Midwest Living Review
With a name like Bagel, it's pretty obvious what you're going to get at this bright little restaurant in Chicago's trendy Wicker Park neighborhood. Even though freshly baked bagels dominate the menu, other details are far from predictable. For instance, the soft and creamy shmears include olive relish, white truffle and toasted pine nut, and cheddar and horseradish (which is tangy but not as sinus clearing as you might fear). A bagel with spread costs about $1.50. The sandwiches have nice, creative touches, too -- such as the avocado that comes with egg, bacon and cream cheese on the Breakfast II sandwich. The lox sandwich is heaped with salmon, tomato, red onion, cucumber, capers and cream cheese, all of it tasting quite fresh. Sandwiches are $4.95 to $7.95.Beverages include bottled soft drinks by small companies, such as le Village and Kombucha Wonder Drink. The shelves are also stocked with a homemade bloody Mary mix and jars of Wayne's relish. Bagel sells gourmet soups made by the local outfit Supa Zuppa and includes concoctions such as curried butternut squash and Granny Smith apple. (No soup for you during the summer, however.) And Bagel serves coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters based in Portland, Oregon.With its big windows and simple but artsy decor, Bagel is a sunny spot. You get the feeling that some of the customers who are hanging around and chatting with the employees are neighborhood regulars, but strangers feel just as welcome.