Einstein Bros. Bagels: Franchise surprises with fresh, bright ingredients
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Restaurant Critic
Thursday, January 10, 2013
3/28/13 at 7:49 AM
After we placed our orders at the counter at the new Einstein Bros. Bagels, we slipped past the regular dining tables to snag a couple of the cushy, contemporary easy chairs that were just barely out of reach of a late-afternoon sunbeam.
We had an iced vanilla hazelnut latte ($3.65) and a cafe latte ($2.65) to hold us while we waited for our name to be called to pick up our order.
Einstein Bros. Bagels, a franchise restaurant in far south Tulsa, offers 18 flavors of bagels, bagel sandwiches, bagel wraps, pizza bagels, bagel melts, panini, deli sandwiches, salads, soups, spreads and sweet pastries in addition to the normal run of specialty coffee drinks, tea, hot chocolate and smoothies.
The restaurant opens in early morning and closes in late afternoon. The menu offers a variety of breakfast and lunch items, and the whole menu is available all day.
I selected one of the restaurant's signature dishes, the Tasty Turkey sandwich ($6.95), and my wife had an egg sandwich ($4.80) on whole-grain bread instead of a bagel. We shared a bowl of turkey chili ($3.50) and chipotle chicken salad ($5).
Maybe because we knew this was a national franchise, I don't think we were expecting much as we waited for our food. We were pleasantly surprised. All of the ingredients seemed bright and fresh, and each delivered good flavor.
The turkey sandwich included layers of lettuce, tomato slices, cucumber slices and mayo on an Asiago cheese bagel, and the egg sandwich was filled with spinach, mushrooms and Swiss cheese. The whole-grain bread was cut thick, and its texture and flavor added to the appeal of the sandwich.
The turkey sandwich came with one side, and I chose the potato salad. It was a simple preparation of red potatoes in a creamy, mayo-based sauce, and I cleaned the bowl before we were done. The chili featured mostly turkey meat and a bit of tomato in a dark, mild broth.
The salad had mixed greens, including spinach, surrounded by little piles of a vinegary corn salsa, red peppers, pimento and tomatoes, and topped with tender, fresh-tasting chunks of chicken. It came with a chipotle sauce that tasted like a thin barbecue sauce with a little kick.
We also took home tubs of sun-dried tomato and garden veggie spreads ($3.59 each) to go with a few bagels.
The bagel dough comes in frozen, then it is formed into the different flavors, put in a proofing oven, then moved to a baking oven, where it receives a steam treatment for four minutes before going under 510-degree heat.
Servers regularly bring around samplings of bagels, and the ones we tried were moist and had a good texture. Customers also received a sample of a blueberry smoothie while we were there.
The restaurant is owned by local partners Charles McSperitt and Bryan Hendershot. They are building additional locations at 71st Street and Yale Avenue next to Naples Flatbread and at Fifth Street and Boulder Avenue downtown where Burkhart's Office Plus used to be.
"We are committed to building seven Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Tulsa area," McSperitt said. "We were formerly in the mortgage business, but we always wanted a restaurant. We did our research and liked what we saw of Einstein."
Gary DeWint, area manager, noted that Einstein also offers a premade baker's dozen of a variety of bagel flavors and two tubs of cream cheese for $14.50 that customers may pick up each morning until 11 a.m. without waiting in line.
Einstein also offers delivery and catering.
EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS
8125 E. 101st St.
Service: order at counter
(on a scale of 0 to 4
5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-
Friday, 6 a.m. to 4
accepts all major credit cards.
Original Print Headline: Bagels down to a science
Scott Cherry 918-581-8463
A Tasty Turkey sandwich features lettuce, tomato, cucumber, turkey and mayonnaise on an Asiago cheese bagel. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
The counter at Einstein Bros. Bagels holds a variety of bagels, pastries and spreads. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World