The Perfect Bite
St. Johns Magazine's exclusive reviews of Local Restaurants by Local Foodie Lori Allen
by Debbie Gaylord
105 Nature Parkway, #108 (on CR 210)
Have you tried Bite A Bagel yet? The cozy new eatery brings the taste of New York to North Florida with its authentic bagels and unique cream cheeses. Kathy & Rich Borsody dreamed of opening a bagel store for years. They wanted it to offer delicious wholesome fare and be family friendly, the kind of place where they knew customers on a first name basis. Last spring they took the plunge and with the help of their extended family opened Bite A Bagel on County Road 210. We wanted to help our readers get to know a little bit more about this welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Bite a Bagel is all about family. Besides you and Rich, who is part of it? My sister Nancy, and her daughter Alex (my niece), my daughter Danielle, my son Bobby, my youngest daughter Olivia who helps me behind the scenes and sometimes my parents, Dan & Addy, come to give us a hand. We also have a great “BAB” family, who may not be related, but are a huge part of the success of BAB – Jordan, Hailey, Daniel and Dan.
One of the things that makes Bite A Bagel so unique is the cream cheese flavors... How do you come up with ideas? I honestly don’t know – it just hits me. I can see something, or hear something, and I will wonder if I can make it into a cream cheese spread. Some work, and some don’t.
Do you test them out on anyone first? Yes. Anyone who is working that day will have a taste test – and they are all very honest with me. When I create a new flavor, I usually make a very small batch and test it. I will ask our customers to try it and tell me what they think. If customers like it, I will make it again and again – but will fine tune it each time I make it until I feel it is just right. We always have the most popular flavors daily, but the many other flavors are alternated each week – and new ones added. If you don’t see your favorite, please let me know and I’ll make it for you the next time you come in. Many customers have asked me to make their favorite. I love that! Makes me feel good and very happy knowing they enjoy something I created.
What are the key ingredients in creating an outstanding cream cheese spread? Each cream cheese spread has unique ingredients, but the key is “fresh” ingredients. What are the top 3 sellers? Bacon and Chive, Veggie, and Jalapeno .
Which one is your favorite? My favorite is the Pumpkin Pie! It really is so good.
Where do you get your dough? Our dough is made in Brooklyn. They are purchased from a Bagel/Bialy company who has been in business for over 65 years.
Since you make the bagels fresh daily, what is the process? There is a long process. The bagels have to be prepared, proofed and then refrigerated over night before they are steamed and baked. It’s hard when we run out of a specific flavor for the day, because we can’t just bake and serve. We try to always have enough, and sometimes we have too much. At the end of the day, all remaining bagels are donated or discarded.
Other than bagels, what types of foods do you serve? It is important to know that we do not have a microwave at Bite a Bagel – everything is made fresh on the grill. For breakfast we have omelet sandwiches and platters, egg sandwiches with or without cheese and choice of bacon, ham or sausage, Lox sandwiches, and we even have Fried Taylor Ham for our New Jersey customers. Our most popular breakfast sandwich is “The Brooklyn” – two eggs any style with your choice of meat on top of Jalapeno cream cheese and choice of bagel. Recently we added a healthier option, “The Lean &
Mean” made with egg whites. For lunch you can create your own sandwich with all Boars Head Meats & cheeses. We have tuna, egg and chicken salad everyday. Soup, when the weather is not so hot, and the very popular Bagel Burger. Another favorite is the Wrangler – hot roast beef and provolone cheese smothered with mushrooms, onions and our homemade horseradish sauce.
The coffee is delicious and its nice that the flavors change often. Where do you get your coffee ? We buy our coffee from Kaffe Magnum Opus, a specialty coffee roaster in Southern New Jersey. We love to pick the different flavors – they have so many! The most popular is Almond Biscotti, Salted Caramel, and right now – Harvest Spice. We serve a very popular Brazilian blend –a medium roast and the Italian Roast – which is a bit bolder. We have a very good Decaf House Blend as well.
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Lori Allen is a local who moved from the Boston area to attend Flagler College and never left. She is a family person that loves the beach, football, working out and finding new places to try. Her love for food comes from her northern background and her love of cooking as well as meeting new and interesting people. She has never met a stranger nor has she ever been afraid to try an intriguing place. (Check out all her reviews on stjohnsmag.com)