Judging by the line that forms outside Brooklyn Bagels before the shop opens at 7 a.m. on Sunday, it would appear that the residents of Arlington's Courthouse neighborhood are happy to have a bagelry back in their yard. Brooklyn Bagels has picked up where Big Dog left off, catering to an already-established clientele.
The bakers here boast that theirs is the only shop in the Washington area to model their cooking method on the traditional New York style -- kettle-boiled and baked on stone -- to produce the treasured crispy crust and doughy middle. When warm these bagels are enormous, chewy and flavorful ($.55 each or $5.99 a dozen), but tend to lose some of their punch once cool.
Brooklyn Bagels sticks to conventional bagel flavors -- New Yorkers will approve -- with onion and everything topping the most-requested list (afternoon buyers beware: popular varieties are scarce after the lunch hour). Breakfast is simple and inexpensive: flavored cream cheeses ($1.99), egg and cheese sandwiches ($2.29), gourmet coffees and muffins.
At lunch the menu includes New York style sandwiches like the "Rockaway Reuben," corned beef or pastrami grilled with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut on rye bread ($5.79), and traditional salads ($5.79), in addition to bagel sandwiches like tuna, chicken salad ($4.79), and pizza bagels (2.49).
-- Stacy Rosenberg