Friday, April 27, 2012

Bagel on Damen or Hole in the Wall

The Slow and Savory Review

Greetings dear readers!  Right away, we must apologize for our absence last week.  The following post was prepared to go out last Friday at our regularly scheduled time, but unfortunately our lovely hosting platform decided that would be a good time to update its interface, and with the update, wipe out anything that had been saved in draft form.  And as Brandy was out of town and could not give us access to her notes, we thought it best to simply wait for her return.  So, without further ado:

Brandy knew it was going to be a strange day when she woke up one morning to find a pool of water about a foot deep had somehow found its way into her living room.  After a lot of searching and snooping, Brandy could not detect the source of the water herself, so she decided to call in several professionals: a plumber, a carpenter, and a restoration expert.  Unfortunately, as this happened to be very early on a Sunday morning, the three men's concentration seemed to be somewhat lacking.  In hopes of spurring on their deductive reasoning skills, Brandy offered to run out for some nourishment while they milled around her parlour in search of the source of the leak.

Brandy's grab and go venue of choice was Bagel on Damen.  Having checked the restaurant's website before leaving (quite the accomplishment for a woman who refuses to use a smart phone unless it can psychically predict who she wants to call) Brandy was quite surprised to find the Bagel on Damen in Ravenswood to be utterly deserted, desolate, and devoid of people.  Rather annoyed by this turn of events (as she had had to catch a bus and a train to get to the location) Brandy hopped onto a Damen bus and headed for the other location in Wicker Park.

Finally arriving at her destination, Brandy found a smallish, yet bright and vibrant store front with a few scattered tables and chairs, most of which were filled with that particular brand of young person known as The Hipster.   Avoiding their ironic glares, Brandy headed for the counter, where a stack of menus was available.  She noticed several unfriendly notices posted like "Cash Only!" and "No Custom Sandwiches," which put her off a little.  She also watched as friendly young people from behind the counter brought sandwiches wrapped in butcher paper and resting in paper boats to the tables beside the window.  After a bit of a wait (for which a sweet faced young man apologized immediately) Brandy headed for the bus stop, her bag of goodies clutched tightly to her chest.

So finally, after a full 2 hours worth of transportation (bus and train to Ravenswood, bus to Wicker Park, and 2 buses home) Brandy arrived back in her water logged abode to find the three men still puttering about in the puddle.  Excusing herself to the kitchen, she began to quarter the four sandwiches she had ordered, because, of course, she had to have a taste of each.

First was the Breakfast II, a combo of bacon, egg, cream cheese, and avocado on what was referred to as a "Mish Mosh" bagel (Brandy supposed this was their equivalent of an "Everything" bagel).  Although the bagel had a lovely chew that can only be produced through the proper technique of partially cooking the bagel in boiling water, Brandy was disappointed that, although the menu had stated the bagel would be toasted, it was quite cold.  She also thought that the combo of the creamy avocado and cream cheese was a bit overkill, and she wished for a crisper veggie, such as a nice leaf of ice berg lettuce, to add a bit of crunch.  Other than that, she found the whole thing to be a rather nice combo of traditional breakfast flavors.

Next was the Garden; a crispy and fresh mix of cucumber, tomato, and lettuce, with avocado and green onion cream cheese, again on a "mish mosh" bagel.  Though a little sloppy to eat, as the veggies attempted an escape from the sandwich with every bite, Brandy thought the refreshing cucumber and subtle cream cheese reminded her of the tea sandwiches of her youth.

After that was The Brunch, a name Brandy could not possibly hope to resist.  This sandwich consisted of egg salad, tomato, and greens on an onion bagel.  Again, although the menu promised toastiness, Brandy found it to be cold and devoid of crunchiness.  The egg salad itself was rather bland, which Brandy was extremely disappointed by.  "Even a hit of black pepper, or maybe some crunchy celery could have livened this up.  I'm ashamed to see the word "brunch" attached to such a boring offering," she mumbled to no one in particular.

Lastly was what proved to be Brandy's favorite of the bunch, a concoction of onion bagel, turkey, bacon, green apples, gouda, avocado,and Russian dressing known as the Alexander the Great.  The smokey cheese mixed well with the crunchy bacon, the crisp and tart apples, the smooth avocado, and the succulent turkey, and when combined with the sweet and sour dressing, which had soaked into the chewy bagel, a wonderful cornucopia of flavors and textures was to be found.

After chowing down on these little tidbits, one of the repair men noticed a security camera Brandy had installed after her wallet was stolen, and upon reviewing the footage, the source of the water was finally identified; apparently Brandy had been filling her table-top water feature in her sleep without realizing it, thus slowly filling her lovely parlour with liquid.  "That does explain the squishy slippers," Brandy said, chewing her lip.

So although they weren't the most delicious, most delectable, or most delovely bagel sandwiches one can find, Brandy was happy enough that her brain food from Bagel on Damen did the trick.  And from now on, her water feature will be placed in the bathtub at night.

The Short and Sweet Review

Bagel on Damen (Wicker Park) on Urbanspoon

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