Is it sad that a lot of my favorite childhood memories involve food? Well, pathetic or not, they do. I remember when I was a kid – like five or six years old – standing in front of the bagel counter at Blocks on the East side, my mom would let me help choose the bagels we got to take home. That was the best, and I’ve loved bagels ever since then. So I can’t even tell you how pumped I was to learn recently that the Toledo-based bagel chain, Barry Bagels, was expanding to the Columbus market. I couldn’t wait! And then, just this past May, when I heard they had opened in Dublin, I knew I had to check them out ASAP. Because to me, you can never have too many bagel places in town!!
Barry Bagels has built its reputation over several decades in the Toledo area. Starting in 1972, Barry Greenblatt opened his first shop, and has been serving delicious bagels to Northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan non-stop ever since. After a brief stint with a shop near OSU campus in the early 2000’s that didn’t last nearly long enough, Barry Bagels has again expanded to the capital city thanks to the work of franchisees, Billy Fristo and Drew Stapleton. Billy has worked for Greenblatt’s small restaurant chain for almost a decade and a half, and felt it was time to bring his passion for good bagels to Columbus. Bagel fans already know and support local bagel powerhouses Block’s and Sammy’s in the 614, and now the addition of Barry Bagels will bring even more options for bagel lovers to enjoy.
The new location on Frantz Rd, just south of Tuttle Crossing, is a stunningly beautiful store. The wide open floor plan combined with modern, chic décor makes the space feel somewhat like an upscale restaurant. I was impressed to say the least.
The store is designed cafeteria style, in which you make your selections from several menu boards overhead (they also have printed menus if you’d rather) and order at the counter, and then move down the line to the checkout area. From there, lots of seating options await you.
While I was at the shop, I was given a total behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the whole bagel-making process, thanks to a kitchen tour led by the owners themselves. We started in the cooler, where Billy showed me racks and racks of proofed bagels that they had just received. They get the bagels strait from their Bagel Factory in Michigan, and they are served up within a day.
Barry Bagel’s sticks to the traditional New York water bagel method. The bagels are boiled, but for only around 30 seconds or so, which essentially finishes the proofing process. After that, they are removed from the water.
Here’s where any toppings or flavorings come into play, just after they come out of the water. Billy made a tray of “Everything” bagels and a tray of plain bagels while I was observing. A quick spritz of cold water is applied and then the trays are placed into a huge, revolving oven that is kept between 515* and 525* for several minutes. It’s suggested that baking on the tray is what gives Barry Bagels their softer texture, as opposed to baking without the tray and directly on the oven shelf, which produces a more crusty, shell-like exterior.
After the bagels are finished baking and cooling, they are placed into the baskets in the front of the house for consumption. Barry Bagels serves around 18 different varieties of bagels on any given day. They also offer special holiday versions throughout the year, such as pumpkin spice bagels at Thanksgiving, cranberry bagels at Christmas, etc,
Their menu consists of (obviously) tons of bagels!! Everything from bagel sandwiches like BLT bagels, Turkey Pastrami, Corned Beef, and Chicken Salad to their breakfast sandwiches – called Eggles. You can also buy bagels in any increments, as well as their delightful plain and flavored cream cheeses. And get this…Barry Bagels also does baked potatoes!! Yep, and they’re topping them with everything from a basic sour cream & chives to a crazy-sounding Club potato!! You can check out their full menu HERE.
One of the interesting menu items is their Onion Stick ($1.25). It’s basically an unrolled bagel and topped with onion and poppy seeds.
While I was visiting, I tried their Farmer’s Eggle ($3.85), which is made just like a red onion, green pepper, and tomato omelet, with your choice of one of about six different cheeses and placed on any of their bagels or breads. I opted for a Jalapeno Cheddar bagel with muenster cheese. I do have to say that I was really impressed with the way this sandwich was prepared. The staff actually cracks open a fresh egg, chops fresh veggies, whisks it all together, and cooks the egg mixture right there at the prep station so you can watch while it’s being done. I liked that a lot. The sandwich was really good, and the bagel was fresh, chewy and flavorful.
They’ll also tempt you with giant, delicious-looking cookies of many kinds…oatmeal raisin, M & M cookies, even peanut butter cookies topped with chunks of Reese’s peanut butter cups!!
“Look away…look away!!” – (Me to myself) 🙂
I also thought their Teething Bagels were a really interesting item. Perfect for little ones to gnaw on!!!
So yeah, I’m totally excited that Barry Bagels has moved into town. Like I said, I don’t think you can ever have too many bagel places around, especially when they’re baking up high quality goods. Word is that the company plans to open up 4-5 additional stores in Columbus in the next couple of years, too!! Until then, I recommend you stop in to Billy & Drew’s shop in Dublin to try their delicious bagels and sandwiches!!
Barry Bagels is located at 5760 Frantz Rd., Dublin, OH 43016 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Friday, 7:00am – 7:00pm, Saturday, 7:00am – 5:00pm, and Sunday, 7:00am – 3:00pm. You can check out their website for more info, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.