When considering the dense, handwritten lunch menu at Breadzilla, it’s easy to be distracted by the just-out-of-the-smoker pastrami or pulled pork, the crunchy and juicy California sub, the Codwich, the TMP or any of the other concoctions at this bakery and sandwich lab just north of the highway in Wainscott, the tiny hamlet on the road from Bridgehampton to East Hampton. But if you are hungry before 11:30 a.m., when the menu is first posted online and available at the counter, you’d do well to consider the sometimes-overlooked (at least by this Breadzilla regular) bagel sandwich options.
Look for the “Things You Can Get On A Bagel” sign just as you enter the shop, perched right above where their bagels are neatly stacked. There are standard options like cream cheese, butter, veggie cream cheese, scallion cream cheese and tomato. There’s also the more filling tuna salad, egg salad and chicken salad, as well as the more decadent smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and onion, not to mention the endless permutations of three meats (bacon, ham, sausage) and three cheeses (American, Cheddar, Jack).
“Our bagels are handmade,” the sign advises. “Boiled and baked. Not heavy or gummy.” And please note: The staff will not “scoop,” and they are adamant that it’s not necessary. As with most offerings at Breadzilla, the bread isn’t just a delivery device for the fillings, it’s a big part of the experience. (My grandma Claire was an avid scoop-and-toaster in her day, but perhaps it was a diet fad she picked up during a life of bagel eating on Ocean Avenue.)
Scooping aside, I often order bacon and Jack cheese on an everything bagel. Breadzilla bakes its thick-cut bacon in big trays until it is uniformly crisp, and (I think) presses down on the bagels to meld the bacon and gooey cheese. So the result, upon biting, is toasted bagel crust, toothsome bagel crumb, cheese-bacon-g00, and then bagel crumb and crust on the other side. A very pleasant way to start the day.