Thank god for bagels.
When I wake up on Friday morning, my 30th birthday, the first thing I’m going to eat is a bagel. I’ll make sure it’s fresh, hot and topped with cream cheese and lox at a minimum, but I’ll be looking to add a thick cut of tomato, some sliced onion and capers.
I’ll be in New York City, but if I’d decided to stay home to celebrate, it would’ve finally been easy to find what I was looking for.
Opening inside a former Taco Bell out by Piedmont Triad International Airport earlier this year, My Bagels & More doubled the number of places in Greensboro making fresh bagels, and it’s the only one with exactly what I’m looking for.
Not to knock New Garden Bagels — I’ve relied on the straightforward bagel, lox and cream cheese there for several years, thanks to its New York owner — but My Bagels sells a signature Pop N’ Lox option with smoked salmon, cherry-wood bacon, lemon chive cream cheese, micro greens, red onion, tomato and capers.
That’s what I’m talking about.
There are a couple of bagel joints in Winston-Salem, and at least one business on the way in the Gate City promising bagels and doughnuts. But for the most part, this is biscuit territory. I’d never want to give up biscuits, and would miss them more than almost anything else if I left the South. But why should we have to choose?
Yankee purists are skeptical, no doubt, but My Bagels even sells one with Taylor ham, egg and cheese — it’s not going to get any better than that outside of the Northeast.
There’s a drive-thru coming soon, with the infrastructure from the former occupant setting it up nicely, meaning that the restaurant could become an ideal place to stop for some quick coffee and breakfast on the way to an early-morning flight.
Before that happens, My Bagels will have to speed up its production times, which right now are more in the ballpark of a typical restaurant than a fast-food chain. That’s fine though, because there’s ample seating including a café area at the back with better coffee options, plusher seating, televisions, smoothies and a dessert case.
The Pop N’ Lox is just one of a dozen specialty bagels, with other ranging from the Urban Street with Korean-style ribeye, somewhat spicy cucumber kimchi and pickles to the Peanut Butter Jelly Time (remember that meme?) with tempura-fried bananas, peanut butter, Nutella, bacon and blackberry jam.
Another comes with seared tuna steak, shredded nori and a wasabi cucumber spread, while others boast shaved prime rib and grilled crab cake (yes, on the same sandwich), house pulled pork with a hush puppy fritter and the appetizing Nonnas Croquette with a grilled salmon croquette, teriyaki glaze, grilled pineapple, melted Swiss cheese, guacamole and a fried egg.
The Pop N’ Lox was a must, and in order to try a variety of My Bagels’ creations, I skipped Nonnas (that would’ve been two salmon-based entrees, my girlfriend pointed out) and went for the Urban Street, which shares a name with the local food truck presenting similar fare. I didn’t regret it.
I’d be excited about My Bagels if there wasn’t a “More” in the name, content to work my way through the specials alone and avoiding the cheaper, classic breakfast choices. Hell, I’d send people there just for the Pop N’ Lox. I’ll never tire of it — especially because the restaurant is far enough in northwest Greensboro to make frequent trips a challenge — unless somewhere better opened (though that’s improbable).
But My Bagels commits to a much broader array of food, namely fries and hot dogs.
The fries are all over the place; one has pesto and asiago, another pulled pork and gravy poutine and a third comes with chili and cheese, among others.
Hot dogs range from Chicago to Carolina to New York to Mexico, as well as a similar Korean Urban Street dog and one with mac & cheese, pulled pork, barbecue sauce and fried onions. It’s like Red Onion never closed.
But more importantly, My Bagels slings a flight of bagelwiches, including a Rueben, Cuban and others with fried chicken and bacon, shaved pastrami, prosciutto or another loaded with veggies. Or just buy black forest ham, mortadella bologna, corned beef or chicken salad by the pound, or one of the small tubs of ready-made cream cheese.
There are gluten-free bagels too, if you must.
This Friday, I’ll treat myself to a New York-made bagel, because it doesn’t get better than that. But when I get back, I’ll head to My Bagels & More, and I won’t be mad about it.
Visit My Bagels & More at 5705 Inman Road (GSO) or go to mybagelsandmore.com for more info.