Fear not, bagel lovers: Although Olde World Bagel & Deli has been under new ownership since Feb. 1, all the same recipes are still in use. One of the new owners, Pam Buckles, says that when her husband was retiring from the military, their son asked if they wanted to go into business with him. They took one look at Olde World Bagels, and moved from Arizona to begin their new adventure. They count themselves lucky to have found a shop with a great reputation and a very strong, loyal customer base. The wide bagel selection, sweet or savory or seasonal (hello, pumpkin) makes choosing difficult, but this is the kind of problem we all want to have.
I try a hot sandwich, the Hail Caesar, which comes on a toasted spinach Parmesan bagel. The bagel makes the perfect complement to the chicken, romaine and Caesar dressing, mild and tangy. Next time I would order it cold, though, because the hot sandwich doesn’t do the crisp lettuce any favors. Great flavors don’t need soggy lettuce. The Veggie is a cold sandwich, served on a toasted honey wheat bagel. Colorful and gorgeous, it explodes with flavor. The lettuce, tomato, red onion, green bell pepper and avocado are impeccably fresh and sliced paper thin. Those thin slices instead of one thick hunk means less slippage when I bite into the bagel. Sprouts provide an additional pop of freshness, and sunflower seeds add a nice bit of crunch. The veggie cream cheese holds it all together nicely. Like all of their cream cheeses, it’s made fresh in-house, with a lot of attention to flavor. The only room for improvement: It needed just a tiny bit of salt. Next time, I’ll ask if I can get pickles added to the layers.
One change the new owners have made is to cut back on their wholesale business. Prior owners the Kennard family, who in 2004 bought what was before a Chesapeake Bagel Company franchise that opened in 1997, had upwards of 50 clients in the past. While this means fewer shops using their bagels, it also means they’ve been able to redirect their resources to keep a wider variety available in the shop longer into the day. Hopefully this means your favorite will be available next time you stop in.