I love pizza and I love bagels – never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to combine the two.
That’s why I’m not in the food business – and I’m very glad that Larah Bross is.
Bross Bagels – with three outlets in Edinburgh – recently launched their new pizza bagels, and I can testify that they are fantastic. All of them. I’ve been a fan of bagels since my gym instructor introduced me to them in 1996, and I’ve been enjoying them ever since. What’s not to like, in a round, bread-based snack? I always regarded them as a healthy doughnut!
Three are currently available, and I had the pleasure of trying – and finishing – all three in one sitting. The creation of these special bagels came about as Bross Bagels took part in National Pizza Day.
They were so successful at the Leith shop they have now become a permanent addition to the menu – and that’s something we should all be celebrating.
The Brossarita bagel is exactly what you would expect – it’s a beautifully baked bagel, topped with tomato sauce and cheese. The tomato sauce has a beautifully rich flavour, and the cheese has melted perfectly.
And the bagel itself was superb, crisp around the edges where it had been toasted, and mixed wonderfully with the pizza content. I polished it off with glee, and enjoyed licking my fingers clean from the pizza sauce that had somehow escaped my mouth.
A real treat is the Karnautzel bagel. Think of a pepperoni pizza, and you’ll be on the right lines.
The only different is that the Karnautzel is much smaller, and has been especially made for Bross Bagels. Owner Larah met with a butcher to explain what it is, and not having any examples to share from her native Canada, through a process of trial and error, has finally achieved what she wanted.
Again, it’s bite-sized perfection. The sauce and the cheese are superb, but the sausage is wonderful. It has a very distinctive taste, definitely not pepperoni or even chorizo, and is wonderfully meaty. Another hit.
And so to the final option – the vegan bagel.
Over the last 12 months, I’ve tried various vegan meals in Scotland, and I can genuinely say that all of them have been rather tasty. Vegan cheese, however, was a new one on me. On first inspection, it looks similar to normal cheese, although the colour is a little more yellow than I would have expected.
But a bite into it, and any doubts were dispelled. It’s not quite cheese as I know and love it, but it’s got a pleasant flavour, melts well, and goes with the sauce. So it can’t be faulted. I definitely felt I had had a pizza of sorts afterwards, so job done.
This was my first visit to Bross Bagels, and I loved the setting. The counter area was packed with people wanting to eat, and you can watch as your order is made at the deli counter.
Upstairs is a sit-in area, and it really does have the feel of being on the other side of the Atlantic. The music that played was rock, the furnishings were rough and ready, with decor to match.
It’s no surprise that Bross Bagels has been recognised in the seventh annual Observer Food Monthly Top 50 which came out last month, taking number 10 in their their list.
This is bagel heaven, and I can’t wait to go back. To hell with the diet! I can say that – I ate three large, tasty pizza bagels – much to the surprise of Larah herself!
Bross Bagels, 105 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8NP
0131 629 4560