Coffee & Tea

Albany: Berkeley Bagel on Gilman – Thai Iced tea, Vietnamese coffee, kalauchee, vegan smears, hummus and Acme whitefish spread

rworange | Oct 7, 200704:01 PM     2

About three years ago, Boogie Woogie Bagel was sold. I don’t know how the quality compares, but Berkeley Bagel sells a very good water-boiled bagel. Btw, the owners of Berkeley Bagel also bought Toots Sweet.

The bagels have a satisfying chew and a nice bagel skin. I don’t like bagels so chewy you risk leaving your teeth in them, but I like them less soft and bready than Noah’s, etc.

Everything is well-balanced here. They put exactly the right about of smear on the bagel. The ‘works’ had the perfect amount of seeds. If you want “a lot of extra’ cheese there is a .50 cents charge. I don’t think this is needed. It is the perfect amount of cheese as is.

Not traditional, but they have a very good assagio bagel which is a plain bagel with melted assagio cheese on the outside. There are those crunchy pieces of cheese attached like with Cheeseboards cheese rolls. But this is less tooth-challenging and salty than Cheeseboard and may just take first place for me in my favorite cheese bread type food.

The olive bagels are only made on the weekends and I enjoyed it very much with the green and black olive smear … which again was beautifully balanced with the right ratio of chopped olive to cream cheese.

My next planned bagels: Jalapeno cheese with chili cilantro smear …then super cinnamon raisin with honey raisin walnut smear … then … well, let’s just say this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I tried a small bit of the cinnamon which is a pleasant dark bagel and tastes like it might have some honey in it. The jalapeno cheese didn’t have noticeable cheese and the jalapeno flavor doesn’t really hit until it is warmed or toasted … then it is just lovely.

The coffee is inexpensive and very good. I think they sell Panache coffee and the French roast … ah, the French Roast … well, it is the difference between how it should taste and the burnt version everyone else sells.

Also tried Brazilian Santos and while it was fine, it was a medium roast coffee where I prefer a dark roast. A small cup … which is medium-sized at most places was $1. Refills for small are 50 cents.

They also sell espresso drinks, chai, Thai iced tea ($2) and Vietnamese coffee or coffee de France ($2.75). They have café au lait and something called a jump start. Anyone know what coffee de France is?

Prices are good. Bagels are 75 cents except for the assagio which is 95 cents. There are also mini bagels for 50 cents (plain, sesame and poppy)

A dozen is $7.25 and there is some sort of bakers dozen deal. One guy came in and bought a few dozen bagels and got six free bagels. Day old bagels are $2.50 for six. Not quite half price, but still a nice little discount and some of the bags had assagio bagels.

Note that if the bagel is toasted, it is an additional 10 cent charge.

They also have a nice selection of toppings available in addition to cream cheese spreads … butter, peanut butter & jam.

Smoked fish includes Acme whitefish spread, lox (sliced hardwood-smoked Atlantic salmon) and trim lox (smoked nova salmon ends)

There are hardboiled eggs on the counter for sale. There are also bananas (50 cents), apples ($1) and fruit salad ($3). There are chips (Dirty potato chips, Fritos, Lays). They also have a nice cooler of Odwala juices, milk, chocolate silk and other soft drinks)

There are also avocados ripening on the counter. Avocado can be added to any bagel or sandwich for 75 cents.

For Vegans tofutti in three flavors is available as well as veggie sandwiches and hummus.

There’s a nice, shaded, sort of wild outdoor area next to the building with a running fountain, a few tables and benches. If the gate is locked, just ask and they will unlock it for you.

There are three tables inside and two sidewalk tables also.

Order at the counter and when the order is complete, pay at the register. There is sometimes a line, but it moves quickly.

The first reply has the menu with prices. I like this place a lot.

Berkeley Bagel
1281 Gilman St, Albany, CA

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