I always appreciate when Columbus dining institutions are given new life. Too often we see the old spots close, the places that have a true heart for the community and have served generations. Block’s Bagels, a Bexley institution since the 1960s, certainly doesn’t seem in danger, but their East Broad Street store (which I’ve written about before) closed and moved under new ownership a little closer to the heart of Bexley last year. We had yet to visit until recently, when November’s Dispatch review had me finally scoping out the new digs.
The new space is long and narrow, with two counters. The one near the front is for ordering food.
And the one in the back features cases and trays full of freshly made bagels.
We ordered a little bit of everything from the breakfast menu. I mentioned in my Dispatch review that the menus are a little confusing – there’s one printed and a few digital displays above the counter – and on a busy Saturday you feel pressure to order quickly, what with the line behind you. You can get a preview of the menu on their website, but be prepared for specials like pancakes to be listed only on the in-store menus.
But we weren’t disappointed with the result of our order. We had simple bagel sandwiches with sausage, fried egg, and cheese.
Or bagels with cream cheese. And, yes, almost everything comes with a pickle.
The pancake specials are a good bang for the buck: one for $3, two for $4, three for $5. Each one is buttery and browned, and large enough that it hangs over the edge of the styrofoam trays. They’re served with a side of packaged syrup.
It’s hard to beat the standard lox with bagels and eggs. We missed the “Lox all the way” on the menu, which is how we really wanted it: a bagel with lox, capers, onion, tomatoes, lettuce.
Props to the challah French toast. The slices are giant, golden browned, and slightly custardy on the inside. Seriously, why do we use anything other than challah or brioche bread for French toast?
I enjoyed my sandwich: a toasted everything bagel, slices of corned beef, fried egg, and Swiss.
You’ll also find the front cases full of cream cheeses to go.
And I’d recommend visiting the back counter for a dozen bagels to go. Block’s features close to 30 flavors, from plain to everything, sesame to onion, pumpernickel to apple cinnamon. It’s hard to beat an honest New York style bagel.
New York style bagels, in case you don’t know, are kettle-boiled before they’re baked. The resulting product is thick and chewy on the inside, with a lovely light crust on the inside.
Please note that the bagels at the Bexley location are not certified kosher. The bagels are first created at the older location at the McNaughten Center in Reynoldsburg, then brought to Bexley to be boiled and baked. They’re certified kosher at McNaughten, but once they’re used in Bexley, they’re no longer considered kosher. I made this mistake in my article and received a couple messages about it!
Regardless, these are terrific bagels, and Block’s builds a solid deli service on them!
Disclaimer: this meal was paid for as part of a Columbus Dispatch review. Photos and opinions here are my own.