Category Archives: Bagels

Kira’s Number 12: Bloomington Bagel Company

Kira, deep in thought at Bloomington Bagel CompanyThe Place: Bloomington Bagel Company

I love bagels, and it seems like BBC has the monopoly on them here. There are 2 BBC locations in town, and I had eaten at the Morton St. location once before, so this time we went to the Dunn St. one.

The Time:
Friday, June 23, 2006, 1:00 PM

The Atmosphere:
Bloomington Bagel has that coffee shop appeal. You know, the one that makes you want to bring some friends or a book and just hang out for a while. The tables are covered in photos taken around the world of people holding bagels, there is art from local artists on the walls, and of course the wonderful smell of the bakery is in the air.Sign for the bathroom at Bloomington Bagel Company. Somebody has drawn colorful clothing on the usual bathroom stick figures. There are some tables out front, too, so that you can eat outside on a nice day. They have a kid’s corner with toys, and this sign for the bathroom amused me. It’s also nice to see the multiple recycle bins near the trashcans.

The Food:
I know that not liking lox makes me quite un-Jewish, but what can I do? I like gefilte fish, so that makes up for it, right? I wanted to get the Bagel Dog, but they were out at that moment, so I just ordered a bagel sandwich with some turkey, garlic/herb schmear (cream cheese, for those not in the know), and lettuce, all on a honey wheat toasted bagel. (And they did have an avocado, but it wasn’t ripe yet. Oh well.) The bagel had a very good crunchy to chewy ratio, and over all everything was tasty. Erik, of course, was very happy to get the lox and bagel, open faced, with garlic/herb schmear, tomato, and capers. Turkey sandwich at Bloomington Bagel Company, with garlic herb schmear and lettuce.He was very happy that they knew to put the capers between the cream cheese and the lox so that they didn’t fall off.

We happened to go on a Friday, so they had some challah bread (traditional egg bread that Jews eat primarily on the Sabbath). I got excited, because it’s had been awhile since I’d had good challah. I was quite disappointed. The challah wasn’t very egg-y, and the texture was off somehow. It also started going bad after 2 or 3 days. Oh well. Guess I’ll continue my search for good challah, although the challah at O’Malia’s isn’t too bad.

Kira isn't crazy about the challa at Bloomington Bagel CompanyAfter we enjoyed our sandwiches, we were already out the door when we realized that we forgot dessert! They have a good selection of brownies, cookies, and other baked goods. The lady behind the counter highly recommended the s’mores bar heated up, and I definitely have to pass along that recommendation. It has all the goodness of s’mores without the burnt marshmallow or falling apart graham crackers. Yum!

There were a few young ladies, probably college students, working behind the counter, and they were very friendly and helpful.

The Price:
Of course the lox and bagel was the most expensive sandwich at $7.30, while my make-your-own was $5.50. There are definitely cheaper things on the menu, too.

The table at Bloomington Bagel Company, with pictures of people with bagels.The Rest:
They were very friendly and the food was reasonably priced. I recently went back and got some bagels to go, and while the bagels still tasted good, almost all of them were misshapen, making bagel sandwich making a bit hard. But with not much other options, I will go to the BBC when I feel the need for some bagels.

How Often Would I Go Back?
Every 3 weeks. (What’s this?)


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Erik Eats Bagels

Erik, enjoying his bagel at Bloomington Bagel CompanyHow to make a proper bagel with cream cheese and lox:

  1. Select a flavor of bagel and slice it in half. A plain bagel will do, but if you like a more complex flavor, you can choose any savory flavor. I like garlic, salt, or “everything” bagels for this type of sandwich. Avoid any sweet or berry-flavored variety.
  2. Toast it. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but I’ve met at least one person that claims to dislike like bagels because of their chewiness even though this person has never eaten a toasted bagel.
  3. Put cream cheese on both halves of the bagel. I won’t stop you from making an ordinary sandwich and simply substituting a bagel for bread, but a true bagel connoiseur makes an open-faced sandwich. If you get your sandwich from a restaurant and ask them to make it open-faced, they will generally honor your request, but you’ll probably get the same amount of schmear and toppings, only spread out onto the two halves. While this always disappoints me, I still maintain that the sandwich tastes better this way.
  4. Close-up of bagel with cream cheese and lox from Bloomington Bagel Company, with capers between the lox and cream cheese.

    Note the placement of the capers.

    Add capers. I cannot stress the importance of doing this step in the proper order. If you put the capers on after the lox or tomatoes, they will just roll off the bagel. Don’t overdo it, especially if you have chosen a salty bagel to begin with.

  5. Add lox. Your mouth may start to water at this point. Do not worry. In fact, if your mouth does not start to water at this point, you should either have your saliva glands checked, or you should eat something more to your taste (and less expensive), like maybe a rice cake.
  6. Add tomato slices.
  7. Eat.

The folks at Bloomington Bagel Company must follow a similar set of rules because they prepared my bagel almost perfectly. I started to worry when the lox went on before the capers, but our bagel-maker carefully lifted up the lox to apply the capers underneath. I tested for imperfections (due to the extra cost, I get very picky with my lox sandwiches), and I did notice a slight caper surplus, easily remedied by a quick caperectomy, but otherwise the sandwich scored perfectly.

Kira ordered a much simpler turkey sandwich, but I can’t fault her for her pedestrian tastes.

S'more bar at Bloomington Bagel CompanyThe BBC, not to be confused with The British Broadcasting Corporation, or our good friend Baby Bok Choi (otherwise known as Neeraj), makes a good bagel and a good bagel sandwich in a friendly manner for a reasonable price. I don’t ask for much more than that, though the s’more bar we ordered for dessert made for a pleasant after-dinner bonus. If you order one (and you should), have them heat it up first.

The decor at the Dunn Street location tends towards the eclectic side, with local art on the walls, refrigerator-magnet poetry on the coffee machines, and photos of people with bagels on the tables. The shelves of children’s toys in the corner make for a nice touch, and it makes me happy to see a restaurant with recycling bins by the trash cans.

Other than that, I have nothing more to say on the subject. Go eat a bagel.

Erik’s Rating: Yum – 3.5, Ooh – 3.5, Ah – 3, Wow – 3.5 (Huh?)


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Bloomington Bagel Company

Bloomington Bagel Company signA New York bagel and sandwich shop

There are 3 locations:

Dunn Street

113 N Dunn St (map)
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 333-4653

Monday – Saturday: 6am – 7pm
Sunday: 7am – 7pm

Morton Street

238 N Morton St (map)
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 349-4653

Monday – Saturday: 7am – 4pm
Sunday: 8am – 4pm


913 S College Mall Rd (map)
Bloomington, IN 47401
(812) 339-4653

Monday – Saturday 7am – 5pm


(Info updated May, 2014)
Erik’s Rating: Yum – 3.5, Ooh – 3.5, Ah – 3, Wow – 3.5 (Huh?)
How often would Kira eat there? Every 3 weeks (what’s this?)
Reviews: Erik, Kira


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