I have been to the 24hr Beigel Bake on Brick Lane in London and it is as amazing as everyone says in online reviews and social media.
See, that’s what the internet is all about. It wasn’t there when Beigel Bake first opened in 1974, so then, and two decades after, the bakery relied purely on word of mouth and repeated habit.
I’m sure many cafes, bars and restaurants would like to go back to those days of no constant online scrutiny, but, and as with most things, there are plenty of positives to reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook and the like. .
Venues can build a strong rating and reputation with the more five stars they are given by the customer, the better it seems to them.
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But then there’s always the curve of a low or one star rating from a disgruntled customer, even if it’s thrown like a rock in a sea of incandescent it will always make a ripple.
And this was the case for The Bagel Deli on Moor Street in Ormskirk.
LancsLive reported how a customer gave it a one-star rating on TripAdvisor and labeled the bagels “bland,” but unlike its 175 reviews, 166 of them rate the deli as “excellent” and overall it’s rated five stars.
The bakery’s owner, Martin Fautley, who is originally from London and actually worked on Brick Lane baking and serving fresh bagels, responded to the customer’s review.
He said he contacted the guest “personally” before adding that each bagel is baked on site daily, meaning it’s “not possible” for them to be stale.
At this point, I’d be tempted to agree with an experienced bagel maker about a review on a website that anyone can comment on.
So, did this five-star bakery just run into a customer that is impossible to please, or are the bagels just not as good as everyone on the internet says they are?
For transparency, we visited the bakery on two different days and ordered the same two bagels each time – the hot salted beef (5.50 and 30p extra for pickle) and smoked salmon and cream cheese (4.50).
Choose from the classic solid white, or plump for one of the other varieties such as whole wheat or chili.
There is much more choice of fillings on the huge menu board above the main counter, including the breakfast varieties from peanut butter and jelly to full English; cheese and pickle, the Reuben special, salami, tuna, roast beef, salami, pork and apple and egg mayonnaise and bell pepper.
There are also vegan and vegetarian options, including hummus, shredded carrot and red cabbage and halloumi, red pepper and arugula, along with all the spices and sauces to top off your bagel.
And if bagels aren’t your thing, there are also baked potatoes, homemade pies and pastries, sausage rolls and pies.
You can wash your bagel down with a soda, homemade milkshake, or cup of tea, served with ice cream in the summer, regular specials, and a large outdoor seating area if the weather is dry and not market day.
Let’s go there now. The cured beef here is shredded and mounted on the bread with an optional dollop of mustard of your choice and huge pickle.
The flesh is juicy and succulent, tender with a strong, pungent flavor, offset by the flavors of mustard and pickle and just the right amount of salt.
The bread is firm, not too chewy like bagels can be, and tastes fresh from the oven.
It also has that beautiful glossy sheen and doesn’t get soggy even from the juices of the meat. The bagel is warm even after the 10-minute walk home (and extra few minutes to pose for photos).
Warning: This bagel can be messy, so watch out for drips.
The salmon bagel, one whole wheat and the other white (because they sold out and more whole wheat were baked when we ordered) is stuffed with firm, tangy, and creamy cream cheese. The salmon is fresh and not too stringy, but I would have appreciated a little more of it in the second bagel as it was stingy compared to the first.
The whole wheat bagel is a little less dense and crumbly than the white, but both are yeast-raised goodness.
All in all, we’d love (and probably will) make it a hat trick this week to visit The Bagel Deli because yes they are, especially their salt beef, SO good.
Usually we encourage TripAdvisor joanie0151 to give it another try too, but since over 60% of their reviews have the lowest “terrible” rating, it’s probably best to leave more for the rest of us.
What is the biggest lesson here? Take TripAdvisor reviews et al with a grain of salt (beef).
Side note, if you’re looking for an example of how generous Brick Lane is for bagels, which also houses The Bagel Shop, Beigel Bake’s competitor just two doors down, check out this image of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The royal duo are big fans of the latter and visited in September 2020 when it was forced to cut its 24-hour opening hours during the pandemic, affecting staff, but was still able to make donations and supplies to the local community. provide .
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