Brown Bagels, CBD

2/23/2014 , , 0 Comments

Brown Bagels is a small cafe in Equitable Place just off Collins Street between Elizabeth and Queen St, specialising in bagel sandwiches. I've been to this place a couple of times now, as there's a good range of bagel options to choose from and the prices are quite decent for the portions and amount of ingredients you get. The cafe itself is quite small; there's only two communal tables for seating near the entrance, but most people seem to get the bagels take away to eat. Like most places in Equitable Place, you go up and order/pay for the food, and it is then brought over to you. The bagels are all freshly made on the spot, and whether you're eating in or take away, it doesn't take more than five or so minutes to get your order.

The menu has a good range of gourmet bagel sandwiches, light bagels and bagels with spreads, and there's about six different types of actual bagels you can choose from to have. The bagels we ordered this time were the Ham on Sesame Bagel ($8.50), Roast Beef on Onion Bagel ($8.50) and the Angus Beef Burger on Onion Bagel ($9.90). I've also had the Spicy Pork Bagel and the Smoked Salmon Bagels before, both of which had good flavour combinations and textures. The spicy pork bagel is made up of a Korean style spicy pork, and may not be suited for those who aren't very spice tolerant!

The ham bagel also came with Dijon mustard, cream cheese, a cheese slice, tomato, cucumber and lettuce, and was an average dish overall. The big slice of cheese wasn't melted but just placed in the bagel, and the Dijon mustard couldn't be tasted at all underneath the cream cheese, whose strong flavours unfortunately overpowered everything else on the dish. Despite having the salad elements to balance out the cheese flavours, it wasn't enough in this case, and the whole bagel was just full of cheese flavours. It would've been good to have more ham on the bagel as there was only a thin slice and this was the ham bagel, but at least the bagel itself was well toasted and not too dry and tough.

The roast beef bagel also came with Dijon mustard, cream cheese, cucumber, spanish onion, swiss cheese and rocket. As with the ham bagel, there wasn't much Dijon mustard in comparison to the cream cheese, but luckily for this bagel there wasn't an overwhelming amount of it, giving it a good balance of flavours that weren't too strong. There was a good portion of roast beef to everything else, and the salad was great in refreshing the bagel with the other heavier flavours of the cream cheese and sauce. The cheese slice however was quite thin and not melted, so you couldn't really taste the flavour of it in the bagel, and despite ordering an onion bagel, there was only small amount of dried onion on top that didn't have much taste; it felt like eating a normal bagel.

The angus beef burger bagel consisted of a beef patty, spanish onion, tomato, a cheese slice, lettuce, relish and mayo. I really enjoyed this bagel as the patty was very juicy and flavoursome, given in a very generous portion. It actually just felt like eating a normal burger but with a bagel instead of bread, with the crispy texture on the lightly toasted bagel and a good combination and texture of other flavours (to be honest, it sort of reminded me of the Simply Grill'D burger, especially with the similar ingredients used). It was a little messy to eat though as unlike the other two bagels, this one wasn't cut in half for you; you're meant to eat it like a burger, but because of the hole in the centre of the bagel, it was a bit difficult to eat, especially with the juices that kept dripping onto the plate. Flavour wise though, it was really tasty and I felt really full by the end.

I would definitely recommend coming to Brown Bagels if you're looking for a good bagel cafe; there doesn't seem to be many of these around in Melbourne, let alone good tasting ones. They have good bagels with the traditional combinations you'd expect, as well as some more adventurous ones such as the Angus Beef and Spicy Pork ones. These two are ones I would suggest you try if you visit Brown Bagels, for a different experience. Just something to note about Brown Bagels though, it's only opened on weekdays for breakfast and lunch, not on weekends or for dinner on weekdays.

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