Saturday, February 5, 2011
Charlie's City Bagels
Name: Charlie's City Bagels
Location: 135 Washington Ave., Endicott, NY 13760
Phone: (607) 748-8888
Price: Inexpensive. $5 or so per person.
A fan of the blog recommended that we make a trip out to Charlie's Bagels on Washington Avenue in Endicott, so on the way to work last week, I decided to pay them a visit. As someone with a fondness for small bagel/coffee shops in general, I have a few small demands of places of this ilk. The bagels should be fresh and have a dense, doughy interior, and the coffee should be strong enough to jolt me awake. As a guy who drinks 4-6 cups of coffee per day, I have grown to be somewhat picky in this regard. In this area, I have found Best Bagels In Town, ironically enough, to be the best bagel option, with Java Joe's and The Bagel Factory riding a close second, with Java Joe's excellent coffee garnering bonus points. But I am always interested in trying new places like this.
Charlie's is around the corner from Union-Endicott High School and has street parking available in front and a large lot around back. From the street it looks like a very small shop, so I was surprised to find out that it's really more of a diner. It's a long, narrow restaurant with about a dozen or so large booths lining both sides of the space with the counter at the very back. Photographs and memorabilia line the walls to give Charlie's a distinctly old-fashioned feel.
I quickly scanned the list of about a dozen bagel flavors before deciding on my default, an Everything bagel, toasted, with regular cream cheese. I also went with a cup of regular coffee. It should be noted that Charlie's also offers some usual diner fare (eggs/bacon/etc.) on their menu: it is not strictly a bagel shop.
I'd have to say the bagel I had was quite good. A slightly sweet, malty, crunchy exterior gave way to a soft interior. It was a little saltier than other "everything" bagels I've had in the area, which I do not consider a bad thing...it gave the bagel a more pronounced flavor. Overall, I think I still prefer Best Bagels, but Charlie's is a contender.
The coffee was another story. Weak and watery, and there's no way that it was "regular" coffee either, with a faint taste of hazelnut seeping through. Do keep in mind, though, that I am overly picky about my coffee. But even by usual diner standards, Charlie's comes in below average in the coffee department.
In the end, I'm glad I made the trip out to Endicott to try out Charlie's City Bagels. It's a nice space, service was quick and efficient, and the bagel I had was one of the best I've had in the area. I can't say this is a place I'll make a regular destination, nor is there anything particularly amazing or memorable about it, but if you are looking for a solid bagel shop in the western part of the Tri-Cities area, Charlie's is one of your best bets.