Thursday, July 29, 2010
Best Bagels In Town
Name: Best Bagels In Town
Location: 526 Hooper Rd., Endicott, NY 13760
Phone: (607) 748-1171
Price: Around $5 per person
To me, a name is a very important thing. If you're going to name your sandwich shop the Full Belly Deli, you'd better offer huge sandwiches overflowing with meat and toppings. If you're Dillinger's Celtic Pub, you should probably have bartenders who can pour a perfect Guinness from the tap (Oh, wait, they don't even have taps? Grade: F). If you're going to name your place Escape State Street, you should expect ridicule for having such a ridiculous name which doesn't even identify your establishment as a restaurant. And if you name your kids Dweezil, Diva Muffin, and Moon Unit, you're probably Frank Zappa.
So that brings me to Best Bagels In Town. If you want that name, you'd better have the goods to back it up. I decided to give it a shot.
There are actually two (and from what I understand, soon to be three) locations of Best Bagels In Town, one on Hooper Road in Endwell, one on Route 12 on the way out of Binghamton up past Northgate Plaza, and a third one that may be open on the Vestal Parkway by the end of 2010 near Vestal High School in the former Burger King location. None of these locations are ones that I personally pass by on a regular basis, but all of them are in highly-visible, well-traversed areas. A Google search reveals at least a few other bagel shops throughout the US with the same name and a similar logo. So this could be a proper chain restaurant. If so, it's definitely a small one. Upon visiting it certainly had the feel of a small, local store.
I decided to hit up the Endwell location and arrived around 9:00 AM on a Tuesday on my way to work. In lieu of using the drive-thru, I opted to go inside and check out the place. It's a small shop with a few tables for those who choose to eat there, but it seemed like most people get their orders to-go, as I did. The place was pretty busy when I was there and I had to wait in a short line before placing my order. A glance over the menu allowed me to notice that they offered several kinds of bagels and 8 to 10 different varieties of cream cheese (regular, spinach bacon, garlic herb, and strawberry to name a few). They also had some various breakfast sandwiches, muffins, deli sandwiches, and coffee drinks. I found the menu to be similar to Dunkin Donuts, minus the donuts, with an obvious emphasis on bagels.
I ordered a large black coffee ($1.60) and an everything bagel with garlic-herb cream cheese (approximately $2.50). $4 or so later I was out the door, back in the car where I deftly traversed the tiny parking lot, and on my way to work.
The coffee was pretty good. It had nice flavor but was a little watered down, as is usually the case for coffee in this area. It wasn't amazing but it was sufficient and above-average as local coffee peddlers go. Then it would come time for the taste test. Would this bagel stand apart from the crowd enough to be considered the best in town? The suspense was killing me.
And the answer is.....drum roll please.....
Yes! This was the best bagel I've had in the area! This tasted absolutely great and the garlic-herb cream cheese was phenomenal. Nice and crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, great onion/garlic/poppy seed flavor, an all-around perfect bagel. I appreciated that they didn't skimp on the cream cheese, too. For $2.50 this was a little pricey as bagels go, but totally worth it.
Some places earn their name, and Best Bagels In Town is one of them. I'll be back there again tomorrow.