By: Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
This week we headed off to Bagel Beanery, 5316 Clyde Park Ave. SW., which is almost right across the street from the office. So when Mike hit his remote to unlock his car, I was like “Dude, what are you doing? We can just walk there.” The sun was out, it wasn’t raining, and Mike agreed to walk. So we had a “power” lunch with food and exercise.
The restaurant has a bakery featuring bagels and it does not look that much different inside from other similar type restaurants with a mixture of booths and tables. The exception being that Bagel Beanery was here long before those other places and it is locally owned having started more than 20 years ago in downtown Grand Rapids. The Clyde Park location has been open since 1998.
With breakfast and lunch options, you come in and order your selection which is made fresh and then delivered to your table. I was tempted by the August specials but actually ordered off the menu the Bacon Smokehouse Turkey on Tomato Basil. OK, not entirely off the menu as I did swap out the Tomato Basil bagel for an Everything bagel because to me that is the best bagel to have for a bagel sandwich. Bagel Beanery features several of the traditional bagels such as Cinnamon Crunch, Asiago Cheese and Cheddar Herb along with speciality bagels.
My sandwich included turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato with a honey dijon mustard all on top of an Everything bagel accompanied with a pickle spear and bagel chips. It came out within a few minutes of ordering and was delicious. Everything tasted fresh and the salt, sesame seeds and poppy seeds on the bagel complimented the entire sandwich.
The meal came to $6.79 and I have to say, it’s nice to know there is a place just across the street that offers a nice lunch option that is not $10 or more. And to be honest, I have been a longtime fan of Bagel Beanery since it opened its doors in 1995 and was a regular at the Breton Road location between 28th and 29th streets. It’s been a while since I ventured into one and it was great to discover the quality and selection have not diminished. In other words, I can definitely see future walks to Bagel Beanery.
By: Mike DeWitt
I’m a man who enjoys a good bagel sandwich. I mean, what’s not to love about replacing slabs of bread with a big, hearty, and beautiful bagel? Sure, bagels have more calories and carbs than bread slices – apparently that’s ‘unhealthy’ – but they also have more flavor and options.
Bagels are to a sandwich what chocolates are to life, they just make the experience so much more enjoyable.
As Joanne and I exited the station, I immediately pulled out my keys to unlock my car door. Joanne was quick to call me out about needing a car for a walk across the street. I was happy she did, but little did she know, it was a test! (It wasn’t, but hey, whatever helps me sleep at night.) We casually strolled across the street and entered the doors to what I hoped was bagel heaven.
Bagel Beanery doesn’t look much different on the inside than a Big Apple Bagel or an Einstein Bros. Bagels. There are a beavy of bagels staring you in the face upon arrival with booths and tables mixed throughout. However, Bagel Beanery is locally owned and has been for more than 20 years. That little factoid gives the restaurant a more homely feel than entering a large bagel chain.
My first initial look at the menu left me a little flustered. There were so many options to choose from! I needed to find something that stood out, and “NEW” written in bright red letters did just the trick. The new sandwich was a Baja Chicken Club on Ciabatta. I know alright… I KNOW! Here I am bringing up all of the joys of bagels and I ended up choosing a sandwich on ciabatta, obviously not a bagel. You know what, sue me, it tasted amazing.
The Baja Chicken Club came with oven baked sliced chicken, pepper-jack cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a fiesta cream cheese with the perfect amount of kick. It was wonderful. The sandwich came with bagel chips (also top-notch) and a sliced pickle. For $7.73, it’s a hard meal to beat.
What I love most about Going Local is exposing myself to new restaurants around the area. As of Wednesday, I had never been to Bagel Beanery. I passed it hundreds of times driving to work, but I never took the time to stop and see what it had in store. This morning I made sure to stop for some coffee.