Bagel Project—a name already familiar to Salt Lakers who flocked to the self-proclaimed authentic bagel vendor at the Downtown Farmers Market and rejoiced when the part-time cart became a full-time store. The Bagel Project (779 S. 500 East, SLC) has been a success and the Abrams decided, as American restaurant owners almost inevitably do, to expand. The new Bagel Project serves more than bagels, bialys, lox and coffee—sandwiches are also part of the menu. And that seems to have been the starting point for the downtown location, which serves a variety of sandwiches made on bagels as well as healthy green salads.
Bagel Project downtown, like the bakery, is clearly designed more as a pick-up-and-go cafe than a sit around and eat place. We took our plastic containers to a table, anyway. The space was designed by FFKR Architects, a big-name designer for a business that started as a farmers market stand, and the tall walls of glass and spare fixtures make it a pleasant place to lunch and linger, though I don’t think that is what it was designed for. It sort of projects (haha) a Goldman-Sachs-eat-at-your-desk mentality—modern
The bagels, as you probably know, are not those humongous unchewables that pass as authentic nor are they another squishy rendition of American white bread, like a lot of grocery store bagels. They’re chewy but tender, perfect for holding sandwich fillings. Like too many restaurants these days, you order your food at the counter and find a table yourself, choosing a soda from the cooler.
The salad menu is concise and ranges from chicken (or not) Caesar and Greek to more exotic mixes like the 9.25: soft-set egg, bacon, gorgonzola, shaved fennel, fried shallots, baby arugula, spring mix, dijon dressing. Choose herbed chicken or cured salmon. And they are huge. Dressing comes on the side. I drizzled mine, but my dining companion was smarter: She poured the dressing over the salad, fitted the top on, and shook. Perfect. Sandwiches are not your usual chicken salad—how about smoked trout, fried egg, pickled asparagus, truffle salt and scallion cream cheese? Or soy chorizo, avocado salsa, fried egg, tomato, red onion, cheddar cheese and cilantro? I did taste the basic BLT—the filling was great—good thick bacon, ripe tomato, crisp romaine—and, like I said, these bagels work well as a bun.
I can picture Projects all over town.
IF YOU GO
- Address: 170 S. Main Street, SLC
- Phone: 801-355-2400
- Entrees: $ (Inexpensive )
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