Imagine a unicorn, jumping over a lake of diamonds, whilst eating a rainbow, and being ridden by a magical elf who poops fairy-dust… now you’re pretty close to what it feels like to eat a Rainbow Bagel from The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, NYC. I have to say, I’d waited 2 years to try one of these bad boys, so as soon as I knew I was heading over the New York, a visit to Brooklyn to pick one of these colourful little fellas up was top of my list. I was however, a little surprised at what the whole experience was actually like.
The Bagel Store
Let me start you off with the place. I knew it wasn’t going to be anything special, it’s situated in a residential area of Brooklyn, and was built to be just a friendly local bagel store, not the world wide phenomenon it has become. However, I was still surprised about how small this place was! You could fit maybe 10 people in the queue area, there was one table with 6 chairs, and around 6 bar stools to sit up to the window ledge, and that was it. No more space, no room to wiggle around people, just that.
When I arrived, I was so happy to see that the legend of queues around the block weren’t entirely true, as there were only 6 people waiting in line. So, with excitement still flowing through my veins, I headed to the counter to place my order, this is when things got weird… A random woman with a clip board came to me at the back of the line and said, “Place your order please”. At this point I was crushed into a corner near the kitchen, I hadn’t even glanced at a menu, and couldn’t read anything on the boards behind the till from that distance. I stumbled and muttered something like “Err one of the Rainbow Bagels with… what fillings do you have”, to which she replied, “yabba labba, funfettie, bingo bonga, cream cheese, blabby blobby ok?” in the fastest, most New York accent in the world. In the end I ordered a couple colourful bagels, one savoury and one sweet, and my boyfriend ordered an all-breakfast bagel.
While we were eagerly awaiting out magical treats, we noticed a lot of customers leaving the store only to walk right back in and complain, their order was wrong. So, when it finally came our turn, we checked the bagels at the till. Two out of three bagels were completely wrong. They were missing fillings, and even had extremely strange additional fillings (who wants a surprise egg in their bagel?!). However, after we told them about the mix up, they proceeded to make totally fresh new bagels AND let us keep the ones we already had, lovely!
The Rainbow Bagels
In all honesty, the Rainbow bagels really do look as beautiful in real life as they do in all of the Instagram feeds. They are bright, vibrant, perfectly formed little circles of joy! The fillings are thick and plentiful, and the choices are practically endless. The actual flavour of the bagels is nothing out of the ordinary, so if you feel brave you can absolutely mix one of the Rainbow Bagels with a savoury lunch filling like I did. The sweet fillings are just that, sweet. They are like rot your teeth in a second kind of sweet, but they are great for a one-off treat, or if you have a very big sweet tooth.
Was it worth the journey to Brooklyn? For the experience and the lovely photos, yes. For the service and overall flavour, no. I feel like the store can’t quite take the capacity of people who want to sample their masterpieces, and so their levels of service, and indeed quality of space, drops dramatically at times. The Bagel Store in Williamsburg just recently announced it’s closure due to this exact problem. But fear not my rainbow loving friends, their store in the Graham area is still open, and they are due to open another in Bedford soon.
A Rainbow bagel will set you back a whopping $3.95, whereas you can get one of their classic bagels; garlic, vanilla, plain or sesame seed, for only $1.15. There are also a large selection of Premium bagels, such as the all-breakfast, cinnamon and raisin, or salted pretzel for around $3.00. Each bagel comes with one filling of your choice, and extra additions run from $0.45 to $2.50 per serving. You can find the full menu with all the prices here, and I suggest giving it a good look over before you enter the confusing world of ordering in The Bagel Store.
Have you tried a Rainbow Bagel? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!
Stay Salty x