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The Bagel Search Reviewed

November 28, 2018

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The Bagel Search Reviewed

I’m not a food critic. This is a serious review that should not be taken seriously.

The Kettle Black

I’ve eaten a sesame seed bagel from Dunkin Donuts for breakfast for years. I’ve witnessed countless mis-managers doing their best to get their staff to serve coffee and spread bagels. I partly blame their old ass toaster for the inferior quality of the bagels, but I also have a feeling their staleness comes from sitting on the shelf. That’s not what this post about though.

I searched for “bagel” around my area and came up with the Kettle Black. 70 Google reviews and a 4.8 rating. Sounds good.

To be perfectly honest, this is my second time going because it’s not fair to give a review after 1 visit.

The Review

Parking: ⋆⋆⋆ 2nd street has parking on the left and right that is 95% taken at 7am. I pulled over in a temp zone last week and then today I went down a side street and found a spot. It will generally take about 2-3 minutes to get there once parking is found. That’s not a guarantee at this hour, so it’s not a great score. Walk in traffic is preferred.

Service: ⋆⋆⋆ There were 2 people in front of me when I arrived today. This was typical as there was only 1 person when I went the first time. There is only 1 register so they don’t expect big lines. This will probably change when they see this site. I overheard the conversation between the customer and register today and it was about cats. They carried on after the woman’s food and coffee were in front of her for about 30 seconds. This is a friendlier type establishment instead of business oriented. To some they might like this. I found it inefficient. The wait between the bagel being ordered and being served was a little over a minute. Quite good.

Bagel: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ This place is a bakery I believe. So they bake their own food. This means it’s fresh. I noticed this while eating that, get this, it actually tasted good. The bagel was softish (hardened up when toasted) and the sesame seeds were plentiful. High quality.

 

Coffee: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ The coffee was piping hot which is always nice. I got it black and it’s stronger than usual. The morning caffeine buzz either makes me highly effective or completely scattered brain and thinking I’m completely effective. Not sure which.

Price: ⋆ It was $6.00 for a 16oz coffee and sesame seed bagel. Dunkin is $4.24. 3J’s is about $3.98. So this is on the high side.

Coffee Cup: ⋆⋆ Does the coffee spill in the car? That’s my main indicator of a good cup. I live in Philadelphia and there are cobbled stone streets causing huge amounts of vibrations. The answer to the question was…yes it does spill. The opening needs a blocker. Not quality.

Schedule: ⋆⋆ Being closed on Monday and Tuesday? This I don’t understand. I get when bars don’t open on these days because they are normally slower. Aren’t coffee establishments the most busy on these days? I have to think this is done for a reason and my feeling is that this place doesn’t want business. They are anti-capitalism. I don’t understand these hours. Who can explain?

Overall: ⋆⋆⋆⋆ I enjoyed this place of business for morning coffee and a bagel. I wouldn’t be prepared to add it as a 2x weekly visit, but it’s worth once a week. The people are nice. The service is expedient. It’s a little bit expensive, but you have to pay for quality. It’s odd to think that this place wouldn’t like to do more business. As in, they would not be prepared to have 20 people in their bakery at one time. Like I mentioned above, not there is anything wrong with that, but if it gets too popular, I would never visit it again.

One Comment
  1. Brookes Britcher

    I'm glad you mostly enjoyed your experience here. The owners are great and are committed to producing a high-quality product. I think they are more of the mindset of 'Federal Doughnuts', where they close shop when they run out of product. While this seems silly from a business sense, it can be very smart. 1) It creates buzz and demand. 2) It allows for them to have very clear profit/cost forecasts. 3) Growth occurs on their terms at their pace. 4) It signifies and ensures to the consumer that they won't sacrifice quality to sell 50 more bagels by rushing process, etc. In the end, it is a boutique eatery that is meant more to cater to the neighborhood than any other market - hence the small-talk. It is not terribly uncommon for restaurants to be closed Mondays, as most of their staff work weekends while we have off. However, given the wares, it would seem logical to attempt some morning shifts. Full disclosure: my company actually built the space and I worked on making it. There are certain limitations re: L&I what can be done re: seating and production that would classify it differently and force it to be subject to other restrictions.

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