Brickell bagel shop Toasted Bagelry & Deli plans to open a second location on the corner of Douglas Road and Coral Way mid-summer.
Owners Islam and Khalid Mohammed, who opened their brick-covered store in 2013, are also scouting locations in Pinecrest. Short of schlepping to Aventura’s Bagel Cove or Sage Bagel & Appetizing Shop on Hallandale Beach Boulevard, the pair turn out some of the county’s finest chewy rounds in about a dozen different varieties.
They came to the United States from Cairo in the early 2000s with few plans and an even smaller English vocabulary. They found work at a New Jersey bagel shop, starting as busboys and working up to the kitchen where they learned how to mix, roll, and boil bagel dough.
“We walked three hours to work and three hours back,” Islam, who also goes by Sam, said, “but they taught us everything we know.”
Today he estimates they turn out about 1,000 bagels on a weekday and up to 4,000 on weekends. The pair uses brown sugar and tops the bagel with organic seeds. They use kosher malt, the traditional sweetening agent that today has been widely replaced by corn syrup. Sam also boasts that they deploy conditioner, which alters the grains and enzymes to help keep them softer for longer. It’s widely seen as shortcut that gives bagels an uncharacteristic fluffiness and has led to wholesale bastardization. Toasted’s bagels somehow manage to avoid becoming mirror images of the puffy varieties sold it Publix. Bagel purists may scoff, but when compared to what else is available around Brickell there’s nothing that comes close.
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The Mohammeds hope to get those bagel baking in Pinecrest sometime in early in 2016 and aspire to one day have a dozen stores across South Florida.
“My goal is a nice family business,” Sam said. “Ten or 12 locations then that’s it.”