rosenberg’s bagels + delicatessen

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I wouldn’t describe myself as a bagel lover. Donuts? Yes! But bagels? They’re good, sure. Growing up I loved having a bagel that my dad had picked up at the local bagel shop. When I was in college at Middlebury, nothing compared to a bagel egger sandwich at the Middlebury Bagel Deli. So good.

But then we moved to Seattle, and bagels were a joke. So bad. No one in Seattle could make a decent bagel. Even the places that were rumored to be good were just mediocre. Sure, it too bad, but I was never bagel-obsessed enough to really mourn the loss. I just moved on with life, bagel-free.

And yet, when I heard that some smart fellow (Josh Pollack) was opening up a new bagel shop in Denver and engineering the mineral content of the water to make perfect New York style bagels, I was indeed intrigued.

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We finally got to Rosenberg’s last Sunday, and although the outside looked a little unpromising (we came in the back entrance off 26th and there isn’t yet any signage), there was a long line at 9:30am. Things moved pretty quickly, and we got to the front of the 20-some person line in 10-15 minutes. Most people were opting to take their orders to go, so there was ample seating. The space was super cool without being overly trendy. Pollack apparently wanted to restore the art-deco history of the space, and he has definitely achieved that with just a few modern touches.

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The bagels were indeed perfect. Crispy on the outside but doughy and appropriately chewy on the inside. The fish options on the menu looked fantastic (salmon galore! cod! trout! hand-cut!), but we opted for eggs. I got one of their specialties, “The Frenchie” (think French toast meets egg sandwich), while Dan tried egg, bacon, and cheddar on a poppyseed bagel. It was great to try something unique, but I ultimately prefered the basic egg sandwich. It was just done so well. Most importantly, the bacon was the perfect crispness so you could take bites. There’s nothing worse than bacon that slides off a sandwich on the first bite, right?

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They had a fancypants espresso machine whipping up fantastic drinks (Boxcar Roasters coffee, I think? Shoot. I can’t remember for sure.), and I enjoyed an iced latte (small complaint: no liquid sweetener besides honey which isn’t super cold-water soluble!). Another food trend observation: lots of people were drinking cold brew bottled coffee from the fridge case, which seems like an odd choice to me when you’re in a place that has an espresso bar…I do think it’s delicious and a great option when there isn’t one, but…?

Anyway. In case there was any confusion, the verdict on Rosenberg’s is: go now! I cannot wait to go again. Who knew how much I was missing bagels?

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