Bagels are something I always see in US tv shows and movies but we the best we could is the supermarket ones that were less than stellar. When I heard about LES Bagels which stand for Lower East Side Bagels. The ones behind this place is the same owners of Borough and Nolita. LES Bagels aims to bring the NY deli feel to Manila with their bagels baked on site to ensure freshness. The menu is composed of items Chef Cuit Kaufman‘s favorites from his hometown of New York.
The shop is fairly small with only a couple of tables outside and another 4 on the mezzanine. The restaurant features a black and white theme throughout the store, with bits of quirky industrial like the hollow blocked counter top.
Their specialties are bagels as the name proudly announces. Once inside, you troop over to the glass display filled with different kinds of bagels, baked fresh in the store. You pick your bagels (P40/each) from the list(Plain, salt, sesame seed, pumpernickel, black russian, , onion, cinnamon raisin, 100% whole wheat, garlic, and everything).
After picking your bagel, you proceed to the cream cheese section, from plain to sweet and savory options. Fancy a taste, ask the bagel master and he’ll give you a little taste, like in a gelato or ice cream shop.
I’ve been to LES Bagels twice, once when they invited me together with a number of people form the media and the 2nd time with Irene.
After choosing your bagel or sandwich, you can browse the table for pastries available for the day, all baked in house also.
I had LES Addiction (P440), the signature bagel of LES Bagels. A pumpernickel bagel with scallion cream cheese, lox (Jewish styled smoked salmon), fresh tomatoes, red onion and capers.
All their bagels are sliced in half so you will have an easier time eating them. The bagels are toasted first so it’s crusty on the first bite but chewy inside. This is one big bagel sandwich, the cream cheese is super thick, the lox and other toppings are generous. I was actually quite full with half of it and just wrapped up the other half and brought it home.
I paired my bagels with a Vanilla NY Egg Cream (P110), also available in chocolate and chocolate violet. It is made up of milk and soda water and vanilla syrup. Looking at the ingredients it was no surprised that it tasted like frizzy milk, enjoyable though I wish it was much colder.
Here are the Garlic and Chive and Bacon Cheddar cream cheese on bagels. The bacon cheddar is one of their best sellers and one bite and it’s easy to know why. The flavors are familiar with the sharp cheese, enveloped by the cream cheese with lots of bacon bits.
If you don’t like that much cream cheese on your bagel, the better option would be to get it on the side in a container. I warned Irene and she opted for the Everything bagel (P40) with a Small Bacon Cheddar (P120). The difference is only P20 between then the two options, you get to take home the leftovers to boot. Irene actually used the leftover for 3 more breakfasts.
I also got to try a some of their specialty sandwiches like The Reuben (P580) during my first visit. It’s a very expensive sandwich but it did make as much of an impact on me as the bagels. The filling was generous like their other products but I’d recommend sticking with the bagels.
I loved these crumbly pastries called Rugelach (P30), a classic Jewish pastry made from a cream cheese dough with different fillings like cinnamon and fruit preserves. I bit into it and made a bit of mess as it is designed to be crumbly.
LES Bagels is the only bagel shop and Manila but their bagels are really excellent. I would definitely go to LES Bagels more often it was closer to me but I will never pass up a chance to visit there. My recommendation is to stick to the bagels and bagel sandwiches, the other offerings are not as spectacular as their signature products. Eat there then be sure to bring some home
LES Bagels New York Deli + BakeryUpper McKinley Rd, Tuscany, McKinley Hill, Bonifacio Global City Taguig, Philippines Contact No.: (02) 804-0423 Operating Hours:
Sunday to Tuesday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wednesday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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