Living in New York there is nothing as good as a true New York bagel. Bantam Bagels in the West Village has taken the popular breakfast meal and put it into a delicious bite-sized form. Bantam opened up their storefront last Sunday offering what they describe as their “fresh filled, artisanal morsels of bagel goodness.” They strive to use the best and freshest ingredients by using organic and local sources supporting other local vendors in the area.
Yesterday I visited Bantam to grab the selection they were offering that day. I decided to try four basic bantams and eight specials (12 pack for $11.50). The classic selection they gave me were two plain and two everything bantams. The basic bantams either come with a choice of filling of butter or plain cream cheese or peanut butter. The dough was soft with a nice chewiness and good crusty outside.
The bantam specials are where the small bagel rounds get interesting. The bantam specials dough is either flavored or topped with various ingredients and comes with uniquely created fillings. The specials rotate daily. Here are the ones that were available when I visited:
Hot Pretzel: New York City is known for their hot soft pretzels. Whether it is at the baseball game or the food cart on the corner, Bantam has taken their spin on the favorite street snack. This bantam has pretzel-like dough with a soft inside and crusty outside topped with a coarse salt. The filling has creaminess from the sharp cheddar cream cheese and mildly spiced Dijon mustard. The salt on the top and enhances the mustard flavor in one bite.
Weekend Brunch: I like to have my usual bagel with lox cream cheese. The Weekend Brunch is an everything bagel filled with a cream cheese mixed with lox, tomato and red onion. On a cross-section you can see the contents of the cream cheese mixed. The flavors of the lox and tomato are present and subtle, but the red onion was strongly prevalent. The intensity of the onion flavor is probably because topping of the everything bagel.
Athena: Fancy a Greek spiced bagel? The Athena bantam is very aromatic with Greek spices such as oregano in the dough and with olives and feta cheese mixed in the cream cheese. The saltiness from the olives and the bits of feta cheese matched well with the creaminess of the cream cheese. There was also a tanginess and sweetness from the mini tomato slice on top that was marinated in lemon and rosemary.
The Bleecker Street (the Monthly Special): New York is popular known for having the best pizza in country and as New Yorkers we are quite bias to think our state has the best in comparison to others. Bantam makes their version of a pepperoni pizza bite with a pizza dough bagel filled with a marinara and mozzarella cream cheese and topped with a thin pepperoni slice. The cream cheese had a sweetness of the tomato and the taste of the herbs used to create the robust flavor. The slivers of shredded mozzarella cheese gave a nice texture contrast to the creaminess of the cream cheese. The saltiness of pepperoni slice gave a nice balanced bite to the bantam.
Boxed Lunch: Remember the days when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were packed by parents for you to eat for lunch at school. The Boxed Lunch bantam has creamy peanut butter mixed with a sweet strawberry jam and plain dough topped with peanuts.
Cinnamonster: The Cinnamonster is the perfect name for this bantam. The cream cheese is full of cinnamon flavor as well as in the cinnamon raisin dough. The cream cheese was also filled with slivers of walnuts that gave a slight sweetness to the cream cheese. The dough is soft and chewy with little raisin bits throughout.
Summerberry Shortcake: The Summerberry Shortcake bantam celebrates two of the many summer fruits to pick in the summer months. The dough is blended in with bits of blueberries giving a purple hue. The sweetness and slight tang come from the strawberry cream cheese inside.
French Toast: The French Toast bantam takes two popular breakfast meals and blends them together. The cinnamon and nutmeg egg bagel dough with a sweet maple syrup cream cheese that paired very well.
My favorite bantams of the bunch were the Athena, The Bleecker Street and the French Toast. The best way to eat the bantam is to bite with the side of the hole facing the your mouth to make sure that none of the delicious filling goes to waste. They also serve a Bantam Blend of coffee created by Gorilla Coffee and other drinks if you find yourself thirsty.
The Bantam bagels are great since you can option to buy and try a variety of bagels in tiny bite sized form. Also I find that in comparison to your classic bagel and filling, there is less mess to worry about. Thirdly, you do not need to worry about waking up extra early or waiting on a long line like the Cronut craze down in Soho. You can wake up at a decent hour and still be able to snack on these delicious morsels. I would gladly recommend visiting Bantam Bagels in the West Village and I am looking forward to returning soon.
For more information on Bantam Bagels see below:
283 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
Pricing of Bantam Bagels (not including tax)
1 Bantam: $1.35
3 Bantams: $3.50
6 Bantams: $6.00
12 Bantams: $11.50
24 Bantams: $22
48 Bantams: $42