If someone would have asked me last year about the best bagel in Chicago, I would have shrugged my shoulders and pleaded ignorance. But we are in something of a bagel boom and it's time to take stock. So, does Chicago actually have some bagels worth celebrating?
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While devouring the largest, lightest, and airiest matzoh ball I've ever faced at Au Cheval last night, it finally dawned on me that Chicago is in the midst of something of a Jewish food wave.
The Roasted Turkey Breast & Cheddar on a Pretzel Salt Bagel ($8.95) is exactly what it sounds like, with green leafy lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, and red onion rings to round out the sandwich. The fillings worked well together: the high-piled turkey was mild and moist, the cheddar was sharp and creamy, and the vegetables added just the right amount of freshness to the sandwich. The star, though, was the pretzel salt bagel, which highlighted the best features of its namesakes.
Co-created by Dion Antic, the man who brought Chicago the breakfast hot-spot, Toast, Bagel on Damen is a no-frills morning meal destination that puts some interesting spins on the traditional bagel sandwich.