Friday, September 9, 2011

Bagel Month #1: Hot Bagels & Deli

Hot Bagels & Deli
Parkway Shopping Center
1519 Lehigh Street
Allentown, PA  18103
2nd location:  Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market
1825 W. Chew St. Allentown, PA  18104

One example of the beauty of food is that it is inspired & shared.  Did you ever notice that eating together is more satisfying than eating alone?  We can enjoy something in solitude, but what happens?  We want to tell someone about it.  We want to introduce someone to it.  We think of someone we know will enjoy it, text them and tell them we can't wait to share it with them.  This is one of the purposes of this blog, but is also a factor of its inception.  My husband and I have enjoyed many meals together and with friends.  Furthermore, we have had many who have inspired us towards creative and diverse eating.  This week’s feature is an ideal example of a business I would be sure to overlook, if it were not for our comrade, Wes Checkeye, who has yet to mislead in his several recommendations. 

My eyes are not drawn to strip plazas such as the locale of “Hot Bagels”, whose sign reads just that: “Hot Bagels.”  Not very catchy or enticing, but Wes assured me that the bagels are small but well-done.  Having lived in New York where there are delicious bagel delis on every corner, it’s hard to return to the Lehigh Valley and find one that meets your standards.  The key: a boiled bagel.  Not only are these bagels boiled, but they are hand-rolled and fully made on the premises.   You can catch the bagel-boiler in action in the back room.  Besides this evidence or asking the owner, how does one tell if a bagel is boiled?  Wes, who I would ascribe a connoisseur of bagels, says you look for "distinct exterior bubbles."  

Hot Bagels offers the standard bagels and spreads (plain and wide selection of flavored cream cheese, butter, jelly).  In addition it offers various breakfast specials including omelettes, sandwiches & platters.  While I cannot speak to their deli menu which includes grilled sandwiches, gyros, burgers, steaks, and classic cold sandwiches and hoagies, they have a decent bagel.  My recommendation is the energy bagel or pumpernickel. I was excited about the cranberry orange, but was disappointed in the lack of flavor. 

The place surprised me with its rather generous seating for dine-in customers.   Some other perks include their office special, Sunday special (Buy 1 dozen, get 4 free: $4.99), and accepting all competitor coupons.  You can’t beat a $2.39 breakfast, not including a coffee, tea or juice on the side. 

Will I return? I won’t go out of my way, but if I was in the mood for a bagel while in the area, I’ll be sure to stop.

Throughout this month, I look forward to sharing a few more bagel gems around the Lehigh Valley...remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day--so nourish & treat those back-to-school students! 

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