How do you make a delicious looking bagel into a disaster? Take bad service, add a lot of dirty environment, serve up some past-their-prime sides and call it a meal.
Now, Bagel Café is a pretty divisive place as far as opinion goes. I’ve heard some people say the bagels are good, and I’ve heard many others say everything else about the place is worth avoiding for a myriad of reasons. Within minutes of entering, I understood exactly what they were talking about.
The cafe sells bagels and bagel sandwiches. These sandwiches, in and of themselves, are average. They’re served with cold cuts, cheese and vegetables, and overall I’d say nothing special. The bagels are decent by themselves, though a little bland. Onion bagels, which are a staple of any bagel menu, don’t taste right. The bagels don’t hold together incredibly well, they may be slightly under baked. I have also tried the non-bagel sandwiches and they are similarly decent. The sandwiches are the only redeeming quality of my experiences here, as much as I wish I could say otherwise.
It’s the rest of the business that really disillusions me. As far as the food goes, the pickle spears (and I almost never mention pickle spears) are the saltiest I’ve ever tried. Either they were not pickled correctly or they’ve been out for too long, and are very uncomfortable to eat. The cole slaw in the image above was sour. The buttermilk did not taste right, and once again I would suspect it has gone bad. Most of the other side dishes are packaged chips, so the limited selection created this problem.
The dining room is dirty. Tables are unclean and unbelievably, there seem to be hordes of flies on the windows when I come in. More flies than I’ve ever seen actually. It’s a shock, and I don’t know where they’re coming from, maybe it’s all the food that is apparently being left our before it is served?
Unfortunately, the service is the singular most difficult part of this place to stomach. I have repeatedly encountered the same sour older woman behind the counter. She’s unfriendly in the most unpleasant way; never smiling and never showing any sort of pleasure at customers coming in to eat. She seems to have an air of resentment when shouting at you to come get your food, and is completely unhelpful if you don’t know what you want to order. The other employees of the restaurant seem indifferent (maybe they’re all tired of being around the older lady) and as it turns out, a quick search of the place on Google shows people love to hate this place because of the same woman. She could be sent to another duty but she is always at the front counter, working the most sensitive duty of a restaurant: helping customers. She is single-handedly running the entire business into the ground doing it.