Imagine my delight finding a BAGEL STORE as a New Yorker living in France. (Ok, so I am not from the city, but still New York is New York people. There’s a whole lotta state above that little island.) Bagelstein is a chain that is gradually expanding all over France, and a location has finally opened in Nice. It is located not far from Place Massena at 10 Rue Felix-Faure. When I first saw the Bagelstein open, and their claims of fresh, homemade bagels, I couldn’t wait to try it out.
The store itself has a great vibe. The bagel-makers seem really happy to work there and are super nice. The work area and the whole restaurant appeared to be quite clean, which is generally a plus in my book. There are a few spaces to eat outside, but the view stinks. Since it is located on a busy street, you have a nice view of the bus stop right smack in front of you. My advice would be: If you don’t want to eat inside, simply get the bagel to go. You have the newly-opened, beautiful Promenade du Paillon right across the street.
Bagelstein has 6 or so choices for their bagel sandwiches. Of course you can customize your own from scratch too. I opted for the Leontine, which included cream cheese, onions, lettuce, cukes, and smoked salmon. (They also have pastrami, but I already placed my trust in the French to make a good bagel. Baby steps.) The super-happy Bagelsteinian toasted my bagel, then piled the ingredients on high. Yeah, you could say I was excited to chow down.
As I sat down outside and tried to get comfortable, the first sprouts of confusion began to germinate in my mind. From the outside, Bagelstein’s bagels look like my normal American bagel. However, look inside and the story changes. To me, it looked like we weren’t dealing with a bagel here. Looked more to me like I was going to be eating bread with a hole in the middle. Ladies and gentleman, it was a BAGEL IMPOSTOR.
My mind was buzzing with questions. Do they know they need to boil the bagel before baking it? Have they ever eaten a bagel in NY before? Where’s that nice chewy sensation you get when eating a bagel? Who is this Mr. Bagelstein and who does he think he’s kidding? He might be able to fool the French, but no, sir, you haven’t fooled me.
So, I ate my “bagel.” It was good, but I couldn’t get over the bagel itself. The highlight of the lunch was actually the ice-cold Dr. Pepper I had to drink. (They also have Arizona iced teas (!!!)) For the bagel and the drink, it was 8 euro. If we had a good bagel as the base, you can be sure that I’d be back in a heartbeat. It will take a while before I can trust a French bagel store again.