Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bagel House, Rozelle (or How To Have a Carb Overload)

Bagel House, Rozelle

I have often lauded over my love for carbs on this blog. And on many occasions I would state how great carbs were, in a spirited attempt to curb those who are anti-carb back into the habit. What can I say, I love carbs and would fight for them to the end. But can this carb lover ever get too much carb? Well let me say after a trip to the Bagel House in Rozelle, I can aptly say that I went into a carb overload.

If it weren't for the immense pile of things I needed to do, I think my body would have gone into shut down mode just so my digestive system could process that inundation of simple sugars into my body. It all started when G decided that we needed to go to a tennis supply store in Gladesville as he needed some more things for work (he's a tennis instructor). Well whenever we are in the remote vicinity of Balmain, we always make the excuse to go into Darling St and make a pit stop into some of our favourite food haunts. One is Bertoni Casalinga, home of the Ciambelle alla Nutella, aka the Nutella Donut, and there is of course Victoire where we always find an endless assortment of pastries to sample. So off we go into Victoire, and buy some levains, a couple of croissants and a beautiful apple tart. We give the ciambelles a miss, as we didn't want to go over board. Little did we know what was in store.

Sesame Seed Bagel
Sesame Seed bagel

We were already leaving Balmain, driving along Darling St and heading towards Victoria Rd when we pass a new addition to the street. The former Cheesecake Shop had disappeared and had now been replaced with a place called the Bagel House. Our curiousity had been piqued and we couldn't help but slow down. So we made a hasty turn right, ignoring the pedestrian waiting to cross the road and quickly reversed the car into the first available car spot. Then off we went down the street into the Bagel House. The place is quite small; there's a glass counter that houses all the flavours available on the day, there a espresso machine for the obligatory coffee that accompanies your bagel and there's a shelf in the corner full of bagel chips and shmears (spreads).

We decided that we, in the interest of food blogging should sample a small selection of bagels to introduce ourselves to the Bagel House range. So what did we try? First off we had the plain bagel (pictured above, centre), which I guess is a must since this is the simplest bagel on offer. As a whole these bagels were a lot better than the ones you would normally find at the grocery store. You know the ones; the rock-like discs that are so dense you could probably break into a car just by throwing one into the window. Well these bagels had a rather chewy crust and a soft fluffy interior, a far cry from the bagels I'm used to, which are incredibly difficult to cut in half.

Soft purple interior

The Sesame Bagel and the Poppy Seed bagel were basically variations of the plain bagel, the thing differentiating them was the generous sprinkling of seeds on top. Nonetheless, these were quite satisfying, I would recommend it with some cream cheese or better yet some butter and vegemite (if you are Australian).

Poppy Seed Bagel
Poppy Seed Bagel

As you can see by now we are in the middle of our carb glut, and don't forget we had nibbled on a croissant and an apple tart and a little bit of sourdough levain earlier, this was all before the bagels were sampled. We did wait till we got home to taste test the bagels, but nonetheless those previous carb-loaded products were still sitting in our bellies. But can you ever get too much carbs? Well anyway, our carb odyssey continues!

Sugar Crusted Blueberry Bagel
Sugar Blueberry Bagel

Out of all the bagels we tried, my favourite was the blueberry, probably because it was the sweetest. We couldn't decide between the sugar-crusted and the plain blueberry so we decided to get both. I decided on the plain one, but it was a mistake, not that the plain one was horrible, but it was just that the extra sprinkling of sugar over the top made that little bit of difference. I liked the contrast of textures too with the soft doughy bagel and the sugar crusting on top. But there was definitely a resounding two thumbs up for the blueberry bagels.

Blueberry Bagel (plain)
Plain Blueberry

The most disappointing of the bunch was probably the apple and cinnamon. Out of all the flavours we had, this was the most dry and the most bland, considering we were expecting to be getting flavours bursts of apple and touches of cinnamon, we got neither. There were only slight hints of cinnamon and there was barely any apple in it to constitute it being a flavour.

Apple and Cinnamon Bagel
Apple and Cinnamon

You can see why we went into a carb overload; bagels aren't the lightest bread product around. And even though we shared the lot, it was still a lot of carbs to ingest in one sitting. I wouldn't recommend doing this again. For some reason were weren't in the mood for anything herby or savoury that day. But next time around I am planning on trying their dill bagel, the onion and the sun-dried tomato, although perhaps not all at the same time.

Also if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, do try their bagelwiches- which I am guessing is a bagel sandwich. The breakfast selection sounds particularly appetizing. If you want something as close as you can get to NYC flavour without having to span the Pacific then this bagel house is worth the traverse, it's only in Rozelle.

Storefront, Bagel House, Rozelle

The Bagel House

621 Darling St, Rozelle
Phone: (02) 9810 42905
Open: Weekdays 7am-6pm; Weekends 7am-4pm


zona marie said...

omg. i love bagels. i was waiting for the Bagel House to open, every time i walked passed it on Darling St. now that i'm back in KL... =((

nvm, another reason added to my list of reasons to definitely move to Sydney (besides marrying my bf) lol!

lynn said...

Yumm. I love bagels and blueberry bagels are my all time favorite!

Rhonda Jean said...

Thanks for the tip. I used to live in Balmain in the 60s and 70s and know it has many fine eateries. I returned a few months ago and was delighted to find the essense of what I left behind still there. I'll definately pop into the Bagel House when I go back again.

Nora B. said...

Hi Jen, when I had their bagels, they had just opened and didn't have any bagelwiches yet, so I'll have to give that a try. This shop is actually a resurrection of the original bagel house of the 80's at Taylor Square. This is an inetersting article about the background of this bagel shop. They managed to keep the tradition within the family:

steph said...

as a displaced new yorker, i'll most certainly have to give this place a try. i am always on the lookout for a "real" bagel here. a little hummus is a good cream cheese alternative, too.

VeggieGirl said...

bagels are quite tasty - especially whole grain (my favorite)! I just don't understand people who are "anti-carb" :0)

jenjen said...

Zona Marie- It's definitely a reason to come and visit us again!

Lynn- Me too, nothing beats a blueberry bagel.

Rhonda Jean- I love Balmain, there are always great foodie finds. And the place seems like a little village in the city.

Nora B- I haven't tried the Bagelwiches either, although I am definitely going back to give them a try.
Yes, I had a look at the SMH article. I never knew it used to be in Taylor Square.

Steph- Humums with bagels? Never tried it, although it does sound delicious. Another reason for me to go out and buy more bagels.

Veggie Girl- Wholemeal sounds really nice. I wouldn't mind making my own wholemeal bagels.

Mercedes said...

These are so gorgeous. As a New Yorker, I should not condone the very untraditional blueberry bagel, but really, it looks awesome! Well done!