Bagel Café (CLOSED)

Editor’s Note: As of September 2014, Bagel Cafe is closed.
4001 Far Hills Avenue
Dayton, OH 45429

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.

Bagel Cafe on Urbanspoon


7 thoughts on “Bagel Café (CLOSED)

  1. Wow- the above reviewer rated with 100% accuracy our experience with that dump! That “older” lady treats customers as a nuisance. She is combative, abrupt, and probably relfects the newer owner’s attitude…speaking of which…the newer owner has turned the place into a filthy mess! He is a complete jerk! Messed up orders are treated as catastrophic, blamed on customer. I asked for a fork and she looked at me like I was asking for money. That place will NEVER get out business. Go to DLM, they have 10x better bagels, and they want your business!!!

  2. I concur with above comments 100%…this place has the worst counter service lady ever. She treats patrons as a nuisance, and the owner is pushy, just like her. Gone downhill since last gal sold the place. Never again….go to DLM and get their bagels, 10x better, and they want your patronage. The place is gross, and they should be charged for false advertising for “clean and friendly”…it is a dump!

  3. The last time I went, I almost called the Health Department. Dirty, flies, unsanitary* not to mention the Rudeness Police. I am from NYC orininally, so I know from RUDE. They win the Rude Award hands down. The waiters in France are kind compared to them. And they at least have great food to go with the additude.

  4. I recently went here for the first time, and it was actually really good, seemed clean, and the mean counter lady wasn’t there! From what I’ve it’s under new management- I’d give it another try 🙂

  5. I’ve never encountered the rude counter lady, but I did encounter a manager who was indignant when I suggested it was his responsibility to check on, or have his staff check on, whether the ice needed refilling instead of waiting for customers to inform them. I sent a letter of complaint to the owner and he didn’t care to reply, so I no longer care to go to Bagel Cafe.

  6. I wonder what that mean lady would say about all the asshole customers that come through the doors? “oh my gosh here comes that jack ass that thinks he’s a food critic for the New York Times”. Get a life folks and if you don’t like the customer service at a restaurant, leave before you finalize your order. Stop picking on minimum wage employees. Because they might start their own blog and call it…”ANOTHER LONELY AMATEUR FOOD CRITIC aka HORRIBLE CUSTOMER”

    1. Well, no. With this many people — here and on plenty of other sites — making consistently specific complaints about service and cleanliness, it occurs to me this is a systematic problem that can be addressed pretty directly. That said, sounds like the restaurant might be under new management, and maybe the person people have talked about so much here stepped back from the front line. I’ll have to drop in again some time soon.

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