Bagel culinary trends have come and gone over the last few decades. Bagels have even broken away from their spot on the breakfast menu and have transitioned to sandwiches and even pizza.
According to the current issue of Bon Appetite magazine, bagels seem to be making a comeback. Metropolitan restaurant chefs have more in store for the bagel and are creating some delicious new designs for the breakfast staple.
Here in Bakersfield, there is a bagel shop where bagels have never gone out of style and have remained simple and classic for many years. Bagels & Blenderz is a community favorite found in the heart of southwest Bakersfield and boasts 3 1/2 stars on Yelp. I decided to see what they were whipping up, besides cream cheese schmear.
I knew Bagels & Blenderz to be popular, but I didn’t realize how popular until I arrived. I went to meet a friend for a quick breakfast, but once I opened the door, I realized this was not going to be quick. The line to order at the counter exceeded 10 people, with only one cashier.
I Iooked at the menu as I waited in line and, as implied by its name, bagels and smoothies are the staple items on the menu.
But it doesn’t end there.
A variety of sandwiches, salads, wraps and omelets are also offered on their extensive menu. There’s definitely something here for everyone. It was also apparent that the bagel revolution that I mentioned hadn’t hit B&B’s menu. Some of the ingredients were very reminiscent of the ’90s. Alfalfa sprouts, kidney beans, cabbage, hard-boiled eggs and Swiss cheese decorate many of the menu items.
I ordered a breakfast bagel sandwich, a poppy seed bagel and a coffee to go. The interaction with the cashier was rather impersonal. There was no eye contact. There was no greeting. Cashier did not repeat the order back (my pet peeve). I can only hope that this was a one-time offense and not the norm.
My sandwich came hand-delivered to my table, and the exquisite smell of a toasted everything bagel quickly overwhelmed my senses. The sandwich was a perfect mix of hot fluffy eggs, melted cheese and tart slices of tomato that ended with a hint of sweet bitterness from the alfalfa sprouts creating a divine rush of flavors. I now understood the long line and the continued business.
I have hope that the Bagels & Blenderz will integrate the current trends of the re-emerging bagel culture, and one day, have a more modern menu that also maintains the classics.
Will there be a next time for me at B&B’s? Probably. I still need try one of their many smoothies.
Andrea “Dre” Saavedra is a food and beverage professional with 10 years of experience. Follow her on Instagram @diningwithdre_. The views expressed are her own.