What's on your bagel?

March 03 2015

When it comes to versatility, what food offers more options than the humble bagel? The bagel itself can come in a huge variety of flavours - plain, egg, blueberry, cinnamon raisin, onion or a little bit of everything - and popular toppings include sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and cheese.

Then there's the fillings - cream cheese or butter, flavoured schmears, scrambled eggs and bacon or any number of sandwich fillings - and you can't forget the classic smoked salmon.

And, of course, there's the question of whether or not the little round bread product should be left with its chewy outer shell and squishy middle, toasted to perfection or served up Montreal-style - with a mouth-watering flavour that can only come from being wood-fired.

With so many options, it's easy to see why the bagel is such a popular breakfast item. After all, restaurants can come up with their own unique twists to serve customers, and they can be made-to-order to suit specific dietary requirements or taste preferences.

It's not just breakfast that bagels are good for either, as bakery chain Breugger's Bagels is demonstrating with their new lunch menu. The company is famous for its New York style bagels and starting this month, the company will be rolling out its lunch options to its company-run stores.

Options include the Turkey Chipotle Club, which features turkey, peppered bacon, chipotle mayo, arugula and tomatoes on an everything bagel. There's also the Classic Smoked Salmon with Egg Salad - it combines smoke salmon, house-made egg salad, cucumber and arugula on a pumpernickle bagel.

As well as bagels, Bruegger's is also offering a variety of new sandwiches, the Bacon and Blue Burger Melt and a Pastrami Cobb Salad.

Bruegger's vice president of marketing Judy Kadylak said that the company's new lunch menu fits perfectly with its reputation for authentic New York bagels. "It incorporates the best aspects of a New York-style deli, with classic lunch items like pastrami, egg salad, burgers, hot sandwiches and melts, along with fan favourites that they've loved for years."

While Bruegger's is the most recent bagel chain to try to attract the lunch crowd, it's by no means the first. If you're thinking about offering a few bagel-based items to your midday customers, here are few other ideas for some menu inspiration:

  • Pizza bagels - At The Great Canadian Bagel, they offer a bagel pizza that includes a rich tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni. 
  • Montreal smoked meat - At Seigel's Bagels in Vancouver, you can get a wood-fired bagel topped with Montreal smoked meat and mustard - and a pickle on the side.
  • BLT - At the Bagel House, they offer a bagel BLT.
  • Mini bagels as a side dish - Another way to incorporate bagels in your menu is to serve mini versions as a side order, along with a hearty bowl of soup or some chilli.
  • Bagel chips - The Fairmount Bagel in Montreal offers thin slices of bagels, which are cooked until crunchy and can be served as a side or a snack.