When traveling, Moscow Bagel Shop is the place to go
Late night walks during my freshman year often brought me to Moscow Bagel and Deli.
The little shop downtown is hard to spot. It’s tucked away between the Prichard Art Gallery and Cafe Artista. The green awning is the only part that stands out until about 1 a.m., when it suddenly becomes difficult to miss.
The busiest times to visit the bagel shop are during bar breaks. Inebriated people show up and it is almost impossible to move through the tight space. There are plenty of stories of intoxicated customers even dancing on the tables. I have never witnessed it, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
The bagel shop is a neat little spot with the best food for travellers. Customers can walk in, order a bagel and be out within 15 minutes. It’s not as fast as McDonald’s, and not as cheap, but the food is amazing.
One of the things separating the bagel shop from other sandwich or bagel places is the fact that they steam their bagels. Once you order your preferred sandwich, they build it and place it on a steamer. Deft hands fold it up into an aluminum foil package and customers are on their way.
There are 93 bagel sandwiches, not including secret menu items, build it yourself bagels and extra options such as soup and cookies. The names are what make the bagels even better. There is one called “The Donkey Punch,” another is “The Clayboy” and still another is the “Kamikaze.” People often walk into the shop and are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices on the menu.
I made the mistake early on of ordering the same bagel every time because I was stunned by how many options I had. The workers don’t ever rush customers, at least I never felt rushed, but there is still pressure to know what to order.
On days like this, order a Lottery. The people behind the counter get to make you whatever they want. They ask if a customer is allergic to anything or if they prefer spicy or not, but basically it is a completely blind sandwich for the person who orders it.
If I had the money, I would make it my goal to try every bagel they offer on the menu. It would take at least three months to eat one every day, but I would do it. I have tried Donkey Punch, the After-Burner, the Firz and the Babyface. I have probably tried others as well, since I have risked the Lottery once or twice.
Most people think eating on the go means going to McDonald’s or picking something up from a random convenience store. The bagel shop is 10 times better than either of these options, and it’s more portable.
Before heading out to hike Moscow Mountain or driving home to southern Idaho, it’s worth the extra few minutes to swing by the bagel shop and pick up some travel food.
Claire Whitley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Cewhitley24