Perhaps you've braved the 45-minute line for one of Matteson Koche's hand-rolled bagels. Perhaps you lacked the grit and determination and instead headed to Zak the Baker in Wynwood for one of Zak Stern's newly offered bagels.
Whatever the case, Koche's long-awaited Biscayne Boulevard "bagelería" has finally opened, providing relief to the loyal hordes that heretofore braved the elements outside his rickety old food truck to score a weekend bagel lovingly sliced, toasted, and shmeared.
"Right now, we're just sticking with the basic menu — the things people know us for — before we start branching out," Koche tells New Times.
A visit this past weekend confirmed as much. Options included bacon, egg, and cheese ($9) and lox supreme ($12/$14 open-faced), as well as funkier creations such as the Avo Spesh ($8.50), with smashed avocado, English cucumber, plain cream cheese, olive oil, and sea salt. But devotees should keep an eye out for specials like the Que Fancy, a one-off collaboration with the Design District Peruvian sushi joint Itamae: an everything bagel with wasabi cream cheese, salmon rose, cucumber, microgreens, shaved red onion, and dill.
The EB Original ($8.50), with its salty-spicy-rich combination of cream cheese, charred jalapeños, and thick-cut bacon, is not to be missed.
And purists can purchase an untouched bagel for $2.50; dozens and half-dozens run $12 and $22.
Koche's six-ingredient bagels, free of the conditioners and preservatives found in many modern renditions, burst onto the scene two years ago while he was working a day job as an engineer.
El Bagel's long-awaited opening comes on the heels of Zak the Baker's bagel program, which launched late last year, adding onion, poppyseed, everything, and sesame bagels to an already vast array of baked goods.
It remains to be seen whether brick and mortar will help the 27-year-old Koche cut the wait times that had him offering many a heartfelt mea culpa between bagel sandwiches.
Either way, his bagels are worth the wait.
El Bagel. 6910 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-901-3102; elbagel.miami. Anticipated regular hours: Wednesday through Monday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special first week hours: Daily (except Tuesday) 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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