The innumerable visits to the reviews here & the countless attempts at actually locating the place, today finally resulted in moments of joy.
After reading the review for Gloria Jean, I was most curious to step in. Call it serendipity or just my strong desire to visit the Bagel Shop, I bump into this friend in Bandra (I was on my way to GJ mind you!) who goes 'hey lets go to the bagel shop, its AWESOME!'
For the benefit of those who have been attempting to locate this place & haven't quite managed there are two ways of approaching it. Either take the turn where Basilico, Papa Pancho, Mia Cucina (all those who haven't - please do go - amazing!) etc. are, then a right, and then a left (the road slopes upwards) and then a left again. If you take the right one reach the Fab India on Pali Hill. The alternate is to take the turn where the Police Commissioner's office is on Carter Road - drive slowly for two reasons, the pathetic road; two, lest you miss the Bagel Shop! Once there - the place has a lovely Goan feel to it, despite being in a congested by lane of Bandra. But I can't help say that the overall feel is a bit cramped.
All bakers & break makers will probably want to shoot me for saying this, but I think a pretty good job has been done at glorifying regular bread in various shapes and sizes, fancy names, but with pretty much the same taste. One such example would be the bagel. However, I did read that a bagel is the only bread that is boiled before being baked resulting in a crisp crust & light spongy interior.
With this review restricted to the vegetarian assortment on the menu, the only comment I can make on the non-veg selection would be - given the way my friend was chomping on the sausage bagel, am pretty sure it was amazing. The bagel by itself was anything but spongy, but crisp it was (& a tad greasy).
I had the herbed cream cheese bagel with sun dried tomatoes. The cream cheese just oozes out of the bagel, spilling it on clothes, floor, table, basically all over. It's also available without the herb, with herbs it varies from pepper, mixed herbs etc. There was also a garlic bagel & one with oven roasted veggies. In the sweet varieties there's honey & banana, nutella, jam (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry). There were the more exotic varieties with goat's cheese, however didn't think it worth spending something like 200 bucks on a bagel. Had the lemon ginger tea - quite nice. Don't add sugar.
Overall a 3 star experience - I thought it was a tad expensive. The total bill of Rs. 442 consisted of:
1. 1 Non-veg bagel
2. 1 Herbed cream cheese bagel
3. 2 lemon ginger teas
4. 1 blueberry jam bagel
Also, the way the jam was served separately from the bagel, was something I did quite appreciate.
If you thought the bagel meant a quick bite then this is not place to swing by. Take a leisurely 2-3 hours (atleast) and given the service turn around time, this is the minimum amount of time one would spend!