John Curtas is …

BAGEL CAFE

Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: the Bagel Cafe is not some world-class deli in the mold expected by ardent Jewish food fans from Montreal to New York to Los Angeles. It doesn’t smoke it’s own fish, cure its own meat or pepper its own pastrami. The bagels, while good, lack that je ne sais quoi of a great one (not quite chewy or crunchy enough), and the reuben, while equally good, probably can’t compare with the original from Omaha, Nebraska — it being too crudely sliced and sloppy in composition.

But then there’s the chicken soup.

“Taste this,” said the Burger Maven, “it’s rich and soothing beyond belief….so good, that it’s the only thing I want when I get sick.” He was right. One sip had us almost wishing for a head cold. Big chunks o’ chicken in a serious broth studded with vegetables — it is serious soup, and an old testament to the restorative powers of slurpy sustenance.

The pecan sticky bun was nuthin’ to sneeze at either. Softball-sized and light not leaden, it was nevertheless as chock full of sugary stickiness and pecans as you could ever hope for. (As much as we love what Chris Herrin in doing at Bread & Butter, this old-school one is better.) ELV considers everything but the center of any circular-spun bun to all but worthless (for that is where all the concentrated goodness resides), but we found ourselves picking even the edges of this glazed brick of beauty until it miraculously disappeared.

Bottom line on Bagel Cafe: It ain’t Langer’s, Schwartz’s or the Carnegie, but for home-grown Hebrew-ish eats, you won’t find any better in our humble burg.

The Burger Maven picked up the tap, but that reuben was $13 and the fish platter was $11 so the bill was probably around $40 for two hungry fressers.

BAGEL CAFE

301 North Buffalo Drive

Las Vegas, Nevada 89145

702.255.3444

www.thebagelcafelv.com

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7 Responses to BAGEL CAFE

  • The chicken soup is pretty good and I’ll even agree that it’s likely the best in town. When I lived in the NW chunk of this burg I would ofter go over to Bagel Cafe’s satellite location inside the Suncoast for a late night run for Matzoh ball soup and a sandwich. (Please tell me why EVERY deli in town thinks it’s okay to close in the afternoon?)

    Now if only somebody with both chutzpah and authority in this town would please tell Bagel Cafe that it is not appropriate to fill most of the bowl with chopped vegetables. The only things that belong in a bowl of Chicken Soup are:
    Soup
    Chicken
    Noodles
    A few slices of carrots.
    Matzoh Balls or Kreplach optional.

  • ELV responds: We suspect that every bubby in the Hebrew Nation has their own special recipe that their children swear by. Not being of the tribe, we consider this one to be top notch precisely because of the vegetables that flavor the broth.

    Signed,

    PS: Perhaps Kinky has a different idea:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6b-OdfboLE

  • Did I just hear ELV pronounce Bagel Cafe to be the best deli in town? Don’t get me wrong, for a chain it’s quite good. Have you tried Weiss’ on Sunset and Green Valley Parkway? That one’s my current favorite. Plus, it’s actually open for an (early) dinner.

    Of course, my own Jewish credentials are doubtless even lower than yours. At least your ancestors shared a lake or something with them.

  • Wow. Schwartz’s. Don’t tease me, John. A truly amazing place which is unlike any other. Every soul worth his Cherry Coke should experience it. Every trip to Montreal should include a pilgrimage to Schwartz’s. But I will try the Bagel Cafe next time in Vegas.

  • “It doesn’t smoke it’s own fish, cure its own meat or pepper its own pastrami.”

    It’s?

  • ELV responds’: Note to all the “Carl’s” of the world: you obviously have nothing better than to go around correcting typo’s, so we suggest you spend your time on website’s that give a rats’ ass.

  • Come on, John. You can’t knock the bagels when you show up in the afternoon for a Ruben. How can you expect them to be as awesome as they are at 8am everyday? I show up to BC every Monday morning before 730am and those things are spot on. If you want to review their bagels, be smart about it and show up on time. If you want to continue making ignorant comments, why don’t you take this same awesome logic and go review a milkshake 5 hours after its made. You’re ridiculous.

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