If you've read any of this blog before, you've probably caught on to a few things: a) I love breakfast; b) I love sandwiches; and c) I really love breakfast sandwiches. And if a bagel happens to be involved, even better. I was recently introduced to Poppy's Bagels andddd I do not know what rock I have been living under. Holy cow, that is how you make a bagel.
One of my coworkers brought a selection of bagels and cream cheeses from Poppy's into our office recently and, being somewhat overwhelmed with options, I did what any normal person would do -tried a bit of almost everything. I sampled the plain, pumpernickel, and sesame seed bagels as well as the plain, veggie, and maple walnut flavors of cream cheese.
The bagels themselves were moist, chewy, and somewhat dense on the inside and crispy on the outside. I really enjoyed them, but they were huge and really filling (I will acknowledge that eating three types of bagels may have contributed to the "filling" part...). The plain and sesame seed varieties weren't particularly notable, but the pumpernickel was really interesting and delicious. The dough was complex, yeasty, a bit sour, and surprisingly rich. It tasted almost coffee-like (which was a good thing, despite the fact that I am not a huge coffee fan) and would be an excellent base for a sandwich.
While the bagels on their own were pretty darn delicious (probably the best in Charlotte other than the Hawaiian bagel from Bagel Bin), the cream cheese was the star. I'm not normally a big fan of anything "plain," but I was delighted to discover that the plain flavor was creamy, tangy, and complex. The maple walnut cream cheese was alright (I'm just not a huge fan of sweet varieties of schmear), but the veggie flavor was loaded with fresh, little slivers of carrot, scallion, and pepper and was out-of-control good.
The next weekend, BFTB and I set out on our standard Saturday morning breakfast excursion, but decided to hit up Poppy's rather than one of our normal haunts. We ordered breakfast sandwiches (shocking, I know) and, at the last minute, threw in a request for a side of the broccoli salad (seriously, every single thing in the Poppy's deli case looks amazing... I need to head back and try the chicken salad ASAP).
BFTB's bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich was relatively standard, but was really good. As he explained, "It's probably not going to blow the doors off anything, but if you're craving a basic sandwich, it'll hit the mark." My bacon, egg, tomato, and jalapeno cream cheese sandwich had a little more going on, but was still fairly middle-of-the-pack. Each element, however, was done really, really well (especially the insanely delicious jalapeno cream cheese... it was honestly the best that I have ever ingested), there just wasn't anything about the sandwich as a whole that completely knocked my socks off.
On the other hand, our late addition, the broccoli salad, did knock my socks off. It was simultaneously sweet (thanks to the dressing) and savory (thanks to the incredibly abundant bacon pieces) and the broccoli itself was crunchy, fresh, and almost had me fooled into thinking that I was eating something healthy. We polished off each and every piece and I'm drooling just thinking about returning for more.
All in all, I am super stoked that I recently became acquainted with the gloriousness that is Poppy's Bagels. Strangely, even though the individual elements were, for the most part really delicious (I'm looking at you pumpernickel bagel and jalapeno cream cheese), they just didn't come together as well as I'd hoped they would in sandwich form. Regardless, I can't wait to return to try more of the bagels, cream cheeses (I'm especially excited about testing the salmon spread), and delicious-looking deli offerings. For breakfast food, Poppy's gets an 8/10.