The light goes on in 12 Bagels’ kitchen early each morning, and it’s not because the ovens can’t sleep. The staff shuffles into the kitchen well before the first customers arrive, making fresh bagels in flavors that range from sweet chocolate chip and cinnamon sugar to savory cheddar cheese, egg, and sun-dried tomato. The menu also includes flavored cream cheeses, bagel sandwiches, and freshly brewed coffee.
Start off with a fried appetizer of golden zucchini, mushrooms, or pickles ($8) before saddling up for an entree. The hopping 14-ounce house-seasoned rib-eye steak takes a grilling over an open flame before being finished with warm garlic butter ($16). Southern-fried steak or chicken is smothered in cream gravy and served with garlic-mashed taters and buttered breakfast toast ($10 for either). All entrees come with a choice of two sides, offering guests a posse of veggies, such as okra, sweet-kernel corn, and the official vegetable of Texas—mac 'n' cheese. Early risers can treat themselves to II Brothers’ breakfast menu, chock-full of biscuits and gravy, pancakes and omelettes, and the crispy stuffed Brothers' toast, which stuffs flash-crusted texas toast with sweet cream cheese, fruit, and ham, bacon, or sausage ($10).
Before arriving at house specialties like the Chicken Bene Bene ($13.99) and sautéed salmon ($16.99), Cafe Bene Bene's menu artfully appetizeseduces with starters such as a platter of sautéed calamari with black olives and capers ($8.99) or steamed mussels with garlic and shallots ($9.99). The Junior's Favorite pizza's weighty blend of mozzarella, ricotta, pesto, and tomatoes (large, $14.99) will satisfy the hulking but sensitive club bouncer in your life, while the rigatoni Contadina's cornucopia of chicken, mushrooms, asparagus, and a light cream sauce ($10.49) will cruelly taunt your little wooden boy's lack of taste buds. Lovers of orbish foods, however, can dive face-first into the eggplant parmigiana's ample bosom ($11.49).