Even as ’70s soft rockers Bread rose to dough-raking stardom, their counterparts in Bagel spun in circles, with a tough façade masking boiling-hot emotions and cream-cheese binges. Eat your way behind the music with today's Groupon: for $6, you get $12 worth of sandwiches, coffee, and smoothies at any of Bagels & Brew’s three locations: in Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, or Mission Viejo.
Building concentric breakfast and lunch creations throughout Orange County, Bagels & Brew bakes, stacks, griddles, and blends a menu of sweet and savory bites inside its warmly lit dining spaces. Owners Bill and Michelle McKay roll out their from-scratch bagel recipes in flavorful stacks, with more than 25 home-baked varieties. Traditional bialys brim with freshly chopped onions and poppy seeds ($0.95), and fruit-infused discs come packed with fresh blueberries or tangy cranberries and oranges. Slather kettle-boiled and hearth-baked treats with shmears of gourmet cream cheeses, such as cucumber dill and raspberry ($2.29+), or pad chewy interiors with shin guards of fresh-griddled eggs for tenacious sunrise sandwiches (starting at $3.39).
During lunch, scores of sustenance seekers grab bagel sandwiches to suit a range of healthy and hearty tastes. Build a Pomodoro chicken sandwich without hair-gel reinforcements by stacking charbroiled chicken breast over sautéed mushrooms, fresh basil, provolone, greens, tomato, and aioli ($6.95). Skim calories by opting for sliced bread, a French roll, or a tortilla wrap. Carbphobics can peruse a list of salads (starting at $6.65) or ride the fruity wave of more than 15 surfer-centric smoothie creations ($4.05). Take all meals or meal-ending coffees (staring at $1.55 per cup) to the streets, or unwind in a bistro-like dining area, accented with painted murals, exposed brick, and free WiFi.
- For 15 years, Bagels & Brew has been the equivalent of Cheers for the morning crowd in this central Lake Forest neighborhood. The family-owned eatery – with a menu of 200-plus items including sandwiches, soups, salads and 26 types of bagels – is the go-to spot for celebrations, meetings and daily gatherings among friends. – Erika I. Ritchie, OC Register
- Been here a few times now -- couple times for breakfast and once for dinner -- and all have been positive experiences. Breakfast consists of more than bagels; they have a bunch of the other usual suspects. – Cliff C., Yelp, 12/24/2010, Aliso Viejo location