Sure, some like their Egg McMuffin's and even "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery talks about getting his fix of Bojangles Biscuits, but there are millions who love the traditional bagel for breakfast (or lunch -- or even brunch). One of the things that make these breakfast items popular is their convenience and portability. This is also a plus for the time-tested bagel. But Bantam Bagels, which opened its doors on September 3, has finessed the bagel into a more user friendly, bite-sized, artisanal item -- something perfect for on-the-go New Yorkers.
The Gothamist reported Sept. 3 that Bantam Bagels took the idea of the donut hole -- or donut ball -- and simply transferred it to the bagel. But they added a twist: Stuffing what usually goes on top or inside the traditionally sliced bagel inside the dough.
Owners of the new West Village eatery, Nick and Elyse Oleksak, have developed an entire line of the small, bite-sized, pop-them-in-your-mouth nuggets. Represented are all the traditional toppings for bagels. There's Bantams filled with veggie cream cheese and cinnamon raisin Bantams filled with sweet walnut cream cheese. Then there are the Bantams with appropriate catchy labels. There's the schoolkid-inclined Box Lunch (Bantam topped with crushed, roasted peanuts and filled with peanut butter and strawberry jam). And the Italian-style Grandma JoJo (Italian-spiced Bantam bagel filled with basil pesto cream cheese, topped with a marinated tomato). There's also the street cart inspired Hot Pretzel (pretzel bagel topped with sea salt and filled with Dijon mustard and sharp cheddar cream cheese).
The bagel shop opened just in time for Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, which fell on Sept. 5 this go round. It is the earliest date Rosh Hashanah can fall on in any given year (due to the date falling exactly 165 days after Passover). The last time the Jewish New Year fell on Sept. 5, the year was 1899.
With bagels being a traditional ethnic food of Jews -- and, by extension, millions of New Yorkers -- the timely arrival of the bagel shop will give busy consumers something convenient and quick -- not to mention something somewhat different to celebrate the new year -- and quite tasty to alleviate their hunger pangs.
The Bantam bagel balls are priced at $1.35 each -- steep if you're in Atlanta, but (by the miracle that is cost-of-living relativity) affordably priced in New York.
Now, if they can just make a bite-size Reuben that stays true...
(photo credit: Bantam Bagels, promotional use)