Good evening all,
Given the great interest in the bagel scene in the general bagel thread, I am taking the liberty of starting a standalone for our newest, and most welcome, entrant to the market- Bruegger's Bagels. They opened Monday in Westlake and I paid my first visit today! Here goes,
I ordered the salmon and bagel (their terminology) and broccoli cheese soup. Here goes,
For my personal taste- Zucker's in Manhattan (Chambers Street in Tribeca) is the benchmark. Many disagree and I get it, but that is my personal reference point. Their bagels are quite large, of moderate density, and nicely chewy throughout.
The Bruegger's bagel is similar- smaller in size, and lighter in density. Excellent texture- and most definitely freshly made. For a more comprehensive look at this bagel compared to the NY scene for those who are wanting that information- I must defer to Andrew and Steven. They will know better than I.
Good firm cream cheese and nicely pungent capers- I usually get extra capers and forgot to ask, but it mattered not, these went the distance. The salmon portion seemed a bit small at first- but at $6.99 for the entire thing it was very reasonable- I will ask for extra next time. The salmon was very fresh- not sticky and fishy as it often is at Einstein's (after today I still ask myself how I could "settle" for that place between NY visits), and robust if not quite as subtly flavored as what you will find at the best spots in NY.
The broccoli cheese soup- a soup I love, but also appreciate is really just not that well suited to being made in a restaurant. But I am lazy/busy most of the time, and so I often find myself settling for what I can get outside of home rather than take the trouble to make it myself. Within a stone's throw of Bruegger's are the two other places here in Austin where one can commonly find broccoli cheese soup- Jason's Deli and Thundercloud subs. The Bruegger's version cannot compare with homemade, but I would take it over Jason's or Thundercloud's any day. There is a lot more broccoli in it (previously frozen same as the other guys), plus it has a more silky texture. A bit bland- but not fakely "flavored up" like the competition, and if you don't want to make it yourself, this is the best way go in this town for a quick lunch.
I know this post seems very critical, but in the grand scheme of things I love this place. I will probably be here once a week- and that is saying a lot for someone who cooks 90% of the time.
Overall things seemed to be running very smoothly given they just opened- great staff and very eager to please.
Note- there really are not any side dishes here. You have bagels, with lots of sandwich options, soups (two today), chips and salads (plus "trans-fat free" cookies- the one I sampled a bit dry). On my next trip I will try a salad and report back. As for bagel selections- I had plain and was in a bit of a rush, but off the top of my head I think they had about 10 choices.
Worth the visit! Eager to hear what others have to say.