Two take a midday break
News-Journal entertainment writer Rick de Yampert recently had lunch at Strathmore Bagels with his lady friend, Cheryl Sheppard.
Q. So, you had a bagel appetizer, bagel entree and a bagel dessert? Actually, Strathmore Bagels is a bagel shop and full deli and restaurant with a sizable dining room. Along with dining in or takeout, the deli also offers delivery and catering.
But, since I (Rick) am a vegetarian and a connoisseur of bagels, I was on a quest for bagel nirvana.
The Strathmore menu proudly proclaims that their bagel tradition goes back to 1905 and Jakob Frutchman, an immigrant from Austria who “arrived on these shores at the age of 11. He started baking bagels in a basement on the lower east side of Manhattan.”
Alan Phillips, who co-owns Strathmore with his wife, Karyn, says their restaurant-deli creates a “true New York kettle bagel” using dough made from scratch that’s boiled “the old-fashioned way in a kettle, then baked in a hearthstone oven.” “It’s a dying art,” Karyn Phillips says.
So, when a baker in back of Strathmore shouted, “We have hot cheese-jalapeno bagels!,” I said “Sold!”
Q. How was it? Made with asiago cheese inside and out, with just the right amount of pepper bits and arriving piping hot from the oven — a bagel of the gods.
Q. You said Strathmore offers more than bagels. The restaurant takes pride in fresh ingredients, which they use for a menu that includes grilled sandwiches, deli sandwiches, wraps, salads, smoked fish platters, desserts and breakfast served all hours (Alan Phillips says their signature pancakes, which “hang over the plate,” will be featured in an upcoming pancake-eating contest).
The restaurant makes its own corned beef by boiling beef “with whole oranges and spices,” Karyn Phillips says. “And we also slice our own fish, which is another dying art.”
I had the grilled veggie wrap ($8.95), which came with a choice of sides. The key to the wrap’s tastiness was fresh mushrooms grilled in olive oil. My side was an Israeli salad — finely diced tomatoes, cukes and onions in olive oil.
Cheryl liked her Belgian waffle ($6.95 plus $1 for fruit topping) but believed she deserved a more generous helping of strawberries on top.
Looking for something egg-less for dessert, I chose the French toast bagel. “Would you like that grilled?” our waitress asked. Sold! Another bagel of the gods, thanks to the hot, sticky globs of cinnamon sugar.
Q. What about us carnivores? Smoked fish platters, which include a side salad, bagel or bialy and veggie garnishes, feature nova, belly or salmon (for $13.95 each), pickled herring ($9.95) or sturgeon ($16.95).
Grilled sandwiches, which include fries and a side salad, feature a Reuben, the “Rachel” (pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing) and chicken breast ($9.95 each), plus a BLT and others.
Wraps, which include a side salad, feature the “Godfather II” (ham, salami, provolone), the “Flagler” (turkey, Black Forest ham and Colby jack) and the “Irving Taganaki” (nova, wasabi, cream cheese and sesame seeds). Most wraps are $8.95 or $9.95, but the Irving is $11.95.
Q. What was your bill? $24.40 (not including tip) for the Belgian waffle, veggie wrap, two bagels, a glass of orange juice and a can of soda.
Q. Will you go back? Meat-loving deli lovers should find plenty to explore. I’ll be back for veggie wraps and a six-pack of New York asiago-jalapeno kettle bagels.
Strathmore Bagels In the Parkway Plaza, 1000 Palm Coast Parkway S.W., Palm Coast
HOURS: Restaurant — 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Deli takeout — 7 a.m.-4 p.m. daily
ACCESSIBILITY: Seats about 100. Handicapped accessible.
TIDBITS: Accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks.