We tried ‘Lancashire’s best delicatessen’, where bagels rival Brick Lane in London.
I have been to the 24 hour Beigel Bake on Brick Lane in London and it is as good as everyone is saying in online reviews and social media.
See, that’s the thing with the internet. This was not the case when Beigel Bake opened in 1974, and for two decades later the bakery relied solely on word-of-mouth recommendations and repetition of the custom.
I’m sure many cafes, bars, and restaurants would love to go back to the days when there was no constant online review, but, and like most things, the reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc. .
Sites can build a solid rating and reputation, the more five stars the customer gives them, the better.
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But then there is always the curve of a low rating or a star from an unhappy customer, even if like a stone it is thrown into a sea of brilliants it will always make a ripple.
And that was the case for The Bagel Deli on Moor Street in Ormskirk.
LancsLive reported how a customer gave it a one-star TripAdvisor review and called the bagels “bland”, but on the other hand, out of its 175 reviews, 166 of them rated the deli as “excellent” and overall it is rated five stars.
Bakery owner Martin Fautley, a native of London who worked on Brick Lane baking and serving fresh bagels, responded to the customer’s review.
He said he contacted the guest “personally” before adding that each bagel is baked daily on site, meaning there is “no possibility” for it to be stale.
On this point, I’d be inclined to agree with an experienced bagel baker about a review on a website anyone can comment on.
So, has this five star bakery just met an impossible customer, or are the bagels just not as good as everyone on the internet is saying?
For the sake of transparency, we visited the bakery on two different days and ordered the same two bagels each time – the hot corned beef (£ 5.50 plus 30 pence for the pickle) and the smoked salmon and cheese a la cream (£ 4.50).
Choose from classic plain white or plump for one of the other varieties such as whole wheat or chili.
There are many more toppings to choose from on the huge menu board above the main counter, including breakfast, peanut butter, and full English jam; cheese and pickle, the Ruben special, salami, tuna, roast beef, salami, pork and apple and egg mayo and paprika.
There are also vegan and vegetarian options including hummus, grated carrots and red cabbage and halloumi, red pepper and arugula, plus all the condiments and sauces to put the finishing touches on your bagel.
And if bagels aren’t your thing, there are also baked potatoes, homemade cakes and pastries, sausage rolls and pies.
You can wash your bagel with a soft drink, a homemade milkshake or a cup of tea, with ice cream served in the summer, special dishes and a large seating area outside when the weather is dry and not. it’s not a market day.
Now let’s go. The corned beef here is shredded and mounted on the bread with an optional dollop of mustard of your choice and a huge pickle.
The meat is succulent and juicy, it is sweet with a strong and tangy taste, offset by the flavors of mustard and pickle and just the right amount of salt.
The bread is filling, not too hard like bagels can be, and tastes like it came out of the oven.
It also has that gorgeous glossy sheen and doesn’t even go soggy from the gravy. The bagel is hot even after the 10 minute walk home (plus a few extra minutes to pose for photos).
Warning: this bagel can be messy, so beware of drips.
The salmon bagel, one full and the other white (because they were sold out and other whole foods were cooked when we ordered) is stuffed with voluminous, tangy and smooth cream cheese. The salmon is fresh and not too stringy, however I would have appreciated a little more in the second bagel as it was stingy compared to the first.
The whole bagel is slightly less dense and larger than the white, but both are good sourdoughs.
All in all, we would be happy (and probably will) to make them a triplet of visits to Bagel Deli this week, because yes they are, especially their corned beef, SO good.
We generally encourage TripAdvisor joanie0151 to try one more time, but given that over 60% of their reviews have the lowest “terrible” rating, it’s probably best to leave more for the rest of us.
What’s the biggest lesson here? Take the reviews of TripAdvisor and others with a pinch of salt (beef).
Note, if you’re looking for an example of the royal popularity of Brick Lane for bagels, which is also home to The Bagel Shop, competitor to Beigel Bake just two doors down, then take a look at this image of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The royal duo are big fans of the latter and visited in September 2020 when they were forced to shorten their 24-hour opening hours during the pandemic, affecting staff, but were still able to providing donations and deliveries to the local community.
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