Bagel Emporium vs. Roasters' n Toasters: The Great Caper Rip-off

A great bagel with lox/nova in Miami is about as rare

as a sold-out Marlins game. In South Miami, two local bagel places were

tested head-to-head. Both Bagel Emporium

and Roasters' n Toasters are located on South Dixie Highway, just three miles -- or four

minutes -- apart.

Bagel Emporium

The bagel with nova ($9.95) starts out innocently enough. Add "the works," according to the employee we encountered, and the price

becomes $12.95 with the addition of lettuce, tomato, onions, cream cheese, and

a lemon wedge. The request of capers brought with it an "open-price deli" charge

of $2. It wasn't nearly worth it. The bagel was heavy

and stiff. The salmon was thick and slimy. A tiny container of cream

cheese was provided. The lettuce, tomato, onion, and lemon wedge arrived so

bountifully we could have made a salad out of the produce. And as for those

capers, they came in a ridiculously small container.

Roasters' n Toasters

Déjà vu? I ate a similarly dense bagel with an

overpriced platter of produce ($13.95), except the platter came with no

tomatoes: a mistake on the part of the kitchen. And by the way, where in hell

did they get their produce?! The cucumbers were so huge I had to ask if Barry  Bonds grew 'em. Our server brought a

plate of sliced beefsteak tomatoes after we pointed out the mistake. Capers

aren't included, but our server brought us a container of them at no

additional charge. As for the nova, it was thick, flavorful, and not overly smoked.

The cream cheese was flavorful.

The winner: There are only losers here. Both Bagel Emporium and Roasters' n

Toasters' plates are chock full of too many veggies that you won't use. Capers aren't a standard accompaniment at either

location. The prices at both restaurants are outrageous. And the bagels weren't good.

Do yourself a favor and hit up the Einstein Bros. located midway between the two.

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John Zur