When you eat in and take out, you know the food is good.
We were first drawn to Meshuggah Bagels by the name. We know—and crave—New York-style water bagels. We thought, was someone, um, crazy enough to open a bagel place in the Midwest and claim it could take us home?
Yep. With the first bite, we were in love. One of us got the traditional plain bagel, chewy and flavorful on its own—even better with a little strawberry schmear. The other went for broke with the everything bagel, complete with toasted everything cream cheese. It was, well, everything we’d hoped.
Combine your bagel and schmear with the house coffee (we recommend the one with hints of milk chocolate and pistachio), take a seat, and enjoy the steady stream of regulars who come in. There was the New York transplant, who told us as we waited in line, “You are in for a treat.” There was the young woman with-child-in-stroller who savored her bagel as though it were a retreat from sleepless nights and cries of hunger. One after the other people came in, often acknowledged by name, and always taking a sack to go.
We did the same—enjoyed our bagels and coffee in-house, then took a half dozen with us so we could try a few more flavors. The garlic and herb, the salt, more plain, more everything, and—on the recommendation of the helpful counter person, the bialy.
She described it as, “Polish, and amazing toasted with butter.” It, like several others, went directly into the freezer and its wonders are yet to unfold.
The freezer—that, too, was her tip. She said that any bagels we eat by the next day would be fine, but, with no preservatives, we’d want to transfer them to a plastic bag and freeze the rest, then thaw and toast when we were ready to eat. Since bagels aren’t exactly low calorie, we implemented that plan and are doling them out according to cravings.
Meshuggah Bagels has two locations, the one we hit on West 39thStreet in old Kansas City, near Westport, and one in the newer, upscale Overland Park, Kansas. We loved the ambiance, which was the perfect mix of friendly and “feel free to sit and think.” There was a fun vibe as they delivered bagels—in sort of a retro drive up—to customers in the parking lot who had ordered in advance, chatted with the regulars, and took plenty of time to educate newbies.
If you want heartier fare or a sandwich for lunch, take advantage of a variety of fish options or the pastrami. These are the touches that make you know that the owners have not only done their research; they’ve lived it. Sure enough, one of them is from New Jersey, came to KC, met his wife, and the rest is chronicled on their website.
So, go sweet, go savory, just go check it out if you are in the Kansas City area. You’d be meshuggah not to.