No food item is more “New York” than the bagel. So, when bagels make their way to Indian shores, we scrutinise them with more than just a layer of cream cheese. Grain and Bagel is a superb example of a typical kind of New York deli. There’s a counter holding loaves of cold cuts, (a la subway) saran-wrapped pasta salads. But if the look, was supposed to be that of a typical bagel joint, we missed the tubs of flavoured cream cheese and giant cupcakes that await you at places like these. On the bright side, the fry-up guy moves at the speed of light on the grill. It’s open until the wee hours and serves breakfast till noon.
We begin with the Signature Bagel Sandwich (Rs 175), which was grilled and comprised of fully scrambled eggs with chicken and Cheddar. The bagel arrives and we dive in. They’re just the right size, tough-skinned, and impenetrable almost to the point of ‘breadiness’ with a malt-ish kick — which is very good. Although at 175, it’s a tad pricey. Also, the egg missed a little salt and seasoning, seeming the right amount of fluffy and gooey but missing the flavor you’d like in a nicely seasoned egg sandwich.
Next, the Penne Pollo E Funghi Non Veg (Rs 285) is your traditional pasta made with chicken and dried morel mushrooms in a cream sauce. This is one of those quick; throw-together type meals that are more reminiscent of a home cooked quickie, than a restaurant delight. With sparse chicken pieces and a dry feel to it, this doesn’t make the cut. Perhaps, substitute the cream with evaporated skim milk, Greek yoghurt, sour cream or cream cheese in keeping with the Bagel theme?
To wash it down, we order the Director’s Special (Rs 75) that is all parts strawberry, some litchi crush, a smattering of fresh ginger and a dash of Tabasco and Sprite. It was very sweet, though not in a make-you-sick-sweet kind of way. If you like a sweet, pretty mocktail, this is the one for you. The Tabasco dash makes is nice and piquant.
Lastly, the Raspberry with Mango (Rs 140) smoothie is just that. Toss a few raspberries in the blender; throw in some mango and out comes a great chilled drink with a lovely colour. We tasted the raspberry flavour mostly, but it didn’t take away from the deliciousness of it all.