The Hole-y Land of Bagels – Eugene Weekly

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Reader, I must be frank with you. Lox, Stocks and Bagels is my happy place. My escape. My bi-weekly routine. I am anything but an independent arbiter, far from the paragon of objectivity that we espouse as moralistic journalists. On the specter of fanatical support, if Lox, Stocks, and Bagels were a political party, I would be their Tea Party.

But bite into a bagel from Lox, Stocks and Bagels and tell me you wouldn’t feel exactly the same.

Lox, Stocks and Bagels has been a favorite local breakfast and lunch spot for three and a half years and a well-kept secret tucked away in a mall tucked away at the foot of Spencer Butte on 40th and Donald. Scott Lilly, a transplant from New Jersey and owner of Lox, Stocks and Bagels, boils his bagels and turns everything into deli, in-house.

When I asked Lilly why, after 40 years in the restaurant business, he had decided to open a bagel store of all things, he provided a remarkably clear answer: “Because I didn’t like any of the bagels in Eugene. . “

Lilly went on to explain that in fact, if you don’t boil the bagel and instead use steam like the other bagel stores in Eugene do, then “it’s not a bagel at all. Just a big roll of grease with a hole in the middle.

For those who play at home, boiling a bagel does a few things. First, it helps the outer crust start to set while making the inner texture of the bagel tender and fluffier the longer it soaks. Second, if you add some sort of sugar like barley malt or molasses to the bubble bath – Lilly won’t tell me which one she uses – then the outer crust caramelizes, adding a little extra flavor and that almost crunchy outer shell. .

Additional touches can be found at Lox, Stocks and Bagels. Available in a variety of flavors ranging from chocolate chips to Asiago, bagels don’t really require a lot of toppings. Lilly’s favorite topping is melted brie, mine is a jalapeño bagel with shallot and chive cream cheese.

If you’re looking for something a little more filling for breakfast, you won’t find bacon, egg, and cheese in a bagel. Instead, there’s the pork belly sandwich. The bacon and belly come from the same cut – you guessed it, the belly – but is smoked on the spot and topped with a fried egg, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

Lilly and her team also smoke their own white fish for their white fish salad and their own Newman’s salmon for the lox. They also make their own salad with liver and chopped eggs. The only thing they don’t make from scratch is their cream cheese, but they do mix their own flavors, like their homemade kimchi cream cheese.

Because everything is made from scratch, the kitchen can experiment a bit.

Take, for example, the “Fuck Kevin”. The bagel sandwich is filled with traditional New Jersey pork roll, eggs, slices of fresh jalapeño, grilled onions and spicy homemade mayonnaise. One of the assistant chefs made this spicy concoction and his father is the Kevin in question. Kevin lost his ability to taste when he was young, but the only thing he can taste is capsaicin or the spices in peppers, and it’s overwhelming to the point that it can hurt.

When Lilly felt a whiff of what was concocted, he said, “If your daddy eats this, he’s going to get fucked.” And that’s how the name was born.

After trying the sandwich I can confirm that Kevin would probably be screwed – it’s like getting hit in the face with the sensations of salt and spice and hitting your hangover all the way to the top of Spencer Butte while still having it good. taste.

The creation of “Fuck Kevin” was created in the fun, low-key environment that helped Lox, Stocks, and Bagels survive the pandemic. Lilly said store regulars keep coming and the on-the-go model helps them continue to fulfill orders with minimal exposure between customer and staff.

For those who hoped, like me, that Lilly could bring her perfectly textured bagels one step closer to downtown, don’t hold your breath. No. 1, Lilly said, Eugenians aren’t used to living in a big city because driving 10 minutes to something is “NOT far!”

But don’t let him fool you: Lilly lives right up the street. And, # 2, Lilly says he only ever opened this store to give himself something to do and be his own boss. Doing everything in-house is already almost too much work, and adding a second location would make it even more difficult.

“I’ve worked in a number of places where the corners are cut,” Lilly said. “You buy pre-fabricated products, and these are products that can easily be made and improved upon from what you buy. So I do not know. If it has to have my name on it, that’s what I want. ??

Lox, Stocks and Bagels is at 368 E. 40th Avenue. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or until bagels are sold out. Check out Facebook.com/LoxStocksBagels to see if they’re sold out. For more information, visit LoxStocksBagels.com.

The Lilly family recently went through a tragedy and friends have posted on social media such as the Eugene Foodies Facebook page that the best way to offer condolences is to support the restaurant. A GoFundMe has been set up for the family to help them manage their finances after their loss.

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