Dining Duo in search of New York Deli experience in Memphis
Place: The Bagel Breakfast & NY Deli Address: 6698 Poplar Ave
I had some detecting business to do over the weekend which brought me near Germantown, so I figured I would go solo in this outing. I saw Cat on Saturday, but she’s been busy with a new “job” and getting a new apartment ready, so she couldn’t join me.
Nightwing is a busy crime fighter so he also wasn’t available. Besides, he already owes me like half a dozen lunches. Good thing I am a millionaire playboy and can afford to eat out so much. Well, one of those words about me is true anyway.
I was a bit “burgered out” and really didn’t have much time for a proper sit down dining experience, so since it was close to the lunch hour I was in the mood for a sandwich. My Bat computer came up with a few possibilities that looked appetizing, so I decided to give The Bagel a try. I love a good sandwich on a bagel, almost as much as I like a good hotdog on a pretzel bun. I figured that since The Bagel had the word “NY Deli” in it that I couldn’t go wrong for lunch.
I arrived at The Bagel before noon and the place was packed. My guess is that most people were there for breakfast. Since I was in a hurry, I decided to get mine to go. The menu at The Bagel was everything I hoped it would be – and them some. Any sandwich shop that has pastrami, corned beef and a Reuben as an option is right to my liking. And, lo and behold, they even had a NY Bagel Dog, the kind that uses an all-beef Hebrew National dog!
I decided though, to save the NY Bagel Dog for another trip and instead ordered pastrami ($12.99) on an Asiago cheese bagel.
What’s more, I made it a NY, which means you get a double stack of meat.
Finding a good pastrami sandwich is hard to do in Memphis, or anywhere for that matter, unless you’re in New York or a city with a large Jewish ethnic population. My usual go-to for pastrami in Memphis is Front Street Deli in downtown. But since The Bagel is a NY deli, I figured if any place knew pastrami, this would be the place.
I won’t say that I was disappointed, but I also can’t say that I was entirely satisfied either. The sandwich was definitely doublestacked with pastrami. I added Provolone cheese which melted nicely. They include a pickle spear, which was great, and you get your choice of a side. I chose fries with mine, but you can get fruit, chips, potato salad, and a few Jewish sides that I have no idea what they are.
But back to the pastrami.
While it was stacked so hight that I could barely get my mouth around it, there wasn’t much flavor to the meat. In fact, I will go out on a limb here and say that it tasted more like an Arby’s sandwich. I’m no expert on pastrami and I’m not saying that I did not like it. My understanding is that pastrami is pastrami because it is brined, then dried, and seasoned with herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed. I just didn’t detect any taste of brine or herbs and spices.
There wasn’t any…oomph to it. Maybe I am used to buying the kind at the deli where it has the seasoning on the edges when it is sliced.
Overall though, I was glad I tried The Bagel and there is no doubt that I will be back to try their corned beef, Reuben, and a hot dog. I would recommend The Bagel if you are in the mood for a good bagel sandwich. I might even go out of my comfort zone next time and try some of the Jewish specialties like Matzo Ball soup, but don’t look for me to try the creamed herring.