When we arrive at Humble Bagel on a sunny Saturday morning, the line is almost out the door. We take a deep breath and prepare for a long wait, but get through the line relatively quickly. While we wait, we have plenty of time to peruse the menu, which is written on a chalkboard along the wall. Here you read the five ingredients found in each bagel: flour, water, Steen’s cane syrup, salt, and yeast. The syrup is locally sourced, as are beans for coffee.
I walk to the front to make sure we’re not missing anything, and I’m glad I do: In addition to the regular flavors and specials listed on the board, there are two more options: salt and garlic bagels. Yes, please. There’s also delicious orange juice in mason jars.
The hand-rolled bagels are created in an open kitchen designed by owners Casey and Tara, natives of Mackintosh (DC area) and Long Island, respectively. Their goal was to create a New York-style bagel shop in Uptown New Orleans where diners could see the bagel-making process before they sink their teeth into one. The bagels are super chewy with no discernible hole in the middle.
The specials for Saturday are: 1) sourdough bagels, 2) jalapeño lime cream cheese, and 3) roasted garlic Parmesan cream cheese. One of my favorites is a garlic bagel with vegetable cream cheese. The bagel itself is topped with crunchy garlic and leaves us needing about 10 breath mints. But it’s worth it, especially with its thick, tangy vegetable cream cheese.
Another favorite is a honey wheat everything bagel with Parmesan garlic cream cheese. The cheese is subtle but adds nice sharpness to the slightly sweet honey wheat. The everything spices are nicely distributed around the top, with a few stragglers clinging onto the bottom.
We get another everything as a sandwich, with cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, and thin strips of bacon. The eggs are thin and layered, and taste as if they were cooked in the bacon grease. The bacon grease also seeps into the bagel, making each bite deliciously savory.
Another winner is the salt bagel. The salt is concentrated around the center; we get ours toasted with jalapeño lime cream cheese, which is more citrus than spicy.
To wash it all down, we spring for the fresh-squeezed orange juice. When we found out it was $6.50, it gave us pause, but it’s worth it. Plus, you can get a dollar back if you return the mason jar it comes in.
We leave with a huge bag of bagels, and easily eat every last crumb.