Monday, June 21, 2010

The Bagel Factory

Name: The Bagel Factory
Location: 9 Glenwood Avenue, Binghamton, NY 13905
Phone: (607) 770-9083
Cuisine: Breakfast/Lunch sandwiches
Attire: Casual
Price: $15 for two

One thing suspiciously underrepresented on the Binghamton food scene is the bagel shop. Maybe the Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks of the world are making local coffee shops obsolete, but in my mind there's nothing like a good local place. The Bagel Factory admirably helps to fill that void.

The Bagel Factory is located on Glenwood Ave. in Binghamton, between Clinton and Main near the Price Chopper Plaza. It's worth noting that the Bagel Factory doubles as the Lickety Split Ice Cream shop, which perhaps I will try at a later date. It's a fairly typical clean deli style place that doesn't really have enough of a vibe in my opinion. In my opinion, the gold standard for places like these is Collegetown Bagels in Ithaca with its unique, quintessentially Ithacan presentation and decor. Having attended college in Ithaca, I was rather spoiled. Collegetown Bagels was a great place not only to stop by for coffee and a bite to eat, but also just to hang out and chat. I don't see The Bagel Factory occupying the same kind of niche...but Cyber Cafe West is just down the road! If I could combine Bagel Factory and Cyber Cafe into one place, I would totally do it.

There are many breakfast and lunch sandwiches to choose from at the Bagel Factory. For breakfast, you can of course order a bagel with various toppings and various flavors of cream cheese, or you can go with one of their breakfast sandwiches with any combination of egg, cheese, sausage, ham, or bacon. For lunch they have even more options. They have Boar's Head deli meat and offer a wide array of bagel sandwiches, subs, wraps, and paninis, including some specialty bagel sandwiches. Today, I went with a sandwich called the R&B Combo, which consisted of Roast Beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and garlic-herb cream cheese on an onion bagel and a side salad of my choice (I elected the potato salad).

This was good, nothing too special. The bagel was maybe a little bit harder than I would've preferred but that's a minor criticism. Overall, I was pleased with both the sandwich and the potato salad. The bagel was better than what I could get at Wegman's or Dunkin' Donuts, for sure, which definitely will put the Bagel Factory on my breakfast radar going forward. The garlic-herb cream cheese was a really nice touch, with nice flavor that stepped the whole sandwich up a notch in my book.

I got a cup of coffee to drink. It was Paul de Lima coffee, the kind of stuff you often find in a hotel lobby or car dealership waiting room. It's OK stuff, but I was hoping for something a little more adventurous, like the coffee I got at the Full Belly Deli. No huge deal, but I think better coffee would certainly help bring in more customers. Again...Cyber Cafe is right down the road...

Overall, I enjoyed my trip to the Bagel Factory and I find it a quality addition to the Binghamton food scene. I'd like to see a little more ambiance that would appeal to the college crowd, but I realize A) it doubles as an ice cream shop, B) it's a newer place that is still finding its identity, and C) not every place can be Collegetown Bagels. For now, the food is good, and I look forward to stopping by for bagels and sandwiches more often in the near future.

Grade: B-

Bagel Factory on Urbanspoon

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