There’s nothing better in the morning than a breakfast that includes warm bagels and a fresh cup of coffee. For many San Diegans, and people all over the country, bagels and coffee conjures up images of Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery.
If Bruegger’s offered nothing more than bagels and coffee, the bakery would be an asset to the community. There are 10 Bruegger’s shops in the area, including a new one downtown on B Street and another in a small shopping center in Torrey Hills.
The bagel bakery provides all flavors of bagels (all made the authentic way by kettle boiling and then baking), and these beauties are baked fresh every day, unlike supermarket baked goods, which can sit on the shelves for days. Along with the tried-and-true “plain” bagel, look for chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin, cranberry orange, honey grain, rosemary olive oil and many other varieties. Bruegger’s even has a dozen different cream cheese flavors to top them off.
Fortunately, there’s more to savor at Bruegger’s than bagels, cream cheese and delicious coffee. And speaking of coffee, Bruegger’s serves wonderful coffee for $1.59 a cup. In fact, there are three different kinds of coffee, as well as iced coffee drinks.
The bakery and restaurant serves sandwiches (most on bagels, of course), and they’re all very reasonably priced. The newest is an asiago-parmesan bagel sandwich with spinach and cheddar omelet, sausage and light smoked red pepper ($4.19). Bagel sandwiches run the gamut, from terragon chicken salad and tuna melts to all manner of deli sandwiches.
Turkey lovers will adore the turkey Toscana bagel sandwich ($6.49), but you can opt for roast beef, chicken breast with honey mustard or even veggies in your bagel, and most run under $6.
Panini sandwiches are also popular at Bruegger’s. Among the are the four cheese and tomato, primo pesto chicken and the tuna melt. Salads are also on this surprisingly complete menu. There are several signature salads, such as sesame chicken, mandarin and Caesar. But you can also build your own salad from a large assortment of salad fixin’s. The veggies and toppings include cucumbers, green peppers, jalapenos, red onions, sprouts, tomatoes, sliced almonds, dried cranberries and mandarin oranges, just to name a few. There are four different salad dressings to choose from, including Asian sesame ginger, balsamic vinaigrette, Caesar and that old stand-by, ranch. The salads are priced under $6.
There are usually two soups on the menu. We tried the tomato soup, and it was hearty and delicious. Other flavors you might encounter on a visit are beef chili, chicken with wild rice, spinach and lentil and white chicken chili. Everything is made fresh on the premises, no matter which Bruegger’s bakery you visit.
This bagel bakery even bakes muffins and large chocolate chip cookies. We tried the low fat cranberry nut muffin, and it was very tasty. It certainly didn’t taste like a low-cal substitute.
Kids have a menu of their own that gives youngsters plenty to smile about. They can choose the kids’ grilled cheese sandwich, bagel with cream cheese, or the kid favorite peanut butter and jelly on a bagel.
There’s plenty of indoor seating at Bruegger’s, but expect to order at the counter. No sit-down service here, and paper goods are the norm. However, the atmosphere is friendly and informal, and the food is excellent.
You can also take advantage of Bruegger’s catering menu for your next brunch or office party. Some of the breakfast “day-starters” available on the catering menu are the smoked salmon and bagel box ($70.99, serves 10-12), the bagels and muffins box ($24.99 for 10-12 people) and the bagels and cream cheese box ($15.99 for 10-12). Boxed lunches sell for $9.99 for individual boxes or $79.99 for a group sandwich box assortment that serves 10-12.
There’s a lot to like about Bruegger’s, whether you’re looking for a breakfast pick-me-up, a hearty lunch or a bag of bagels to take home.
The Torrey Hills shop is at 4645 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 92130. (858) 720-0994. Shops are also in La Jolla, Del Mar, Scripps Ranch, Pacific Beach, Carmel Mountain, La Costa, Coronado, Downtown San Diego and Temecula.
For a complete list of locations and menu items, visit www.brueggers.com.