When I found out that my sisters and I would be eating at LES Bagels (Lower East Side Bagels), I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy. I thought “well, bagels…ok”. When we got to the restaurant, I thought, “Well, the interiors are industrial”. What new restaurant in the city isn’t? What sets it apart though from the other industrial-themed restaurants is that it’s a mix of hard and soft. It has metal chairs and tables, and as you look up, there are white plates hung on a powder blue wall. It reminded me of those southern-type grandma’s house you see in the movies. Its wide windows gives you an instant peek of what’s inside. I feel that the restaurant wanted to look like a New York bakery & deli.
The one thing that got me pumped up was the selection of cream cheeses, and they were displayed like ice cream. A big clump of those yummy cream cheeses just sat on a board for everyone to see. You can choose from different flavors – they have Herbed, Bacon & Cheddar, Sundried Tomato & Olive, Sundried Tomato & Basil, Blueberry, LOX and more. But if you’re not adventurous, you can stay safe with the classic cream cheese. You can choose your own bagel too, from Pumpernickel, Plain, to Everything. That’s right…EVERYTHING.
|Choose your cream cheese!|
First thing’s first, choose a bagel. Most types are priced at 40.00 Php, the Bialy is at 30.00 Php. I went with Black Sesame with Sundried Tomato and Olive cream cheese, while my sisters decided to split up an Everything bagel with LOX cream cheese. We also ordered some Waldorf and Potato salads as well. The bagels were good, chewy with a toasty exterior. The black sesame was delicious. The Everything bagel got everything going for it, of course, it’s a mix of all flavors, but it’s best to just stick to one specific type. At one point, I didn’t even understand what I was eating. But I’m not to judge the fans of the Everything bagel.
|Black Sesame with Sundried Tomato (with Olive Cream Cheese)|
|(with Lox Cream Cheese)|
In my opinion, the actual star of the place are the cream cheeses. My sundried tomato and olive choice was an acidic and salty goodness. The olives really came out but tamed a bit with the sundried tomato. Their best-seller, the LOX cream cheese, is really gooooood. The cream cheese was tangy, so we thought maybe they added a bit of sour cream to the mix, and a great pair with the smoked salmon.
To continue the “tangy route”, maybe some sour cream was in the potato salad too, and the capers added another level of acidity. The waldorf salad was my favorite. The chicken was a wee bit dry, but there was a good balance with the onions, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise and seasoning.
If you’re not a cream cheese and bagel person, they serve bagel sandwiches. If you’re not a bagel person at all, they’ve got sandwiches and pastries too. We also ordered a glass of NY Egg Cream (150 Php), a drink that I can only associate as a creamy soda. It was refreshing, but I’d rather go for some milk tea.
|NY Egg Cream (150 Php|
Pricing may be quite high considering you’re just having a sandwich. As mentioned earlier, bagels are solde from 30 – 40 Php. It’s a standard price in this country. The cream cheeses defines what you’re really paying for. Prices vary on the flavor and how you want it with your bagel, in tubs or as a spread. The LOX is priced at 280 Php as a spread, 450 Php in a medium tub, and 950 Php in a large tub.
Expensive? Sure, but if all you want is a light lunch, there’s no harm trying LES Bagels in McKinley Hill. The idea’s fresh, new, and are bound to change food with one bagel at a time.