New World Is Enough for All of Us
This location is closed
My, things have certainly changed at New World Bagel. I'd visited the tiny Mount Vernon storefront eatery in the past and had been put off by it. The place was dimly lit and uninviting, and its menu was embarrassingly limited. There was no climate-control system, so the air was hot and stagnant. And the atmosphere--well, let's just say it was creepy. As recently as a year ago I'd literally felt intimidated just darting in to grab a soda. But hallelujah, it's a new day: With new lighting, more menu items, much needed air conditioning, and a television set broadcasting the latest news to inject life into the place, New World Bagel is movin' on up.
Tipped off about the many changes, a group of friends and I decided to give New World another look. Running in for a quick bite, we immediately enjoyed the cooler air and pleasant surroundings. We took our seats at one of the few small tables lining one wall and, inspired by a sign outside that boasted fresh lemonade for sale, we ordered a round of soft drinks (69 cents$1.25). Blackboards hanging over the counter advertised the day's specials in colorful chalk letters. The selection of fresh bagels includes a few unusual varieties--if you get there early enough, that is. The menu includes this disclaimer: "All varieties are not always available." When my party visited at about 2:30 p.m., all we had to choose from were plain, garlic, poppy, and sunflower-seed bagels, but those we sampled were fresh and delicious.
As with the pizzas and other baked items New World serves, the bagels are fashioned from fresh dough and baked right there. In addition to providing a homemade, superior product for customers to enjoy, this allows for a little experimentation. For example, there's the bagel dog ($3.50)--a hot dog completely surrounded by bagel dough. (Think of a corn dog and you'll get the cool concept.) We wanted to try one but, as the man behind the counter explained, "They are very popular, they go quickly." Foiled again. Instead we ordered the turkey bagel melt ($4.35), which turned out to be an excellent choice. The sandwich features huge mounds of turkey piled high on a bagel and covered with melted Swiss cheese. It was absolutely delicious and very filling.
We also enjoyed New World's turkey-and-sprouts sandwich ($3.99). Some eateries force customers to choose between lettuce and sprouts--heaven forbid one might want both. Not here: The sandwich, which we had served on a flavorful sunflower-seed bagel, was stuffed with generous amounts of turkey and both veggies.
Similarly the char-grilled chicken was a genuine delight. I tend to find grilled-chicken sandwiches boring, but New World's version offered a boneless chicken breast on wheat bread (you get to choose the bread type) with pesto and provolone cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, the sandwich is big and tasty.
The Italian sub ($3.79) presented a big, bountiful assortment of salami, bologna, and ham packed in a standard sub roll and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and peppers. As with all of New World's sandwiches, the sub is accompanied by potato chips and a pickle. The side items turned out to be the disappointment of the day--the chips were stale and the pickle was totally tasteless.
Vegetarians will love the veggie melt ($3.75), an awesome assemblage of finely chopped fresh broccoli, cauliflower, onion, and mushroom, all steamed, piled onto a bagel, and topped with melted provolone cheese. Our sandwich came on an "everything" bagel, a taste-bud explosion featuring lots of garlic, onion, salt, and poppy and sesame seeds. The bagel's flavors mixed well with those of the veggies and cheese. This sandwich alone is an excellent reason for us to plan a return visit.
New World Bagel has come back with a vengeance. Its atmosphere is relaxing, the service is speedy and courteous, and the food is cheap and delicious. If you remember the place from the past, it's time to try it again: It's a brand New World.