Friday, July 2, 2010

Food For Thought: The 10K Bagel

Through my career as a barista I have fallen in love with coffee (naturally) and bagels. Gone are the days of the doughnut and cup of coffee (but trust me, I still grab a bag of doughnut holes when I want to indulge) and the era of the bagel has begun...

I'm an everything bagel kind-of-gal. Give me the salt/hint of garlic/the pop and the seed, mixed that all together, toast that sucker, and I'll cream cheese my way to a quiet food heaven. Occasionally I'll vamp up my everything and make it into a breakfast bagel (sausage, egg, and cheddar), grab a large OJ, and finally say good morning. But this afternoon, today's bagel thought was a level of bagelness I have never dare to dream.

Yes, it was that epic.

As you know, I devoured Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and in her novel the great Liz had a great moment with a pizza from Naples. Two pizzas, actually.

I, in San Diego, in the neighborhood of Hillcrest, in the small shop of Big City Bagels, had a moment with a bagel.

Big City Bagels is a fantastic bagel shop. And I'll be honest-I'm a bit biased. The owners are also owners and managers to my current workplace-Peabody's Organic Coffee @ SDSU. But honestly, the actual taste had nothing to do with my current attachment to the ownership. If anything I must publicly applaud the owners (Kristee and Jenn) for the selection of workers. The talented Miss Taylor Katz was the muse to my moment. My Bagel Goddess.

I've always wanted to try a bagel sandwich. Lunch status. Be it turkey, or ham, or hummus and veggies, the bagel in substitution of sliced bread intrigued me. So I went where I know bagels best-my sister business. (I wanted to keep it in the family).

5th Ave is where I lost myself. The very first bite and I was a goner. Seriously.

I believe my first word that could escape through my first bite was "mmmmohmygodmmmohlordmmm." I really need to start bringing a tape recorder to my Food For Thought meals and attach an audio clip with my picture. When it comes to eating, the sounds are just as it important as the visuals.

If one day restaurant menus had an audio button corresponding to a special entree of the week or day in order for their customers to "hear" a "review" versus reading a description, sales would raise-easy. Were there an audio button you could press at Big City Bagel of my first bite into the 5th Ave. that sandwich would be selling so fast, it would sell out.

I know I'm sounding a tad cocky with how lovely my "mmmm" was but that's not where I'm going. Where I'm going is that certain sensory that we often don't believe belongs with food: sound. When I hear neighbor from the next dining table "oooo" "mmm" their way through their meal I sneak a peek and order the same. "When Harry Met Sally" had it right: I'll have what she's having-and what I'll have is another 5th Ave. please.

It was an incredible tower of flavor. Everything bagel (what else?), then garlic herb cream cheese spread, sliced turkey, crispy bacon (and I mean crispy in the best way. most deli's when using bacon on a sandwich slap your meat with soggy pieces versus the good crunch every sandwich needs), thick tomato slices, sliced avocados, and muenster cheese-Muenster. The fact that BCB chooses muenster as their go-to cheese makes all the difference. Muenster is a highly under-rated cheese, and BCB seeing its great flavor potential receives my deepest culinary respects.

Now back to the sandwich-

This glorious tower is all placed one layer at a time (with sublime care by Miss Katz) and placed to be slightly toasted and delivered warm and gooey to yours truly.

Eat without care. Erode the 5th Ave till nothing but the poppy seeds. Let it be a small piece of evidence that something of bagel genius was once on this paper basket and now lies in your stomach and lingers on each taste bud.

All 10,000.

Rarely do I find the need in my mellow lifestyle to venture out to 5th ave. and parade around in heels that kill (my feet) and pay 30+ dollars to just get into somewhere "cool," but this 5th Ave. requires none of the above. Just me and my taste buds.

Say ahhhh.....


Anonymous said...

That looks soo good. I love bagel sandwiches and I love the everything bagel too! Never had it with cream cheese blog!

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