We drove by Beauty’s Bagel Shop yesterday and August noticed the memorable name. We tried it for brunch today and met four spirited crew members, including co-owner Amy. She and her partner Blake, originally from Philadelphia PA, have been running this quaint and very popular shop for only around seven months, but with such great consistency and customer service, you’d think they had been around for ten years.
Spunky Danielle took our order, and invited us to check out the kitchen. There we met Jake who was running the wood-fired oven today (normally Blake’s job but he was out ill today) and Arezki, impressively rolling bagels at the speed of two men.
We began with an order of deviled eggs (two halves). The yolk filling was creamy, mildly spicy, and very refreshing with a hint of lemon to add zing. The whites were very tender and succulent. For how simple it was, each half was a satisfying bite.
This potato salad was great in texture and flavor. It was slightly rich with tender potatoes, but no mushiness. There was some zip and tang, yet it wasn’t heavy on the mustard nor was it overloaded with other unnecessary ingredients like bacon and celery.
Danielle said the assortment of housemade pickles was popular, so we had to try it for ourselves. Cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, beets, and mushrooms as the main ingredients each married with the pickling juice differently to draw out different spices, but none of it was spicy hot. All of the veggies were clearly at the peak of freshness when pickled.
August saw something different on the menu and had to order it. The breakfast bagels come with egg and cheddar cheese, but one of the options to add on is chicken scrapple. Scrapple is an East Coast, or rather Pennsylvania favorite, usually made of pork scraps, corn meal, and wheat flour. Here at Beauty’s, however, it is made with chicken thighs, hearts, and livers. It had a great crunchy sear from the griddle on the outside while being incredibly soft and savory inside. The eggs were tender and fluffy, and the cheese was gooey and rich. Bagels are “Montreal-style,” meaning they are hand-rolled, boiled in honey water, and then wood-fired to provide a hint of sweet and a touch of smoke. Tender on the inside with a thin, crisp crust, these are great bagels for sandwiches. The coffee brewed and served here is Flying Goat from Healdsburg.
The chicken served here is organic, as are the ingredients for their bagels. Additionally, they try to source organic vegetables and produce, like the fresh-squeezed oranges for juice that Zach says was “so fresh it was like eating an orange picked straight from the tree.” The chicken in his bagel sandwich was very flavorful and juicy, and its crust was flaky and crispy in the most delicious way. There was a blend of spices in the creamy beet coleslaw that was tangy and mildly spicy, but the heat stays in your mouth without traveling down to burn your throat. It helps that the beet backdrop is slightly sweet. The salt and pepper bagel is a great choice for this particular sandwich. We might not have tried too many restaurants in Oakland yet, but Zach says this is the best fried chicken sandwich we’ve found on Telegraph so far.
We are looking forward to our next visit. We want to get some plain bagels so that we can try some of the tempting spreads – Sierra Nevada cream cheese, honey butter, and almond butter, to name a few. We’re sure everything is amazing.
Whenever possible, get bagels from a bagel shop instead of prepackaged from a grocery store. Even the worst bagel shop’s bagels are far better than anything from a grocery store. Because they are made fresh, shop bagels freeze better than grocery store bagels when kept in a high quality Ziploc freezer bag. On top of it all, buying from a bagel shop supports local businesses as opposed to corporate chains. Sunrise Bagels (next to Saigon Bistro) offers not only a fresh variety of bagels, but so many ways to turn them into sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, plus salads, pastries, and coffee drinks. Zach’s impressed that they even have homemade bagel dogs, which looked pretty popular since many other customers were buying them at 7 in the morning.
Zach got an “eggwich with meat and cheese,” but he chose ham and bacon and two slices of cheese (so essentially double meat and cheese; they were happy to oblige). The bagel itself was jalapeño cheese, and needless to say, the bagel was delicious. It was crispy and had a good chew, like a bagel should be: dense, yet with a light texture. The jalapeños added a nice spice to wake up your mouth on a cold morning. The ham was tender, smoky, and sweet. The bacon was crisp and cooked fresh – these aren’t your typical bacon microwavers. The egg was light, fluffy, and very moist. Two slices of cheese helped all the ingredients commingle to make a hearty, tasty bagel ‘wich.
August always goes towards mushrooms and spinach. Her “Sunrise eggwich” on a garlic Parmesan bagel had both, plus provolone cheese and choice of meat – she went with ham. The sharp salty-nuttiness from the Parmesan was a nice flavor contrast with the vegetables on the inside, and provolone balanced well with the ham. It’s always a bonus when fresh vegetables are used.
Quick, filling, delicious, and run by a friendly owner, we highly recommend this place, for breakfast or lunch.