price: ***

Overall Experience: **

Original Author: Ali Hamed