In 1983 Nord Brue and Mike Dressell decided that it didn't matter how far Burlington, Vermont was from New York City; no distance was too great to limit their access to New York-style bagels. So they spent 2.5 years apprenticing with a professional bagel baker from the city until they mastered the technique. Once they were comfortable with their skills and had accepted that it doesn't actually hurt the bagel to bite it, they opened their first Bruegger's Bagels, a casual bakery and café. Today, they have more than 300 eateries across the United States and Canada, each hawking freshly baked bagels, cream cheeses, sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.
The three eggs that go into each of Original Breakfast House’s omelets are chosen with care. They’re cage-free and hormone-free, complementing the eatery’s organic, local produce and locally roasted, fair-trade coffee. These carefully curated ingredients go into classic diner plates that brim with thoughtful touches. The Angus beef burger patties, for example, are shaped by hand, rather than by the nearest hula-hoop; the pancakes, meanwhile, come smothered in blackberries, bananas and pecans, or raspberries and chocolate chips.
Although Barista Cafe has been making headlines with its scantily clad servers—women dressed in bikini-like ensembles—the menu's fresh, healthful cuisine remains the backbone of the business. Instead of frying or dipping ingredients in a natural lake of frosting, the café’s cooks fold them into nutritious meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Jump Start, a smorgasbord of eggs, ham, bacon, green chilies, pepper jack cheese, and salsa, gets mornings underway when paired with a steaming cup of coffee. For later meals, efficient service and to-go options ensure ample time to devour salads, sandwiches, and wraps, such as the Hawaiian Tropic, which is stuffed with grilled chicken, pineapple, and a housemade soy-dijon sauce.